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Limelight Spotlight: Hope

Hope - Atlantic Records

Hope is a pleasantly warm and optimistic feeling of what’s to come. To desire with anticipation is to hope, according to Webster’s Dictionary. And although it may be a difficult feeling to come by during hard times, it’s a feeling that’s also resulted in great moments in many lives. (See our last Presidential election as proof of what Hope can sometimes do.)

Atlantic Records recording artist, Hope, embodies every meaning her name carries in both music and personality. Having spent two semesters in college under a scholarship for voice performance, the young singer decided early on that her off-the-cuff, free spirit was better suited for her music than the structure that came along with music theory courses. With her family’s blessing, along with a strong hand of support and involvement from her brother, Hope headed to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of spreading love and positivity through her music.

Check out our Limelight Spotlight Q&A as we talk with Hope about her journey into music, her love-inspired message she hopes resonates with listeners, what it was like working with pop artist, Jason Mraz, and how her fans helped rejuvenate hope in her music during her own rough times.

Your music is so positive and obviously very love-inspired. I find that to be so refreshing considering we live in times where the world promotes so much negativity via the internet and social networks. What inspires you, your songs and the messages you put out?

I was raised in a very positive family. My parents always encouraged me to get out there and really just enjoy music. I had a guitar and keyboard in the house all the time. Growing up, I wasn’t really allowed to be fully connected to pop culture. I had sort of a limit, like, television and radio…it was very limited as far as how much I could watch. I guess I had a lot of time to sort of work on music and just kind of dream.

That kind of breeds creativity when you’re not distracted by outside forces, huh?

Yeah. But I definitely would turn the radio on anyway. And then I watched TV and listened to CDs and things that I loved because there’s something in the music and in pop culture that I love. But I think I was born innately feeling like I have…it’s hard for me to write a song and not put a little hope at the end of it. Like turn it around and say “you’re going to be okay” and “don’t worry.”  I don’t know why, it’s easy to write a sad song, but it always somehow, for me, turns around in the end. And I don’t know, my name is Hope, but it totally has nothing to do with my name. I don’t know. I just see so much doubt, so much pain and people struggling for happiness.  I think before we ended up in this kind of feeling like a recession or whatever’s going on, people were trying to be happy and I just want to make everyone happy. I have that desire inside.

I read that you taught yourself how to play the guitar and piano, do you play any other instruments?

I have played the autoharp and a little bit of the bass guitar. And I’m learning to play the cajon.  It’s like a little drum.

When you’re writing, do you also produce your own music?

Absolutely! My first album, I worked on that with my brother, Christian. Together, we produced the music and jotted all the sounds. And then my second album, I also co-produced with Michael Blue and Trevor Horn. I was very much so a part of the sound of the music as far as each level of the instruments and the overall arrangement. I really love doing that stuff.

Can you tell me a little bit about your journey in music and who are the people that were instrumental in moving your career forward?

Well I have to say there are a lot of people out there that have been championing for me kind of on the sidelines just cheering and their support, as well as the fans that I already have, has been amazing. Their videos, their letters of support, the covering the songs on Youtube and my record label, we’ve been together. We’ve stuck it out and definitely have all come up with an album that we’re proud of and that we’re excited about.

NL: When is the album coming out?

Hope: We’re definitely gonna be releasing it winter of 2010. It’ll be in stores.

NL: What can fans expect to hear about on your upcoming album? Is there a particular theme?  What inspired the writing on these songs?

Hope: The theme overall is definitely love. The single is called “Love Love Love” and it’s just about loving yourself. It’s about loving those people around you, loving the earth and taking care of the earth. There’s a song called “Lighthouse”, which is one of my favorites.

NL: Yes! I heard you sing that at the showcase. I wanted to know what is the emotional meaning behind that song? I really enjoyed it!

Thank you so much. I wrote that song since I’ve been in L.A. I was kind of in the middle of my dreams and just continuing to perform on 3rd Street. And I started writing this song with a few chords, just feeling like sometimes you feel lost trying to reach your goal and find out where you’re supposed to be and your purpose, you know? I just always had dreams and yet I was like, is this really going to happen? Am I going to be able to sing to the masses of people?  “Lighthouse” was kind of like my “Candle In The Dark.” It was like saying, “Don’t worry, you’re going to find your way to the light in this music.” And with God, like he’s been such a huge help for me, the whole way.  The feeling that he has my back and my family’s been very supportive of me. “Lighthouse” is kind of just that interpretation of the ultimate love and the ultimate light that you can go to. When we’re trying to find our purpose and where we’re going and if we can accomplish our dreams and understanding that the journey is all part of the dream.

Who did you connect with at Atlantic to get your label deal after building an audience and fan base in L.A.?

While I was performing Venice Beach Boardwalk and also at 3rd street in Santa Monica, a lot of people had been getting the music and MySpace was really doing amazing at that time. So a lot of people were kind of circling back and talking about the music and sharing it with their friends. There was a small store that I had given maybe ten copies of my music to, to sell, because they loved it so much and they wanted to give it to their customers. So I would give them three or four dollars off of each one. Soon they put it in their mix in the store so people could hear it while they were shopping. One day, DJ Sammy, which is a well known DJ all over Europe and in the states, was walking by and he said, “Who is this singer?” And they said, “This is Hope, we have her CD. Would you like to buy it?” So he bought the CD and he took it to his agent, whose name was Diane. Diane knew Leslie Dweck and Leslie Dweck is now my A&R at Atlantic. She took it to Jason Flom at the time, he was there at Atlantic, and Craig Kallman.  Then I flew to New York a couple months later and I ended up signing with Atlantic.

How has the experience been for you so far?  Being out here for so long and finally seeing your dreams come to fruition?

It’s definitely been amazing but when I look back, I realize how fast time really does fly. Being at 3rd Street, you know, I performed out there for two years and it was really the fans, the people who supported my music that got me through because of their letters of support. It was MySpace, having that venue so that every morning or any time of day, I could just log on and read a letter. Also, a couple of shows that I did right before I got signed. It was just an overwhelming response and the rooms were always full.

I remember starting off, my first actual street performance was outside of my actual job. I worked at Tommy Hilfiger. I opened the Hollywood store, before, when it was there. I would go out on my breaks and I would play on the street kind of next to the Elvis guy. I had no microphone or anything and I remember one winter, I was able to make so much more money than I made working at my job. I thought to myself, I have to be doing this. There’s got to be a way I can just do music. But people were so supportive and that’s what got me through. There were times when I didn’t have any money to eat and I would take my guitar and I would go sing on the street a little bit because I was waiting for my check every two weeks. In between time, I would do that and make a couple bucks and have the money to take the red line home. There were definitely downs. I had times when I felt like all my friends were leaving L.A. They were just like, “We’re gonna go back home.” And I was determined that no matter what, I would never go home, and had to stay because this is where the opportunity that I wanted was.

What types of music influence your sound?

I’ve always been a huge love of popular music. I really enjoy good songs. If I hear a good song, it really doesn’t matter what the genre is, I just love the song. Sade, Sting, Seal, Nikka Costa. Lately, I’ve been really enjoying Justin Nozuka. He’s awesome. An amazing writer and a great singer. He has an incredible voice. I enjoy everything from classical music to country music to pop and hip-hop. I love everything. I just love good songs. If it makes me feel good, I love it.

How was it working with Jason Mraz on Love, Love, Love?

With “Love Love Love”, we were actually quite far into the production of the record. Michael and I were almost at mixing and it was one of those songs where I felt we needed to have something more uptempo and fun and just free. Something where you don’t have to think very much, you just get to enjoy it. We sat down with our guitarist and wrote the song, “Love Love Love.” Jason later added his part separately, but we were able to do the video together, which was the first time that I met him. He was really cool and very funny and we had an awesome time together.

Where can people look for you in the meantime, before the album drops?

Hope: They can definitely follow me on FollowHope.com for updates and anything that’s going on.  The single “Love Love Love” is on iTunes right now. My original material is available there as well. I’ll be touring and everything we post is pretty much up on the site.

What do you hope people and your fans will take away from your music?

Hope: I hope that the fans and everyone that listens to the music just gets a sense of hope and are happy when they listen to the music. Whether it’s in their car or if they’re at home or they’re hanging out with friends…that it will really be the soundtrack to a great moment in their lives.

More on Hope: Myspace / Twitter / Facebook

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Comments

  1. who is this lady lol hahhahaha

  2. like seriously Brouno Mars????!!!!!?!?!?!!?!? YOU GOT ARESDE

  3. Als Single haben sie sich angemeldet, sind aber nun immer noch hier obwohl sie eine feste Bindung eingegangen sind oder gar verheiratet sind.

  4. Sie können sämtliche Features bei uns kostenlos testen, indem Sie sich den kostenlosen Testzugang holen.

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