Norwegian born, internationally acclaimed 7 string guitar virtuoso, singer, songwriter, author and illustrator.
Her international childhood, moving abroad at the age of six, growing up in Verona (Italy) for all of her elementary school years, then moving to Vence (France), Merritt Island (Florida), Chicago and Los Angeles, in between short periods in Norway, gave her inspiration from various music genres, cultures and styles early on. She also learned to speak four languages, fluently. She started to play guitar at the age of 15, because "she had so many ideas for songs and she needed an instrument to play the songs on." After only three years of playing she was featured in magazines for her guitar playing, as "The new Queen of Shred!"
Being a professionally trained opera singer as well, in old school Bel Canto technique, she was a vocal coach and expert judge on Norway's biggest TV show; "Stjernekamp" or "Battle of the Stars," in both 2015 and 2017. The show has almost a million viewers.
After smashing her way into the Metal genre, with her fearless version of Black Sabbath's legendary hit "Paranoid," she was featured as "one of ten modern guitargods" (METAL HAMMER, UK) and "the queen of shred" (TOTAL GUITAR MAGAZINE) in addition to countless magazines and newspapers all over the world.
In 2013 she successfully crossed over to classical crossover music from heavy metal, after working on her first classical challenge, in great secrecy, for six months.
She was the first guitarist ever to record a guitar version of Sarasate's masterpiece for violin, "Zigeunerweisen Op.20. "
The video was on the "top 10 viral videos of 2013" in the biggest guitar magazine in the world, Guitar World. The song and video was also the first professional cooperation and guitar duel between a metal guitarist and a classical guitarist.
During the summer of 2014 she recorded an album with world leading classical guitarist Craig Ogden.
"2 Guitars - The Classical Crossover Album," was released in December 2014 and charted as #1 on Amazon USA, going in and out of the charts repeatedly since its release, to this day. The album is available on iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, etc.
Their guitar duel version of Paganini's Caprice 24 was the first video they released from the album. It was featured in major newspaper "The Guardian," as one of "Ten best Metal meets Classical." It was also on the "Top 10 viral videos of 2014" in Guitar World Magazine, where it premiered. In 2016 their version of Caprice 24 reached viral status once again, after it was shared by the Mexican site "La Guitarra Magica." In 2017 she was a guest on Tom Service's BBC3 Radio Show playing both classical and metal.
In January 2015, The CIC shared the stage with some of the greatest guitarists in the world, when she performed at the "Randy Rhoads Remembered" concert in Anaheim, California. Some of the other guitarists included Michael Angelo Batio, Alex Skolnick, Kiko Loreiro and many more. The event was organised by drummer extraordinaire Brian Tichy, whom previously had played drums on one of The CIC's recordings.
In January 2015 she was one of the expert judges on the Norwegian Awards Show, Spellemann, in the metal genre. Spellemann is the Norwegian version of the Grammys. She also made videos for EMG pickups and Guitar World in the spring of 2015.
Her original song, Let It Go, is the bonus track on the album she recorded with Craig Ogden. The song got nationwide radio play on BBC Radio in the UK in January 2015, and was featured as part of a TV show, broadcasted by the Norwegian national broadcaster NRK in October 2017.
The Commander-In-Chief has been a guest on major TV shows, also appearing as a vocal coach and judge on Norway's number #1 rated TV Show "Stjernekamp" (Battle of the Stars)in the metal and hard rock genre, in 2015 and 2017. She has been featured in major music magazines all over the world and on newspaper front pages. She has played major festivals and in 2014 she performed at the Musikmesse in Frankfurt and the NAMM show. In 2013 she was featured by Norway's biggest TV channel, NRK, as one of today's role models for women in music in a TV program honouring the 100 year anniversary of women's voting rights in Norway.
Guitar World Magazine has interviewed/featured her twice and all the videos from her album with Craig Ogden have premiered on their website.
Europe's leading guitar magazine, Total Guitar Magazine, said this about her: "It's a sad fact that when you think of shred guitarists, the majority of them will be men. Enter The Commander-In-Chief, a seven-string-wielding uber shredding female who's ready to melt faces and shatter stereotypes. This Norwegian Metal maiden has her eyes set to command and conquer the masses."
Revolver Magazine featured her as "The hottest chick in Hard Rock."
Her Demo "Battle for the Mind" from 2010 and her official debut EP "Evolution" (2012) both received outstanding reviews and The CIC was praised for her innovative and catchy songwriting, advanced guitar playing and unique vocal range. In 2016 she released her debut album in Heavy Metal "I Am." Her vesion of "Immigrant Song" was featured in Classic Rock Magazine. In 2017 she released an illustrated lyric book for her original music which reached bestseller status on Amazon Kindle.
She has twice been nominated for "Best Metal song" by Hollywood Music in Media Awards (2011 and 2012).In 2014 she published her first children's book, The Freezing Snowman, which she wrote and illustrated. The book reached bestseller status on Amazon Kindle UK, in late 2017.
She spent the last part of 2016 working on a secret project with a major record label. In November 2016 she was struck by a vicious Parasite, which caused a post infectious syndrom in her body. The road to recovery would be long, tiresome and expensive. In October 2017 she was again an expert judge and vocal coach on Norway's biggest Saturday night TV show, "Battle of the Stars," despite not having fully recovered from her illness.
In March 2018 she announced that she was back in business and that she was recording a double album with 30 new songs. It would take another few months before she had enough energy to go back to performing. On August 10th 2018 she stunned the audience with her angelic voice, when she gave a benefit concert to help one of the old churches in the Cotswolds. The full concert can be seen here: Full church concert
She is also a professionally trained Opera singer, in Old School Bel Canto technique, with a pure coloratura voice, going all the way up to C7. She was trained by her mother, also a coloratura, who studied with the multi award winning Italian soprano, Aida Meneghelli, herself a student of Maria Callas's legendary vocal coach and leading coloratura soprano of her time, Elvira De Hidalgo.
Since 2008 her mother, Aina Elisabeth Hilltout, has been the manager for The Commander In Chief. The two of them have worked very closely together on every aspect of The CIC's career, sacrificing a lot on the way. Combining her experience as a professionally trained opera singer, with her experience from marketing campaigns and economics, her mother decided to study music management in Chicago, in 2007. When asked about why she manages her daughter she says; "I knew all these first class musicians and I was very excited about the idea of either managing some of them, or maybe getting involved with a theatre or opera house. One day I was watching my oldest daughter play some of her songs and I was very impressed with how fast she had developed her talents. At that moment I realized that the biggest talent I had ever seen was sitting right in front of me. It was an easy choice after that!"
The Commander In Chief does not consider herself a pianist at all, despite the fact that she also writes songs on piano and plays the instrument. On her youtube you can see a video of a song she wrote for her youngest brother Eric, Song for Eric, who was born in Chicago, and is the only American in the family.
An official Patreon page has been created and is up and going from March 25th 2018. If you want to support this hard working multi talent with anything from as little as $1 a month (you can stop being a Patron at any time you want), and get very nice rewards, please go to the Patreon/Support Page on this website, or go directly to her Patreon Page.
Official Ibanez artist. The first endorsement she got was with Ibanez, who gave her a one-in-the-world guitar; the protoype 7-string Falchion.
Also endorsing Laney Amps, EMG pickups, Audix microphones,DR Strings,Levy's Leathers, Jim Dunlop & PreSonus.