Hope Waidley has this raw passion in her voice, you can feel her emotions in every word she sings. Her new EP is the product of her free-spirit, she spent time traveling, surfing, and performing around the country collecting memories and transforming them into little pieces of her soul. We talked to her about "Wonder" and what's been inspiring her lately.
How did you get started in music?
Hope: I started writing songs when I was 6 years old and it was always a way for me to process, a way for me to express my emotions. It felt like a gift from God because writing these songs were such a release for me, a coping mechanism. When I was 17, I realized if God could use these songs to help me so much, they can be used to help other people. That’s always been my dream: to help people in whatever ways they need help. I started to record and release music at 18.
Who were your biggest musical influences growing up?
Hope: I enjoyed all sorts of music, all sorts of artists. Johnny Cash was the first artist I really got into, I think I started listening to his music at 5 years old. Anyone who had anything to say in an interesting way, I grew fond of. Jim Croce, Neil Young, The Lumineers, Kris Kristofferson, so many. I loved Stevie Ray Vaughan too, I felt his soul in the way he played.
Tell me about your EP, what’s the story behind it?
Hope: This EP is called, “Wonder,” and I really think that summarizes it well. All the songs are about different scenarios I processed and wondered about throughout the last year in a half. I love all the music on this project so dearly, each of these songs have been a best friend to me and still are. From traveling around the country and living in a station wagon to falling in love to experiencing others’ pain and to feeling born again from an answered prayer, it’s like wrapping it in a box and sending it off into the world. I am so grateful to have the opportunity, and hope the music encourages people and comforts them the way it has for me.
How does it feel to have your EP released in a pandemic?
Hope: Honestly, I feel thankful. People really need music right now, something nice to listen to. They need peace and hope and inspiration, fortunately music can do that. Many artists have postponed their projects, but I think it’s a beautiful thing that the EP is coming out during a pandemic. I trust God’s timing and pray it reaches the hearts of those who hear it <3
What has been inspiring you lately?
Hope: Probably the amount of changes that have gone on; physically, mentally, financially, etc. Most people are having to sacrifice something they love right now and because of that, I’m learning a lot. To simply learn and grow inspires me and gives me joy.
What has been the biggest challenge for you in music?
Hope: Since entering into the music industry, I’ve always felt like my drive was in a different direction than most have expected. My goal has never been to make a good song that will appear on radio, but one that gives air to my lungs. My goal has never been to sound good, but to sing how my soul needs to talk. It’s hard sometimes to be on the same page with others in the industry when writing is like putting my blood in words... it’s a reason for why I can function, not just a hobby I love or a job I have. It’s a wonderful thing when others share this same perspective though! It’s a big blessing.
What’s your best piece of advice for young women?
Hope: My advice would be to love others and love hard. Lift people up, encourage those around you, and find what you enjoy and enjoy the way others enjoy it too. Peace attracts peace, joy attracts joy, and love attracts love. And also, laugh a lot and dance a little more.