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Check out our interview with Indie-Pop Newcomer artist Cade Hoppe who just released his new EP “Tell Me How It’s Worth It” today!

Cade Hoppe worked with Brooklyn-based producer Harper James (of Eighty Ninety) to create all 5 tracks on ‘Tell Me How It’s Worth It.’ Across the EP, Cade’s distinct baritone vocals deliver meaningful vignettes of love, loss, transition and desire with lyrics that wade through a gamut of emotions and experiences.

Follow Cade @cade.hoppe

Hi Cade, please tell us a little about you?

Hi, I’m Cade—I’m 21 years old and I live in New York City where I’ve lived for 3 years now, but I’m originally from Northern California. I moved here in 2018 to attend NYU where I played for the basketball team and studied finance at the business school. I took a gap year last year to focus on my music career, but I’m now back in school continuing my degree. I’m not playing basketball anymore and I’ve swapped that out for being a server at an Italian restaurant in the East Village. Anyway, I’m an indie pop artist and I’m releasing my debut EP, ‘Tell Me How It’s Worth It,’ which I’m excited to talk a little bit with you about.

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Ambitious, passionate, tenacious.

How did you get started in the music industry?

I think the day you stop saying you want to be an artist and start saying that you are an artist with actions to go with that is the day you start in the music industry. I started writing my own songs when I was 14 and I always said that one day it was my dream to release these songs and be an artist—it wasn’t until I was 20 that I realized that recording and releasing songs like I’d always dreamt of was as simple as just doing it. So my stepbrother, Nick Adams, and I spent the summer of 2020 recording and producing 13 songs that I put out that October. I’ve since taken those off of streaming platforms because they didn’t ultimately reflect the sound I wanted as an artist, but it was crucial that I put those out because that led to me connecting with Harper James, who’s been working in the industry for years now. I’d probably consider working with Harper for the first time as my first serious introduction to the music industry; he’s been so important to everything I’ve done for my music over the last year, doing a lot more than just producing every song on the EP.

How has music changed your life?

Music changes my life every single day and it’s really impossible to explain exactly what I mean, but I can try. For as long as I can remember, I’ve spent as many seconds of the day listening to or playing music. When I was growing up I had a CD player by my bed and I would listen to music as I fell asleep; and then when I was a little older and had an iPod, I would put it under my pillow and shuffle my whole library. Over time, it’s become a part of my DNA and when there isn’t music in my ears, there’s one in my head that I’m writing or singing to myself. I process my life through music and music is my life—I give everything to the thing that’s given me everything. I know I sound like a cheeseball right now, but how would you explain how oxygen changed your life? Breath by breath, I guess.

Describe your sound in 3 words?

Eclectic, emotive, honest.

Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?

I’m influenced by so many amazing artists, but here are a few that come to mind first: Taylor Swift, Ben Folds, Bleachers (Jack Antonoff), The Killers, Coldplay, Mumford & Sons, Phoebe Bridgers, Bon Iver, and so many more.

Do you play any instruments?

My primary instrument is the piano and my secondary is the guitar— I write pretty much everything on those two instruments. I also play the saxophone and a little bass guitar.

Tell us about your debut EP ‘Tell Me How It’s Worth It?’

‘Tell Me How It’s Worth It’ is a very honest telling of my last year and a half. It was a heavy period of transition in my life and this EP is telling a story of what it’s like to leave someone or something behind for what you really want. Each of the five tracks plays a different role in telling that story. The title comes from a line in the newest single, “Borrowed Time,” and I chose this title because it’s so emotional, yet incredibly ambiguous. When you’re making a run for the greener grass, there are so many things that are difficult. Leaving is hard. Starting something completely new is hard. Being in between is hard. Not knowing how it’s all going to turn out is hard. Wondering if it was all a mistake is hard. It’s all hard. And it may all be worth it in the end, but you can’t know that yet because you’re still in it. It’s a hopefully worthwhile helplessness, but a helplessness all the same. So there didn’t seem like any better title to encapsulate that feeling than ‘Tell Me How It’s Worth It.’

What’s the story behind the new single, “Borrowed Time”?

“Borrowed Time” is about two people in a relationship that realize deep down that the relationship has run its course, but neither of them wants to be the first one to say it, so they let it drag on long after the clock’s run out. I’ve always been terrible at breakups and just leaving when it’s time to go, in general. As a songwriter, it’s critical that I am as introspective as possible, and it’s helped me discover a lot of things about myself. In this case, it helped me figure out that I stick around in these situations to avoid hurting someone I love, but that may be more for my sake than theirs. Trying so hard not to be the bad guy can turn you into one and it takes being the bad guy to learn that. This song is about a lot of things to me, including a crumbling relationship I was in, but more than anything—and I didn’t realize this until long after I first wrote it—it’s an apology.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

There is nothing better in the world than having a stranger reach out to you to say how much they love your music or how much a song that you made means to them. I just want my music to mean as much to other people as so much music has meant to me. So yeah, hearing that my music means something to someone else is the most rewarding part.

What would you say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?

The greatest lessons I’ve learned in music so far are, one, that you should always make music that you love and would listen to, and two, that there is nothing more important in songwriting than honesty. Both things are true because even though everyone has their own unique experiences, we all feel many of the same feelings. So if you make songs you love, chances are that others will love them too; and if you write honestly about experiences you’ve had and feelings you’ve felt, other people are going to relate. It’s a lot harder to make something you think people will like and relate to—and it’s possible that no one will like it the way you thought they would—so you may as well just be honest and true to yourself and someone out there’s going to connect with it.

How would your best friend describe you?

Probably as the most serious non-serious person ever. I’m very serious about my craft, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love to have fun and laugh until my stomach hurts. They’d also say that I’m someone they can always count on, and that’s a two-way street.

If you were a book, what would be the title of the book and why?

“It’s Pronounced Hoppy.” Because before we go any further, the reader should know how my last name is pronounced. If you make it “It’s Pronounced Hoppy and I’m 6ft 8” there doesn’t even need to be a book beyond the title because that’s the story of my life.

What’s next for Cade Hoppe in the last months of 2021?

It’s been a really big year for my music so far and I’m hoping to cap off the year with a couple more big things. I’m playing a show on November 4th at Bowery Electric (you can find details on my website cadehoppe.com and my Instagram @cade.hoppe) and I’m accompanying my girlfriend, Maddie Regent, for her show at Bowery Electric on November 1st (details at @maddieregent on Instagram), which will both be very fun. I’m also hoping to put out some more “Tell Me How It’s Worth It” content in the couple months after the release, so stay tuned for that. You can also expect a big year for Cade Hoppe music in 2022.

What is your favorite healthy food?

Well everyone has their own definition of “healthy” but I guess maybe steak. I could always go for a nice juicy rib eye, medium rare. If that’s not “healthy” enough, let’s just say steak salad then.

And your favorite cheat food?

I’m a sucker for some good ice cream. I love all flavors but fresh strawberry has a special place in my heart.

How would you explain your fashion style?

Picture a really cool dad. But not a dad that thinks he’s cool—a dad that is cool, but doesn’t realize it. Well, actually he may or may not realize it but it doesn’t even matter to him because he’s just there to walk around and live a dope dad life. And sometimes he wears hats. I’m not him, but I wear what he wears more often than not. And I really like 90s style.

What is your own definition of happiness?

Doing what you love.

If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?

This might be a super predictable answer, but I think it would have to be Taylor Swift. To me, she’s easily in the top 5 songwriters of all time and she’s such an important influence to me; there are so many questions I would ask her and so many things she could give me advice on. I have a feeling I’ll meet her one day, but if I could make that day today I would.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?

The best advice I’ve ever been given is that if you’re not the person you want to be, change. It’s never too late to make a change and start becoming that person.

Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?

Five years is a really long time, so you can expect lots more music and live shows from me between now and then. I don’t know exactly where I’ll be with my music, but I see myself being done with working a day job and finally doing music full-time. One thing is for sure: in five years, I will still be working hard to continue building my career as an artist.

What’s your favorite song ever? Why?

You’ve asked me the impossible question, but I’ll give you an answer anyway. There are many songs I could say are my favorite, but there’s really only one song that I can say changed my life and sent me on the path I’m currently on and that’s “Evaporated” by Ben Folds. I remember at the end of the hardest summer of my life—when I was working this miserable unpaid finance internship –that I was going to see Ben at his book reading for his new memoir, and I was walking to Cooper Union listening to “Evaporated,” almost on the verge of tears. I hadn’t been able to write or play any music for months and it was taking a huge toll on me, but I was so grateful to be getting to see Ben Folds be interviewed by Sara Bareilles about this new book. Anyway, that song had always meant so much to me and I’d never seen him play it live even though I’d seen him live 4 times already, so I was hoping he would play it that night. He played two songs after the interview and that was one of them. Right after that, he signed my book and I told him how much he had inspired me and how I started writing songs because of him and he told me to pursue my dreams and never give up; his book that I read over the next few days also reiterated that same message. That was all a very emotional experience for me and it was a huge part of why I derailed the path I was on to build the career in music that I’d always wanted. Long story short, “Evaporated” is my answer because in many ways, that song saved me.

Where can we follow you online?

Instagram: @cade.hoppe

Twitter: @HoppeCade

TikTok: @cadehoppemusic

Book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Quote: “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love” – Jim Carrey

Movie: The Dark Knight

TV series: Survivor

Favorite Food: The El Carnaval wet with steak from El Dorado Taqueria in El Dorado Hills, CA

Travel destination: Vienna, Austria

Sports team: LA Dodgers