Jesca Hoop performed with Peter Gabriel in South America, supported Elbow on tour and has sold out shows in Los Angeles.
She explains where she finds creative inspiration and how she always keeps faith in the future.
What advice would you have for writers who are stuck in a rut?
I do not believe in writer’s block. I believe in seasons. The work is always being done but not necessarily by your conscious mind. Consider that if the music will not come, perhaps it is drinking below, like roots when the leaves have fallen. Once they have taken in all they need they will send up new shoots. Perhaps you cannot always wait for this. Then sometimes you may need to coax the Spring to melt the Winter. This takes ready attendance, dedication, patience and a gentle steady approach.
What is the biggest music industry lesson you have learned?
You cannot force things. You must keep working, never hanging your hopes on a particular work. You need good people surrounding you. You must keep your focus on the long game and let those people go without harboring hate for them and recover through better company lined up by good timing and open heartedness. There is no such thing as deserving, there is only being ready for the opportunity when the opportunity comes.
How do you look after your voice?
I am real fan of a deep head neck and shoulders massage for good vocal maintenance and I regularly steam my throat.
If you could tell your younger self 1 piece of advice, what would it be?
Trust the ground beneath your feet to reveal sound footing, step after step through the ever unfolding unknown. With each next right step the path will reveal itself, with joy ascending, steady on solid ground fixed by the knowledge that you are supported and valued in your work.
Song Writing Inspirations
When did you first discover your love for singing and song writing?
Singing was a family thing and a point of pride. My mother and father were both singers and they taught us young. My mother says that I was harmonizing from the age of three. We still sing together when we see each other. I began song writing at 16 on my long walks to school.
Was there a particular artist or art form that inspired you from an early age?
I’ve always loved singing in numbers and in harmony with other voices. I was in a great chamber choir in high school. I consider that gift of a good ear and harmony my most valuable tools.
What inspires you to keep creating music?
I am always seeking resonance, the feeling of connection and profound exchange. To keep depression in its place. To reach a continual fulfillment. To replenish joy through sharing my practice with others.
Jesca Hoop’s rich life experience is reflected in her distinctive voice and inventive song craft. Tom Waits described her as being “like a four sided coin. She is an old soul, like a black pearl, a good witch or red moon. Her music is like going swimming in a lake at night”. Peter Gabriel took her to South America to sing with him, and she has supported the Eels, Andrew Bird, Punch Brothers and Elbow. Guy Garvey even had her do a stint as guest presenter on his BBC radio show in early 2012. Find out about her next album ‘Memories Are Now’ on her website www.jescahoop.com