Now & Zen Fest 2012: Hedley
They’re edgy but classic, cheeky but sincere, fun but substantial. Meet Jacob Hoggard, lead singer and principal songwriter of the band Hedley.
Storms, Hedley’s second Island Records release, follows 2010’s The Show Must Go, which gained Vancouver-based Hedley a devoted following in the US and produced the Top 20 radio hit “Perfect.” The band collaborated on most of Storms, including the first single, “Kiss You Inside Out,” written with Lauren Christie, whose credits include Rihanna’s “Loud” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger,” and produced by hot new producer Adrian Newman. “We were excited to record this song because it’s the perfect summer anthem; fun, playful, and a great soundtrack for anyone who has ever felt love. And it’s lots of fun to play live!”
Storms is a diverse pop masterpiece, complete with get-out-your-lighter-ballads like “Heaven’s Gonna Wait”, breezy dance-rock sing-alongs like “One Life” and pop anthems like “Invincible”. Jacob spent three weeks in Los Angeles writing, including co-writing with the legendary Babyface; the track they wrote together, the soul-inflected near title track “Stormy,” is one of the album’s highlights. Other co-writers include Matt Squire (One Direction, 3OH!3, Selena Gomez), Gregg Wattenberg (Train, Backstreet Boys) and more. The album was produced by and includes co-writes with Brian Howes (Boys Like Girls, Simple Plan, Chris Daughtry). Storms – which documents a difficult period for the band – is an empowering and uplifting record.
“There was a lot going on in our own lives – some pretty serious issues – but we found ourselves drawing strength from adversity and deciding to fight on,” says Jacob, who also produced two tracks on the album. “We’re such a close band of brothers that when someone falls, you pick them back up, and what this record’s about is perseverance – storms can be absolutely wretched, but, in the end, even the worst of it comes to pass.”
With influences like Jimmy Eat World, U2, Kanye West and more, Hedley formed in 2005. While they’re new to America, they’ve already racked up impressive stats in Canada — Hedley’s had four consecutive double-platinum albums and their songs have been downloaded more than 1,500,000 times. Their last 12 videos hit the #1 spot on Canada’s MuchMusic and they’ve received 2 JUNO’s and 15 nominations, among countless other accolades. As one of the biggest touring acts in Canada, they’ve sold out countless arena shows and have shared stages with Bon Jovi, Simple Plan, Boys Like Girls, and more.
“Touring the US is exciting and new to us. We’re looking forward to connecting with our existing fans stateside, as well as making new fans and friends.”
Touring in the US will be a new experience for Hedley; they’re superstars at home. That might be difficult for some artists, but for Hedley, it’s just another challenge, and, as Storms proves, they can handle it.