Hilton Schilder grew up in the Cape Town township of Lotus River. He is the son of well-known pianist and bandleader, Tony Schilder and music was always around him. At the age of 3 he was given his first drum. He was around when his dad’s jazz band rehearsed and secretly played drummer Monty Weber´s drum kit when rehearsals were over.
From an early age he began to play in many different kinds of groups. There were jazz bands, Carnival troupes, disco bands, hip-hop groups.
Hilton inherited his musical talent from his family. He refers to this as the gift from the Schilder /Africa dynasty.. He plays several instruments, though the keyboard is his main choice. Keyboard in the broadest sense though. From grand piano to synthesizers and computer sequencers, Hilton is at home on all of them.
His first real success was with his "goema rock" project, The Genuines, with musical partner Mac McKenzie, with whom he made four albums and toured throughout South Africa. This band also performed, in Germany, Holland and Italy. He was the driving force behind the band, Iconoclast, and he is a regular member of Robbie Jansen's, Sons of Table Mountain as well as substantial contributor to these groups' repertoire as a composer.
In the last 2 years he has spread his wings to take part in a musical workshop in Denmark and to appear solo in concerts in France to mention only two international events in his diary.
Hilton's cultural roots are ever evident in his work. He is intensely aware of his social and political surroundings. He describes himself as a "mind freedom fighter".
His debut solo album, No Turning Back, is a very personal musical statement. It offers a range of music from Cape Jazz, through rock/pop to electro ambient sounds. The album was nominated for a SAMA Award (the South African “grammies”) as Best Contemporary Jazz Album. Though his name appears prominently in the credits of over 20 CDs and numerous TV shows this album is surprisingly his solo debut. The album was released in South Africa earlier this year and will be issued in Germany in May and France September 2003.