Stromer Hills – If U Like The Way I Walk

Stromer Hills, real name Zachary Skarzynski, didn’t grow up with musician or even music-obsessed parents in Calgary, Canada. He did, however, get the beginnings of a musical education by riding in the front seat of his father’s car while strands of classic rock blasted from the car radio. It stoked an early flicker destined to eventually erupt into a full-blown flame. His initial efforts, however, occurred in a sort of vacuum as his family didn’t share such inclinations.

Using his voice as an instrument for the first time was a transformative moment. Drafted to fill in as MC one day when another vocalist didn’t show up, Hills’ musical journey took a turn still bearing fruit today. His new single “if u like the way i walk” has one of the most contagiously melodic vocal hooks you’ll hear in 2022, if not the best, and Hills proves he’s far more than a competent talent in the way he takes advantage of the song’s strengths.

He never overplays his hand. Lesser talents would have strung bells and whistles across this track, glossed it up with needless tinsel, and lost its melodic and soulful essence. Hills, instead, plays on its groove and soulfulness to the hilt. The guitar work breathes, never rushing its contributions, and even the percussion presence in the track isn’t constant. Yet the groove never goes. It’s a modern version of an in-the-pocket rhythm, something you can feel in your hips. ‘

It can definitely play well for the dance crowd. It’s not much of a stretch to see and hear a song entitled “if u like the way i walk” popping with the sort of physicality that gets over well in a club setting. Hills, however, clearly doesn’t intend for that to be its sole purpose. There’s an authentic reflection of the singer behind the song emerging from each of the verses and it dramatizes a frequent fact of adult romantic life. He’s never crass, never panders for listeners’ attention, and has an almost storyteller’s touch the way he compels you to keep following along.

The song has an ideal length and construction. It practically provides aspiring songwriters a primer on writing a perfectly arranged modern R&B/soul tune while simultaneously allowing Hills the latitude to make creative decisions along the way. Many listeners will be in love with how he handles the chorus, bridge, and other portions of the composition. Like his predecessors, “if u like the way i walk” is the product of a long apprenticeship and clear evidence that the apprenticeship has ended.

This is a songwriter, rapper, and musician ready for the next level. It’s a fragmented world these days where fame can often be fleeting, but there’s substance backing up his style every step of the way and zero question that he’ll conquer unexpected territory with future work. Stromer Hills isn’t a shooting star. He’s in this for the long haul and the new single “if u like the way i walk” underscores that point.

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