Hope -- About to Pop
By PopEater Staff Posted Dec 9th 2010 12:00PM
Video: 'Love Love Love' Feat. Jason Mraz
Hails From: Los Angeles, Calif. (by way of New York)
For Fans Of: Colbie Caillat, Corinne Bailey Rae
Why She's About to Pop: Hope was brought up in a religious household in upstate New York, but one that had the utmost respect for music. Her mother was a talented vocalist, who once graced the Apollo Theater stage, and her father was an accomplished songwriter, who, in his younger days, rubbed elbows with the likes of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison.
While pop music was not allowed in their home, Hope found a way to listen to it, and fell in love with the genre through the sounds of Sade, Sting and Seal. Once she graduated high school, the inherently positive singer moved to Los Angeles, where she developed a following by busking and selling her self-produced album on Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.
Her music has since been featured in films such as 'Why Did I Get Married,' 'P.S. I Love You' and 'Step Up 2: The Streets,' while her songs have accumulated well over 50 million streams on Myspace. Now the soulful singer-songwriter is getting ready to release her self-titled debut on Atlantic Records, which includes her sunny collaboration with Jason Mraz called 'Love Love Love.' Here, Popeater catches up with Hope to talk about the duet, her cross-country move and what fans can expect from her new album.
Watch Hope's 'Love Love Love' Video Feat. Jason Mraz
Seven Questions With Hope:
In your bio, it says that you left home for LA with only a suitcase and $40 in your pocket. How did you manage to make it with so little?
I came to LA to visit and had no plans to stay. I arrived with one suitcase of clothes and $40 in my pocket. Three days later I got a job as a waitress. I started playing on the sidewalk on Hollywood Boulevard. I would sing as long as I could. People were so kind and generous. They gave me flowers, poems they wrote and even guitar strings. One little girl emptied her entire piggy bank into my guitar case. I also played on Thrid Street in Santa Monica California until I signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records. It wasn't always easy. It was the people who supported me that made it unbelievable -- I miss it.
Was the transition from rural upstate NY to Los Angeles difficult for you?
The transition from upstate New York to Los Angeles wasn't difficult for me at all. I am so lucky to have a few good people in my life that I've stayed connected to -- my producer Tracy Robinson, George Robertson and my brother Christian, who played bass in my band and helped me get my first album recorded. That has made a biggest difference for me. My first album did very well and brought a lot of attention to my music. There are so many amazing people that believe in me and my music and for that I am forever grateful. I'm sure without that support it could have been difficult.
You have cited your parents as big musical influences. What kind of music did they play when you were growing up?
While I was growing up there was always a piano or a guitar around the house. Both of my parents were big musical influences. My mother sang the songs that my father wrote, and my father played the guitar. I remember them singing together in church many times. They sang mostly Christian songs and old folk spirituals.
Your song 'Love Love Love' features Jason Mraz. What was it like working with him?
It was amazing working with Jason Mraz. We didn't actually meet until the day of the video shoot for 'Love Love Love.' It was also my first video shoot. Jason made me laugh so hard; he was very sweet. I've been a fan of his music for a long time, so it was lovely to meet him and have his voice on the song.
What can we expect from your debut album? What sort of things inspired you?
I had a lot of time to write the songs on my debut album. I was inspired by so many things, people I know, strangers I may never see again and hard times that I went through following my dreams. It's about love, loving yourself enough, heartbreak and everything in between. It's about contentment no matter what the outcome may be. It's also about our planet, and, in a way, shining a light on it's fragile future. My debut album is also about being a girl, a girl in love, a girl heartbroken, a girl in an unhealthy relationship, who may not know who she is or what she's worth, and all the decisions that she has to make. I guess it's just about life.
You recorded some of 'Hope' at London's historic Abbey Road Studios. What was that experience like?
Recording at London's historic Abbey Road Studios was such an incredible experience. I remember tears falling on my cheeks while listening to 'Lighthouse' being played by a full orchestra for the first time. I was in awe listening to that waterfall of sound in my ears. There were 50 people playing the songs I wrote at the same time. I don't think many people get that kind of an opportunity in a lifetime. It was so beyond the coolest thing I've ever been a part of.
What have you been listening to on you iPod lately?
Justin Nozuka's 'You I Wind Land and Sea' -- this album is brilliant. Paramore's 'Brand New Eyes'; Emily Elbert's 'Proof' -- her voice is so lovely. John West, his music is super soulful. Lastly, Ryan Star's '1159' is in heavy rotation. Ryan and I were recently on tour together. His music is bold and ultra magnetic!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I enjoy being outside in the wild. On free days, especially in the summer, I spend a lot of time at beach. I love being by the ocean. It's the best place to clear my head and sort out song ideas. A few of my friends surf. I enjoy watching them in the water. Maybe one day I'll get out there. I also really like to cook. I love making dinner for my friends and family on weekends when I'm home. We always have a jam session. It's one of my favorite things to do!
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