Exclusive Marist student interview with Hoodie Allen
For those of you who went to our spring concert-good decision. The opener for the show, Hoodie Allen had just released his latest EP, All Americanon April 10th, which reached number 1 on iTunes top albums.
Personally, I was introduced to his music three years ago and have been a fan/borderline groupie ever since. Keeping his the intriguing tales of his tour life under wraps, we'll just have to check that out on our own time (tickets at www.hoodieallen.com). But lucky for me, Hoodie was nice enough to fill me in on his continuing success, relationship with his fans, and his inspiration.
Kelsey Odom: First of all, congratulations on All American, how has your life changed just in these past weeks after the release?
Hoodie Allen:I don't think it has. It's just been the fulfillment of a lot of hard work and a big relief off my shoulders to have the EP out for all the fans
KO: Less than a year ago on July 26, 2011 you released Leap Year, did you have any idea you'd be the number 1 album on iTunes just nine months later?
HA:It was my goal with this EP and I really believe and never doubt the fans who have supported me, but I think it would be over confident to say I expected this
KO: What was it like seeing your own face on the iTunes homepage for number 1 album?
HA:Annoying. Sorry for being everywhere
KO: Who are the people who have worked the closest with you during your entire career, and the production of this EP?
HA: The best thing to me is we didn't really do anything different than before. It's the same close knit group of kids. RJ Ferguson my main homie, tour dj and producer- did half the record and we have some great young producers on the project like Peter Thomas and Teddy Roxpin.
KO: How did you choose to make No Interruptionyour first single?
HA:I hadn't released any music since last July and of all the songs I just felt like No Interruption made the biggest splash on first listen. For me it was the song that people would go "wow, okay he's back."
KO: Have you turned down record deals in the past, and why did you decide to stay independent?
HA:I did and I've also gotten close and been denied a bunch. Im so thankful for all of that--it allowed me to mature and figure out what I wanted to do on my own and build something real with my fans
KO: Was there a moment when you realized how strong your following was becoming?
HA:April 10 at 1230 in the morning, it all became very very real.
KO: Favorite song from All American?
HA:My favorite is No Interruption,gives me chills to perform it
KO: Favorite show?
HA: My favorite show ever was a small 150 person show I did in Philadelphia over two years ago because it was the first time I had ever experienced real fandom. Every show on the All American Tour though has been on a real level incredible
KO: Is there any particular artist that has been your biggest influence?
HA:Andre 3000 is the guy I always point to as my hugest influence
KO: What is your favorite part of being on tour?
HA:Favorite is making people happy and smile and getting to meet fans who I speak to all day long on Twitter and Facebook.
KO: Least favorite?
HA: Just the travel and little bit of sleep we get
KO: Word on the street is that you're kind of a genius-graduated from UPenn and worked at Google, how did you make the decision to try to make it as an independent artist?
HA: We have one life to live, its important to follow your dreams whatever that may be. For me, this is what I love
KO: You made a promise to call every person who bought All American...When you said that did you have any idea how long that was actually going to take?
HA:I think it might take a year truthfully but I will do it
KO: Looking forward, what's next? Anymore music videos?
HA: I'd love to shoot a video for Eighteen Cool. That song has really spoken to a lot of people and has been great to play on tour
KO: If you weren't making music, what would your dream job be?
HA:I had it, working at Google.
KO: Finally, what's the best memory you've had since becoming Hoodie Allen?
HA:This interview with you, Kelsey Odom.
I'm going to go ahead and let myself believe that for the better part of my life.
Moving on, as his loyal fans, better known as the "Hoodie Mob", continues to grow as he gains popularity, Hoodie has dedicated his free time to breaking down the barriers between himself and his fans. Admitting that he'd rather catch up on tweets than sleep, its actually more common than not for the rapper to respond back to you on Twitter or Facebook.
So if you haven't yet, check out All Americanon iTunes, and his mix tapes Pep Rallyand Leap Year at www.hoodieallen.com then send him a tweet or two and wait anxiously for a response- @HoodieAllen.
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