Special to Musiqtone
The state of Connecticut is famous in the music biz today for being the state that brought us John Mayer (even though he came out of Atlanta's vibrant music scene). Now we can add Torrington, CT native Jeremy Hopkins to the list. Jeremy combines the bluesy folk style of John Mayer with the sensibility of a Howie Day mixed in with some of the pizzazz from Counting Crows, he has created a unique style never heard before. 'When It Rains,' Jeremy's EP, is a collection of five songs that tell of his potential in the music industry and quite possibly of future stardom and greatness. This is why we made him a 'You Gotta Know' alongside singer-songwriter Lydia Gray for the month of July.
So with that, here's our exclusive one-on-one with July's You Gotta Know, Jeremy Hopkins.
AH: You’re a young musician, how long have you been playing music and what’s your first memory performing?
JH: I’ve been playing guitar and singing for about 7 years now. One of my first memories performing was when I was 16 on a camping trip at a music festival in Pennsylvania. There were about 20 people around a campfire and someone was playing guitar there…then someone asked, “Jeremy don’t you play and sing?” I was like “yeah a little” So then I did some random cover and that was one of my first times performing in front of more than two people. haha
AH: As a singer-songwriter, what inspires you to write a song?
JH: The cool thing about songwriting is you can write about whatever you want. There really are no guidelines to follow. With that said, lately I’ve been writing songs for girls. Most of them are positive too which is kinda weird since I’m not seeing anyone right now. I would think my songs would be more depressing and melancholic, but I’m rolling with it…I think relationships (whatever kind) are what fuel most of my writing.
AH: We ask everyone this all-important question: What is your philosophy on music?
JH: I think music is an art for communicating to people in ways nothing else really can. Some people are inspired by screaming, some by distorted amps, and some even by simple finger-style guitar. Music can reach you at so many different levels and moods. It’s the songwriter’s job to effectively reach the listener where they’re at…
AH: Who are your influences in the music you perform and in your career?
JH: Some of my big influences are guys like John Mayer, Counting Crows, Howie Day, etc. I admire the fact that these guys started out so small and simple, but they all worked hard at developing fan bases, playing shows, and just living the dream. So they not only influence me musically, but also by their passion and vision for music.
AH: Is there a song on ‘When It Rains’ that defines you as a musician and a songwriter?
JH: I don’t really think there is. “Time Never Lets Go” probably means the most to me and I think that’s a song that most people can relate with, but I wouldn’t say it defines me. I’ll have to write one of those. haha
AH: You opened for Tyler Hilton at one time, tell us the experience and did he give you any advice on how to make it in the music industry?
JH: Opening for Tyler Hilton was great. He was the biggest act I’ve opened for yet actually. Definitely very cool to play in front of that many people and hang out after the show. He didn’t really give me any advice…I think his hard work in getting to where he’s at speaks louder than any advice he could give me…
AH: What is the best fan experience you’ve ever had?
JH: Definitely the Tyler Hilton show. Getting to hang out and meet so many people after I performed was awesome. I don’t think I was quite ready for it actually. Haha…
AH: Why is music important to you?
JH: Another question we have to ask for our readers. Music is important for me because it gives me a chance to express myself and what I’m feeling at a given moment. It’s really one of the only things I can use to speak my mind. It’s also really cool to be able to put my words and thoughts into a song and then share it with someone else who connects with it too. That’s what music and songwriting is all about to me…
AH: How have people responded to your music? I’m sure someday you’ll have your name right next to John Mayer’s when it comes to great musicians from the state of Connecticut!
JH: I think people have responded very well to my music. There’s so many songs that no one has even heard yet and I can’t wait for the opportunity to record and share them with everyone!
AH: Finally, what are your goals short-term and long-term?
JH: My goals short-term are to record a high-quality, professional, 3-song EP within the next year. As far as long-term….I would like to continue to develop my fan base to the point where I can do music for a living and play shows all over the place!
Thing or things you’d be doing if it weren’t for music…
I really have no idea. I ask myself this question a lot actually
What’s spinning in your music player right now?
Mae – The Everglow
The things you can’t live without as a musician
Music none of your friends (or fans) expect you to listen to
…I’m not that unpredictable….Sting maybe? I like jazz a lot
The ultimate venue to tour in
…some crazy outdoor ampitheatre
Which act or acts would you love to share the stage (or bus) with?
Non-musical talents you carry
…big into skiing. I was captain of high school soccer and basketball teams.
Three people you would like to have dinner with.
Three hot girls
pizza and random taco trucks in California
Your most embarrassing moment on stage.
Hmmm….my hand totally cramped up on this crazy chord and I just had to stop in the middle of a chorus. The whole room went silent as I just laughed. Then I started up again. That’s only one of the most embarrassing. I’m sure there’s worth if I think about it.
John Mayer, Josh Kelley, Ben Folds, Ben Harper, Johnny Rzenik, or David Gray?
Mayer come on
-Alan Ho is the founder and chief head of Musiqtone...and also the guy who writes incoherent articles whenever he wants to...oh yeah and the interview thing too. You can reach the big man at Musiqtone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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