EXCLUSIVE: Cade Hoppe Talks “Labels”

Featured Photo Credit: Will Shellhorn

Following his heartfelt single, “Past Time,” indie-pop artist Cade Hoppe has released his addictive new track “Labels.” 

The synth-pop single, produced by Harper James (Eighty Ninety, James Bay, Aaron Taos), is “about having a relationship with someone that will never give you the reassurance you need — and then finding a way to justify that in order to have that relationship at all,” Cade says.  

We chatted with the singer-songwriter about the single, his EP’s one year anniversary, and more! 

What inspired your new single, “Labels”?

“Labels” was inspired by pretty much everything that keeps me up at night.  It’s mostly about pursuing a career in music—an industry that offers you very little assurance that you’ll actually find your way and “make it”.  So basically, it was kind of this meta, stream-of-consciousness thing where I was literally writing it in the middle of the night, and it just poured out of me.  

What was the writing and production process like? 

It was very late at night, and I had done a co-write earlier that day for someone else, so I’d already written a song or two that day already.  And I was feeling really creatively drained, but weirdly very inspired at the same time and I picked up my guitar and started writing.  The song started as this slow folk song, and it was up a few keys with a lot of falsetto and I was pretty sure it was one of the best songs I’d ever written when I was finished with it a couple hours later.  Anyway, the next day I was listening back to it and doing a little bit of editing and I realized that there was actually a version of this song that was this huge upbeat anthemic production which excited me even more.  So, when I brought it in to produce with Harper [James], we had to choose what key we were going to do the song in and how much faster it was going to be which was definitely a different process than we’d done before, but once we made those decisions, we hit the ground running and it all came together very quickly.  

It has a very 80s vibe to it. Who or what were some of the musical inspirations for this single? 

It’s funny—I definitely have a lot of 80s influence, but the music I listen to most is like the 80s-influenced artists of the 00s/10s. So, it’s the more hi-fi version of the 80s stuff being passed down.  I mean of course I listen to the classics too, but my influences that most showed up in the final version of this song are probably Bleachers, The Killers, and The 1975.

If you could set fans up in the perfect environment to listen to “Labels,” what do you imagine it looking like? 

I’d like to think they’d listen wherever they like listening to music the most and where they most enjoy it.  For me, I enjoy it most in my bed before I go to sleep at night, on my walks from place to place throughout my day, or on the train.  I just hope wherever anyone hears it for the first time is somewhere they can really listen (and then hopefully want to listen again and again).

Your EP Tell Me How It’s Worth It recently turned one. How have you and your music evolved since then? 

I think there’s so much natural evolution that happens with making and putting out a lot of music—you learn more about yourself than anything and that helps inform what to write about and what it should sound like.  For me, songwriting is so much about finding a way to put the thoughts and feelings I have all the time into words when I’ve never been able to before.  And as I’ve developed as an artist and person, I’ve found that the thoughts and feelings that I need to find a way to express are usually the more existential and introspective ones, so my writing content has definitely shifted more in that direction.  Putting out music is most fulfilling to me when the stakes feel a little bit higher, so I like writing things I’m scared to write and then I’ve learned that the production that supports that best is the more organic and raw sounding stuff.  So, all in all, since Tell Me How It’s Worth It my music has evolved in the way that I’m more honest than ever in the writing and the production is as organic as ever.  And as an artist, I have more confidence and clarity than ever about who I am and what my sound is.

What can fans look forward to next? 

There are a lot of songs that I am really excited about that are in the pipeline this year, as well as videos that I’m hopefully able to make and put out.  I can safely say that the best music I’ve ever put out will come out this year and I really hope that it helps me grow more of an audience.

What are your career resolutions for the new year? 

My resolutions are to be relentless in promoting my music and putting everything I have into every release; and the way I plan on doing that is to put out songs that I love so much that I have no choice but to promote like its life or death.

What is one quote that you have heard or that you go by that you want to ECHO out to the world?  

Rick Rubin always has awesome quotes and I saw one recently that was, “belief carries disproportional energy,” and I truly believe that—no pun intended.  I always say that there’s really no point believing in anything unless you believe in yourself.  And I think that if you believe in yourself hard enough and for long enough, others will start believing too.  So that quote really spoke to me, and I think it was put very well.

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