richard paul trey hillstrom was born on february 23, 1984 in alton, england.
the second child, and only son, to paul hillstrom (who passed away from cancer in spring 2014) and helen nichols (a retired fashion editor).
his older sister katherine "kate" clifford (nee hillstrom, 33) is an interior designer who lives in london with her husband james clifford (34), journalist.
he attended ermitage before enrolling at ual from where he graduated with a degree in design and media communication (2005).
he started working in advertising, became a video director for pop artists and eventually launched his own musical career under the name wolfman in 2011.
he released the critically acclaimed freshman album the golden age two years later.
after one year of constant touring, he decided to put himself on a semi-hiatus to focus on producing, composing and collaborations while tacking the production of his upcoming first film.
currently splitting his residency between london and paris, he is married to marcela since september 2014.
more soon ...
The first couple of years of Trey's life were rather uneventful; born and raised in a small english town by two hard working parents, an older sister to follow around and a dog as a best friend (for the most part). But there was one thing that made him stand out and the coolest kid in town: Paul Hillstrom, father and husband, was in charge of Alton Towers the number one amusement park in the country. Having a father with a certain position of power had many positive points but Paul was far too immersed in his profession to be a present and his wife Helen followed the same life philosophy: work hard and work harder. While neither Kate or Trey missed anything, their parents were best described as shadows and grumbling bodies passing through the corridors of the family home a couple of times per week. The relationship between parents and children was not entirely non-existent as the family still managed to find moments to be together but they were far too few to create something strong and lasting. They shared a name, a home, some similar traits but no one really knew each other.
By the time he had reached the dreadful teenage phase the family had relocated to France where both his parents had obtained work opportunities far more appealing "for everyone". Neither Trey or his sister Kate had found this so-called positive aspect to this life change but there didn't seem to be room for two cents to be thrown in the invisible family ideas jar. He was twelve and had barely gotten the time to get adjusted over a rather short summer break, when the school year started the two children were sent to a boarding school one hour away from home. It was for their own good and once more, the best solution for everyone. Trey was not a child anymore and little by little he understood that "better for everyone" was simply "easier to work without children around" using different words. At least he had his sister and the school was filled with expatriates speaking English a majority of the time that he could endure the traumatizing life change. Without much surprise school became home, home became a place he didn't really know. They became strangers and the older Trey got, the bigger the gap seemed to get. No one seemed to notice, each individual lost in their own world.
Little by little Trey found shelter in a place he never thought was able to feel secure and familiar at once, a place where everything made sense and where he was able to express himself. Visual arts and music took him by surprise, took his time and his mind all at once, to be the best was not what he was aiming for and though his musical skills were limited, it was the healthiest way for him to get rid of the negativity in his life and not let the way he felt eating him up. Thinking about the future was never a priority as he only wished to live and enjoy the moment he was living in but the time came for him to actually do a little more than just mess around and let life carry him around. Moving back to London he enrolled at the University of Arts, it seemed the more logical route to follow at this point; his parents had divorced two years before and though his father was still living in France both his sister and mother were back in England. Homesick was not what he was feeling but with the end of the boarding school era came the time for a change and try something new.
The pressure of a career was put onto him as soon as he had started the student life, both his parents needed to know and pushed him to at least find a decent outcome from his artistic drive. With three years and a diploma under his belt he ended school and entered the work field as he started at the bottom at an illustrating company. It paid well, kept a roof above his head and he was doing something he enjoyed enough to not give up after a couple of weeks. Music had somehow ended at the back of his mind, a hobby he still enjoyed when he had the time but it was never a possibility for a career but all it takes in life is an encounter to change everything. When a friend asked him to replace a member that had departed Trey was not sure if he could pull it off but still accepted the offer. "Temporary", he said. The temporary lasted two years, playing drums for gigs around town and even for small tours. The band was nothing big, the combination of four guys who simply wanted to have fun, songs and albums were only sold at the shows if anyone was interested but they never really were. When the artistic adventure stopped Trey didn't, the simply picked up where he had stopped and though he didn't form another band or joined one he took lessons, composed and wrote in between work obligations.
His career as an illustrator-slash-designer-slash-whatever task was given to him took a strange turn when he received the opportunity to direct his first music video for an up and coming French group. Having moved back to Paris a little over a year to work a multimedia firm, this new job was made for him, insert quote. He knew he was lacking experience but his achievement through the years as a visual media artist made him right for the job. A new career began and as the years passed by directing and music took more room in his life, it just all seemed to made sense in the end.
The beginning of a musical career came naturally, suggested by one of his close friends that he was just wasting his talent by letting those songs little by little lose themselves in the many drawers his home seemed to contain. His focus didn't entry shift but weeks were spent going through the songs he had written over the years; some depicting an imaginary world while others express his feeling at a specific time in his life. Rewriting, rearranging and recording all seemed to happen at once and before he could see it happening, he had an album ready to come. He was not sure if he was ready for it yet, he was not sure if they would be ready for it. The idea of an alias only came after listening himself sing one of his recorded songs for the first time, not recognizing the man who was speaking those words, as if someone else was telling his story. Wolf Man was born in a Parisian recording studio. The way his album was welcomed was surprising and unexpected. The nerves had reached a new high even if he had not wanted to admit it himself. The thrill he had experienced while recording never really left him, pulling all that energy that needed to be released in one way on stage with each performance.
From his small desk in London to the European stages the road was long, unplanned but loved. Looking back Trey sometimes is surprised at the outcome of his life, he still doesn't know or where it all started, if there was a sign at one point in life he had missed. Or perhaps, there is no fate. His story and the way things have turned for him seem to illustrate that thought well. He never knew what he wanted and those past few years have proven to him you don't always need a plan to achieve something. Always willing to experiment what might come out of his mind and the encounters in his life is pretty unknown at this but if anything, that's the most exciting part about his life.
(2013) the golden age
1. the golden age, 2. run boy run, 3. the great escape, 4. boat song, 5. i love you, 6. the shore, 7. ghost lights, 8. shadows, 9. stabat mater, 10. conquest of spaces, 11. falling, 12. where i live, 13. iron, 14. the other side
(2012) run boy run - remixes ep
(2011) iron - ep
1. iron, 2. brooklyn, 3. baltimore fireflies, 4. wasteland, 5. iron (remix by mystery jets), 6. iron (remix by gucci vump)
videos as director
■ happy (2013)
■ made to love (2013) - creative director
■ who do we think we are (2013) - creative director
■ i love you (2013)
■ lover of the light (2012)
■ run boy run (2012)
■ blue jeans (2012)
■ take care (2012)
■ born to die (2011)
■ wastin time (2011)
■ iron (2011)
■ back to december (2011)
■ teenage dream (2010)
■ dreaming of another world (2010)
■ little lion man (2009)
■ mistake (2009)
■ faut-il, faut-il pas ? (2009)
■ ce jeu (2008)
■ evergreen (2007)
■ Lolita Lempicka (2013) - director, composer
■ L’Oreal Paris Studio Line (2013) - director
■ lipton (2012) - director
■ aides graffiti (2010) - director
■ lights (2010) - director
■ tiji (2009) - director
■ Les Bosquets - NYC Ballet (2014) - composer
■ Victoire de la Musique
(2014) Artist Stage Révélation of the Year
■ UK Music Video Awards
(2012) Best Pop – International for "Born To Die"
(2011) Best Video for "Iron"
■ Cannes Lions Advertising Festival
(2010) Gold (2) – Best Film, Viral for "Aides Graffiti"
(2010) Bronze (2) – Cyber for "Aides Graffiti"
(2009) Silver – Best Film for "Tiji"
■ Eurobest European Advertising Festival
(2010) Bronze – Best Film for "Aides Graffiti"