By Arne Sjostedt
Last week marked the release of My Head (I’m Not Sorry) from local gal Hope Wilkins.
Wilkins says "The song is a touchingly apologetic, yet defiant rumination on the relationship between the head and the heart."
The edgy, summer ballad explores spacious, raw honesty and demonstrates her relentless songwriting ability, she says.
"This track is a reminder that we all make mistakes, but not to regret the thoughts that make us human."
Arne Sjostedt caught up with Hope to find out more about her, and her latest single.
How old are you?
I’m 26 years old.
Please tell us about your musical icons.
I listen to so many different styles of music, so it’s hard to narrow it down but if I had to name a few of the most influential I’d say Dermot Kennedy, Angie McMahon and John Floreani.
What about the non-musical ones?
I’d probably have to go with the NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Her noble and authentic leadership approach to everything she does is to be admired.
Can you profile your fan base?
My fan base is predominantly those aged between 23-35 years of age, however I’m also hoping to engage more with the younger generation as my career develops.
Use three words to describe your sound.
Honest. Emotive. Edgy
What is the story behind your latest single?
I had the chorus melody floating around in my head for a little while but hadn’t quite found the right lyrics to sit with it. Then I was away on this beautiful little property on a songwriting retreat and it all kind of just poured out of me when I was delirious at 2am. I was particularly focused on the melody and lyrics while writing this one and had planned to add all this instrumentation to it later but in the end, I decided I didn’t want to stray too far from the simplicity of the track by adding all these huge elements during production. I was more inspired by the rawness this stripped back singer-songwriter version captured, and so I ended up blending the guitars around the vocal melody and kind of letting my roots show on their own.
What is your approach to songwriting?
I think it’s different for every song and songwriter. But for me personally, there’s no one approach. Sometimes I don’t even realise I’m feeling a certain way until all these thoughts pour out of me and sometimes, I write from someone else’s perspective. Often, lyrics or a melody come to me, and I work instrumentation around that or vice versa.
Can you tell us how you became a producer and the techniques you use to stand out from the crowd?
I’m not actually a producer as such, but I’ve recently been focusing on all elements of my music by teaching myself to record and produce my own music from home. If anything, I think the only way to stand out is to just be yourself. I believe if you do that, the right audience will connect with your music.
Where do you see yourself in now in your career? What are your priorities?
My priorities are to continue making music, connecting with people, and developing my career. I think as a songwriter it’s so important to remember why we make music in the first place, because we love it.
Tell us about your favourite live show moment?
I saw Dermot Kennedy in Sydney a few years back and there was this beautiful moment where he asked the crowd to sing back to him while he played. It was like a choir of fans singing their hearts out while he just played the guitar and the whole room was completely moved.
Find Hope's links here