Birth Date: 19 January 1977
Birth Place: Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa
Height: 5' 10"
" I see myself being a sexual woman, but when you wake up in the morning and see yourself it's kind of like I don't know if I get the whole sexiness thing. But I like that other people think of me in that way. It's really flattering."
Each morning, she wakes up and begins scribbling. These being dreams, the bleary-eyed scribblings give a skewed impression of Candice's reality, but they conjure an undeniable truth which spills over into passionate, candid lyrics. If her music is bound together by one unifying theme, Candice explains, it is this: "The places you come from to get to where you're going." Snapshots of life, then living, learning, following your heart.
The seeds of Candice’s musical career were sewn four years ago when she met Australian songwriter Clive Young. "Send me your poetry," he told her, "and let’s see what happens." What happened was beyond any one's expectations; in 2002 she signed to one of South Africa’s leading independent record label Musketeer Records and at the beginning of 2003 her debut album was released. Featuring contributions from Divinyls mainstay Chrissie Amphlett amongst others, the album was called ‘Chasing Your Tomorrows’. "People seem to live for the future rather than for the moment," Candice says of the title ."Its the nature of the world we live in, "work jobs we hate to buy things we don't need."
Freedom of expression was one of the defining features of Candice’s childhood. She says that as a youngster growing up in and around Johannesburg, "I was always told to go full steam ahead with things that I liked; and if I didn’t like something not to let it worry me." Candice fondly recalls a blackboard in her basement, where she’d spend hours chalking out doodles and poems, soundtracked first by her parents’ broad record collection and later on by the music she’d buy for herself – Bob’s Dylan and Marley and Pink Floyd. As Candice’s obsession with music took grip, schoolwork seemed to become ever more irrelevant. "I just didn't enjoy it," she laughs "If I needed 50% to pass something and I got 52% I felt like I'd wasted 2% effort."
Candice’s current output marks a huge leap from her first album. The plan had been merely to update that collection with some new songs to be released on the international circuit. As it turned out, Candice just didn’t stop writing, and now only a handful of those original songs will find their way into record stores. Indeed, Candice has been so prolific that it’s time to start offloading tracks elsewhere. "Some people have been, like, 'Don't give any away! You need your songs!' but I've written a lot so far and they can't all go on the album. I'm more than happy to pass some on.
Candice displays a staggering uniqueness that is evident from the first moment you meet her. This comes across in her music. She puts it down to growing up in South Africa and having a very different life experience to what you and I are used to.
Characteristically hungry for other perspectives and influences, Candice has also teamed up with other songwriters for her new album. One of the tracks ‘Insecure’, which Candice describes as "a total 360 on what people think about relationships" bears the hallmark of co-writer and veteran Aerosmith producer Marty Frederickson while ‘Let Me Go’ and the heart stopping ‘Didn’t Cry Enough’ are both collaborations with the True North team. Candice considers these sessions a massive success. "It's hard to go into a room and divulge everything about yourself," she admits, "and the best results are from when I’d gone back and worked with them a third or fourth time. Continuing to draw on her dream diary and events in real life, Candice’s songs are touched with a rare honesty that can sometimes throw up uncomfortable truths about life and love.
Having played a series of low-key acoustic shows over the last few months, Candice created a buzz on the London live circuit. Performing her songs live "completes the puzzle", she says, bridging the gap between Candice's startlingly honest lyrics and an audience who, she‘s discovered, have found it easy to transpose these intensely personal life stories onto their own lives. "Playing live in London is not that different to playing live in South Africa," she smiles, before pausing slightly. "Then again, I tend to sing with my eyes closed, so I can’t say for sure."
Candice may already know what it’s like to be recognized in the street, but this music must and does succeed on its own considerable merits. "I'm not into bullshit. I'm just into getting the job done. The music has to come first, anything else can take a backseat."
Candice has lit up the big and small screens in her native country with roles in Othello: A South African Tale, A Case of Murder, Beauty and the Beast, Falling Rocks, and The Adventures of Sinbad. Now she is trying to make waves in the U.S. by launching a music career.
Sing a song: "I started writing poetry but there's not really an outlet for poetry here anymore. I kind of transformed that into lyric writing and it's been a really positive experience because I really enjoy writing edgy lyrics. I'm all for songs that say something and stand out instead of just having some pretty words that mean nothing."
Sleeping to dream: "My dreams are really important to me and I've really taken to writing them down in the morning. When I'm writing songs and get to a sticky patch, it's just great for me to flip through and you have these really random kind of psychedelic images that you get in your dreams. It's great to just spark a different train of thought."
Just doin' it: "I'm so passionate about stuff. I've grown up knowing that if you enjoy something, you should just do it until you stop enjoying it. Whatever I do, I just want to be true to myself and make sure it's something I believe in."
Humble pie: "I see myself being a sexual woman, but when you wake up in the morning and see yourself it's kind of like I don't know if I get the whole sexiness thing. But I like that other people think of me in that way. It's really flattering."
Candice Hillebrand Nude: