EXCLUSIVE: Jake Hoot Talks New Duet With Kelly Clarkson, Debut EP and More

Jake Hoot may stand 6’6”, but the Season 17 Champion of NBC’s “The Voice” is just as genuine and sweet natured as ever. Gearing up to release his debut EP on January 27 th with Danny Myrick at the helm, the 5-song EP features an all-star lineup of musicians and songwriters including Dean Sams, Myrick, Jenne Fleenor, Dave Pahanish, Jamie Floyd and more. The new project also features a duet with international superstar Kelly Clarkson entitled “I Would’ve Loved You.” Drawing inspiration from his childhood in the Dominican Republic, Hoot is released a cover of “La Bamba” as his lead-off single on November 6 th which landed in the Top 10 on the iTunes Latin charts. Fellow Season 17 “The Voice” contestant Ricky Duran is featured as the lead guitarist on “La Bamba” along with 8 other contestants who lent their vocals on the track from Hoot’s winning season. ECHO had the chance to chat with Hoot about his debut EP, collaborating with Clarkson and more!

Congrats on your debut EP, “Love Out Of Time,” how does it feel finally have your debut EP out for the world to listen to? 

It feels amazing! To have watched something that you helped create, take off and impact so many, is really something incredible! And the outpour of love and support for it has been unreal!

What about Love Out of Time made you want to name the EP after it?

Love Out Of Time has always been such a special song to me. It, along with I Would’ve Loved You are probably the deepest songs I’ve ever been a part of! When we sat down as a team to plan out the EP, it was a toss up between those two titles, but ultimately we felt that Love Out Of Time just felt so much better!

On the EP, there’s a song with Kelly Clarkson called “I Would’ve Loved You.” Talk about getting to work with Kelly after being Coached  by her on The Voice. 

It was amazing! Kelly is so down to earth and kind, and to be singing on a project with her still doesn’t seem real! From when she heard the song, till filming the music video, she was just so much fun to work with! Being on her team was the same way! You have this mega star who goes out of her way to talk to you, coach you, and help you after the show is really special!

Did she coach you along the way on the set or did she let you tell full reign creatively?

I think it was a little of both! Her dynamics within her songs are second to none, so learning how to make the audience feel the lyrics was something that I took away from my time on her team! When it came to song selection, I had most of the creative calls. 

The music video also was released for the song, talk about filming the video, what was your favorite part of the video? 

My favorite part of the video was the ending! That last scene when you think the song is over, then we step out and belt it out, is easily my favorite. The filming of it was also the best part because we couldn’t quit laughing! They had to speed our voices for cool effects, and we sounded like Alvin and The Chipmunks, which made us not be able to look at each other without laughing!

What advice did she give you on the show that you’ll always use in your career?

I know it sounds cliche, but the idea of just being yourself no matter where you’re at. I think in this industry it’s so easy to get lost trying to be somebody who you think everyone is searching for, and you lose that magic and identity of what makes you, you! So just being true to who you are, your voice, your style, is so important.

What’s a setting you would set up a fan in for them to listen to your EP? 

Probably in any car on the road! hahaha! I think there is such a variety of fun, upbeat, sad, rip your heart out songs that will make any road trip so much better!

What’s one quote you’ve heard in life that you’d want to ECHO out to the world?

The greatest influences on the future, are the opportunities we take advantage of in the present-An old music teacher. Translation= Don’t wait till tomorrow to seize the moment!