'Heart, Soul and a Whole Lot More'
A funktastic synthesis of passionate lyrics and honest-to-goodness back home beats, Andrew Hoover is one part blue-eyed soul, one part summertime jam band with a healthy heaping of poetic sincerity. The complex grooves of Hoover’s debut album, “Chances, Stances and Romances” are sure to get toes tapping and hips swaying.
At just twenty-one years old, Hoover sings with the soulful experience of an old-timer and the sexy smoothness of a man closer to his age. A true summer soundtrack “Chances, Stances and Romances” is stocked with the kind of radio-ready tracks that encourage drink-in-hand relaxation.
Exclusive Magazine had the recent pleasure of speaking with Hoover about his love for music, the organic approach to the new album and penguins. Yes, penguins!
Your music has it’s roots in soul, R&B, blues and even flamenco, so who were your musical influences growing up and how many still factor into your music today? [Hoover] "I really started getting into listening to music when I was a freshman in college. I really delved into the old soulful cats like Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye...along with some more current artists such as Marc Broussard, Ray LaMontagne and Martin Sexton. All of those guys have inspired my music in some form or another."
As an up-and-coming artist, how would you describe the sound and style of your soon-to-be released album, 'Chances, Stances & Romances'? "The record is passionate and energetic yet it's paced with sultry and revealing ballads."
And what's with that highly-original album title anyway? "The songs on the record deal with love and life and the wonders and complexities they bring to us. Chances Stances & Romances refers to taking a chance on love and life, taking a stance on love and life and finding the true romance that will get you through life the most blissfully and joyfully."
Just how does a chef, apprenticing at four-star restaurants in Connecticut suddenly emerge as a hot new talent in the music scene? "One passion led to another. I realized that working in the professional kitchen I couldn't focus so much on individual dishes as much as I would have liked to. It was making sure everything was perfect and on time rather than the art. I still love to cook and do so when I'm not on the road, but I find music (playing, singing, writing, performing) is something I can concentrate on it the way I wish."
Your known for 'voicing' several instruments in your live shows - but wouldn't it be easier to have actual musicians to play them instead, perhaps? "Perhaps...and eventually I would like to incorporate a band for the live show. However, at this point in my career, it is more convenient and manageable for me to act as a one man entity."
Indeed, how easy or hard is it to create a new, vibrant, wanted-by-the-public sound that both builds on and surpasses the musical wonderments and accomplishments that preceded it within the industry? "It's hard. But if you TRY to do something new it has a greater chance of coming out contrived and undesired because it sounds feigned. It's best to write, sing and play from the heart and soul and hope that your heart and soul are creative and original enough that it reaches and connects with a mass audience."
If you had to recount one regret in life, what would it be - and in reflection, how would you have handled it differently today? "Interesting question. I regret if love doesn't take place in my life."
"Also, just recently I was thinking about how I didn't finish the last two years of college. It's not necessarily a regret but it's a desire I sometimes think about fulfilling. I tend to see cause and affect relationships in my life. Had I not left school I can't promise that any part of my current life would be taking place at the moment. There would be so many people I wouldn't have met and so many things I wouldn't have had the opportunity experience. I am grateful for all of that."
If asked to record one for charity, what '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover today and why? "'Sexual Healing' - Marvin Gaye. Great groove, great lyrics. Plus, it's relatable. We all know that feeling that Marvin is talking about."
Lastly, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, Exclusive Magazine loves Penguins, do you? "Yes. But I prefer Pumas and Tigers."
Interview: Erin M. Stranyak
For a sneak-peek of Andrew Hoover’s new album check him out on Myspace and on the web. For even more music by Hoover, listen to his album ‘Getting Out of Boxes’ on iTunes.
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