24 Minutes with Shawn Hook
Shawn Hook. (Supplied)
With a brand new single Reminding Me released this week, expect to be hearing a lot more of Shawn Hook. Prior to his headline appearance Saturday, April 22 at 6 p.m. at Surrey’s Party for the Planet, the talented singer/songwriter spent 24 Minutes with Joe Leary.
Tell me about Reminding Me; a duet with Vanessa Hudgens. Do you approach a duet differently than a solo?
When I wrote Reminding Me, I didn’t initially feel it as a duet and a duet driven song wasn’t the intention in the studio. After hearing back the demo, my A&R asked me if I ever considered featuring a female artist on the song. When I listened to it with that in mind, it definitely changed the song for me, in a good way. As a writer I want to tell the best story. As an artist I want to deliver the best performance to tell the story and in this case adding another perspective really enhanced the overall performance. It’s one of those songs that work from two perspectives. It’s about moving on from a relationship before you get over it. Every relationship has two sides to the story and Reminding Me tells both.
Have there been those moments where you literally can’t believe that this is happening to you?
There have definitely been some “pinch me” moments. In 2016, I was asked to be a guest performer at the Kaleidoscope Ball to aid infants and children under the care of the UCLA Medical team in L.A. Richie Sambora was also a guest performer that evening. Of all places, I ran into Richie in the men’s restroom later in the night. While washing our hands in the sink, he said, “Hey man, I really enjoyed your performance.” That totally made my night because I’m a big fan of him and Bon Jovi. Another hard-to-believe moment was performing with one of my Canadian idols, Jann Arden, at the 2016 Juno Awards. I performed earlier on in the show for the first time in my life which was pretty unbelievable as well. There are many other amazing moments that have come along with the success I’ve had in the industry last year and I hope I can continue on that trajectory.
You’ve got a four-song EP on the way along with a full album later this year. Tell me about what we can expect from it?
There were a lot of commitments on the calendar in 2016 that took away songwriting time. I travelled to every major city in the U.S., Canada, Sweden and the U.K. promoting Sound of Your Heart. After the promo cycle, I went on a major U.S.-Canadian tour with Lindsey Sterling and then I finished the year on a cross-Canada tour with Marianas Trench. However, I still managed to write over 80 songs in that year-and-a-half. I was able to collaborate with some amazing writers and producers. Having a hit on the radio and signing with a major label in the U.S. opened up a lot of doors for me in the songwriting community.
What sage advice have you learned along your journey?
One of my first big opportunities was signing a writing deal with ABC Studios. After writing a theme song for a TV show, ABC flew me out to New York to perform on Good Morning America. After my performance, I got a call from Dawn Soler, the chief of music at ABC. She told me that whatever happens with my career from that day forth is yet to be known but what had just happened was something I should savour and didn’t want me to think of it as just another step along the way. She really made me take the time to sincerely appreciate the moment and relish in it. To this day, I try to do that with every performance and opportunity I have to connect with my audience because the big opportunities are never guaranteed to happen again.
You were featured years ago on Ellen for your athletic ability. How soon until she has you on as a performer?
It’s something that’s been on the back of my mind for quite some time. It’s also something that I can’t necessarily control directly. I hope that Reminding Me connects on a big enough level to get on Ellen’s radar so I get the invite to come on her show and “remind her” of the time she featured me before I had any success in the music industry.