This time, the Charleston, South Carolina-based musician has taken on English singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding's track "Lights" in a violin rendition you'll have to hear to believe.
"I think that people forget that instruments can be used just like voices," Gilliard said in an interview with The Post and Courier. "Violin is a voice for me and can communicate emotions and feelings and sentiments just as well as words can. I'm trying to bring it back to the forefront of popular music because instruments have kind of been lost, everything's digital these days."
Gilliard found his love for the violin early on and grew up in a house with music, saying, "My mom played the viola so she had one in the house when I was little and I'd tinker with it and play with it."
He also said, "[The instrument] was actually too big for me because I was about 4 or 5 years old at that point. So, when I went to [Ashley River School Creative Arts Elementary School, I chose the violin] and have been classically trained since then."
"I've ventured away from classical music and been exploring more contemporary styles of music on violin," he said. "That seems to appeal to people a bit more [because] they can relate to it more. If they hear me playing their favourite song on the violin, they'll think, 'Whoa, that's cool!'"
Gilliard has recently released a digital mixtape of tunes called "The Covers" that is available for free through his blog here.
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