We had the pleasure of sitting down with Shawn Hook to talk about his new single that is out now “Sound of Your Heart”. We also get a chance to do a fun little trivia game with him and Dirty D! Who will win?
Hapa: So walk me through this… I’m reading through your bio, or what was sent to me by our PR people and there’s so many things that stood out here. They are like do you want to take this interview? and I was like “absolutely! This guy sounds amazing!” I want to get into some of that stuff but let’s start with the music first. You studied music, classically trained, and you play almost every instrument.
Shawn: Yah the cool ones. I grew up playing piano. My parents got me into piano lessons. I have an older sister, so they always got her new stuff and I was always kind of tagging along. And I just took a liking to piano and it was a solid part of my childhood, my teen years. I picked up guitar along the way and the trombone.
Hapa: I saw that, what made you pick up the trombone?
Shawn: It’s funny, so in the 7th grade, we had to choose 3 musical instruments and we were assigned one for concert band. The first one I chose was the drums, because I wanted to be a drummer and the second one I picked up was the saxophone because it looked cool and then I put trombone down as like a joke and my music teacher assigned me the trombone and I think I did kinda cry, actually.
Hapa: That is funny but you came to like it?
Shawn: It came around and I ended up playing trombone professionally for like 2 years after high school in a disco cover band and that experience was the biggest eye opener for me , wanting to do music as a living, because a little of perspective, we were playing like a disco cover band so the music was amazing. Earth wind and fire, the band already have an established following, so we were basically joining a band that had sold out shows every night and I was 17 and 18, and it was just a party, I was like how do I do this for a living, this was so cool, obviously not playing trombone but just being part of a live performance like that.
Hapa: How many pieces were in that band?
Shawn: I got up to a 10 piece, we had 3 signers, 3 horns, a drummer , bass player, guitar and a keyboard player, it was cool!
Hapa: What’s interesting about your music and your influence is that I definitely feel an old soul in there somewhere as well… talk about your music influence.
Shawn: A lot of my work classic influence was based on what my parents and grandparents listened to. my grandfather was a great guitar player and that was kind of my first taste of what a live performance was like. My grandfather would sing at birthday parties and christmas and all these occasions and play guitar. my parents listened to the beatles, and Creedance Clearwater , old school country music. my dad was a huge fan . Im like a kid and it was like what is this in high school I was into rock, played a lot of sports growing up, so those were always the anthems and our warm up songs and now I’m into electronic music now… I’m just all over the place!
Hapa: What are your initial steps when it comes to creating a song?
Shawn: I like to find inspiration and usually through music , I need to feel the music to help me advocate emotion and start conjuring up ideas and what does this feeling sound like and lyrically can i find the story that resonates. I co write with other people as well. I like the power of 3 and just surround myself with people that can balance out the weakness and strength. I just like to go out there and just try it out. its like trial and error. Its like building a house and just go from there.
Hapa: What is your best advice for walking into a session and getting the chemistry?
Shawn: I like to go do some yoga and workout before I get into the room to clear my mind of insecurities when I walk in the room. I try to be open minded and leave your ego at the door. You can’t be too precious about something, unless it’s something with all your heart. Don’t be afraid to go another way. I start writing great songs after i let go of those insecurities.
Hapa: As a writer do you find that.. when you typically write, do you sit down and then write, or do you find yourself constantly jotting things down throughout the day. Do you use your phone, or carry a note pad?
Shawn: My style, I’m more a melody music guy so I’m either playing the piano or I’ll be out and a melody would come and lyrics always comes second to me.
Full show with Shawn Hook:
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