Today’s pop world is heavily populated with manufactured female stars. There are a myriad of ways to become a Top 40 siren these days, it seems—starring in a reality show or a movie, chief among them—but possessing a unique and natural vocal ability is often the least of the prerequisites. Which is why, when a homegrown singer like Hope Partlow comes along, the world can’t help but sit back and notice, ears wide open to the transcendentally genuine tones of a major artist in the making.
We interview Hope Partlow!
The album is very diverse. It has a little bit of country and a little bit of pop. Was that your influence?
I was born in the country in Tennessee and that is who I am. I started to move with the times and started to listen to more pop stuff. I love it, but you can’t get all the country out of me and they knew it. They used it to benefit me and mix it all in. It makes the music not boring.
No one can ever say you are trying to cross over because you are right in the middle of both.
There you go. (Laughs)
Was the first single “Who We Are”?
Yes, the second single is going to be “Sick Inside.”
You know my favorite song is “Like You Do”.
That is a really good one, too.
My wife said that needed to be the second single.
I love it. It’s really cute.
“Crazy Summer Nights” is another good song.
Thank you. You know it’s really nice that when I read the message board there fans seem to like a lot of the songs. It’s so great. I’m glad it’s not two good songs and all filler.
When did you realize you could do this more than just singing at home?
I just had my heart set on it for a long time. My dad was a singer so I really loved it and I would sing out. Everyone would say I was a little different and that I needed to go for what I wanted. So I did and I got really lucky. The album came out and it’s been amazing.
How important have your parents been in your career?
They are very involved. It’s very important to them. They keep a close eye on me. My dad started me off in the beginning and has been with me the whole way. He was the singer in the family and it came over to me.
How did the record label find you?
My aunt is a songwriter in Nashville and we got together and wrote a real country-rockabilly song. We wrote a song about me getting picked on in school for singing. My parents knew it so that was what the song was about. It was so good. It was just a demo that we sent out. We sent some of them to my aunt, but the guy who got a hold of it didn’t know here but he was tied with Virgin already. They signed me to a demo deal at fourteen—which was a couple years ago.
Have you performed at your school—so you can get the last laugh for them picking on you?
In a way—sometimes I think of it as that. I think I’m more mature then that.
Maybe I’m not the mature one. (We both laugh)
It does make me feel very nice to go back. I have a lot of best friends I never knew. (We both laugh)
How did the songs come about?
In the beginning we were looking for songs and there are a lot of song writers out there but it seemed that every song I got I got sick of them. I couldn’t relate to [the songs] because there were older people writing them. I knew the only way I would get a song that I liked would be to relate to it somehow. So I gave my songwriters my diary and I would tell them stories and it worked out great.
Had you been performing before this?
Not really. There was this place, The Strand, down the street from where we lived and it was country and gospel every Saturday night—I had been singing there since I was six. It was the same crowd every Saturday night and I loved it but I wasn’t out with new people. The same place every weekend kind of got drab.
What was it like to perform in front of new people?
I was so excited but I had to learn. I take the good with the bad.
What is your dream now?
I just want to be a household name. In a year or two years from now but I want to be considered Hope like when you say Britney.
Exactly. I want that. I want to have fans who love my music. I want to get my music out there.
+ Charlie Craine