Nashville’s Will Hoge is no stranger to performing in front of a hometown crowd. After all, he has called Middle Tennessee home for years and is one of the main ingredients to the ongoing success of Nashville’s thriving music scene.
In the past year, Hoge has headlined Live on the Green and Nashville Dancin’ and his next local show will be at the Williamson County Fair on Friday, Aug. 1.
Hoge has received much recognition in the past year with his hit song “Strong” along with other cuts such as “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.” With this momentum, he understands all of the expectations that coincide.
In a recent phone interview, Hoge recalls a similar situation with Bob Seger in his hometown of Detroit where he mentioned a time during his rise when people wanted him to fall.
“When you achieve a certain level of success, there are some people who want to see you fail,” Hoge said.
“But I feel like everyone has been very supportive of what I do. It’s great to see people I grew up with and see people and their kids at the shows,” he added.
On the subject of family and kids, the family life is something that has evolved through the years.
“Where you used to do 250 dates, that desire is gone. Now it’s time to support my wife and go to my kid’s games,” Hoge said.
While family life does alter some aspects, it doesn’t affect his songwriting but Hoge says that he feels his shows are better now than his earlier days, due to the fact that he isn’t on the road as much.
Juggling family life and the road, the last year has been an eventful one for Hoge as “Strong” sold nearly 200,000 copies and was featured on General Motors 2014 Chevy Silverado ad campaign.
“It’s incredibly important,” Hoge said about having songs featured on commercials and national ad campaigns.
“I’ve had some as a writer, but ‘Strong’ was the biggest thing that I’ve ever done. Any chance I get to reach a new audience, I take it.”
“Strong” along with the track “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” are two songs that come to the forefront when mentioning Hoge’s name to the masses, but there was a time in Hoge’s career when he could have caught some negative vibes for having his songs used in a manner such as this.
“I was proud of it and it was a great song. I loved it and believed in it. Sometimes you have to take a chance and we did. I want to play to those fans and grow the audience that is coming to see me,” Hoge stated about “Strong” and expanding his fan base.
This crossover appeal is what makes Hoge’s music unique in its own right. He simply makes music, and at times, it will cross the barrier between independent circles, Americana listeners and the modern country music genre as well.
“I write songs all the time. That song came out pretty quick and Chevy heard an acoustic demo. Ten years ago, if you mentioned this, the ‘sellout’ term would get thrown around. But now the songs get radio play and that changes the perception,” Hoge said.
Hoge is currently on the road for a few months, but plans to slow down the pace to some extent after his Williamson County Fair show and start work on a new record with plans of releasing it during the first part of 2015.
In the meantime, Hoge has a new track on the horizon and it will be available via iTunes and other formats as well.
For more information, visit willhoge.com.