100 million hits on youtube....over 100 thousand albums sold independantly, Stevie Hoang – Essex-based 24-year-old R&B producer-artist extraordinaire – has achieved all of the above. Working out of his bedroom, and his own song-spinning imagination, he has already crafted upwards of 50 songs. Via Myspace, YouTube and an entrepreneurial flair that saw him strike international record deals before any UK label had a clue who he was, Hoang has already topped the Myspace chart in the US and released two albums in Japan – where, after repeated trips to Tokyo, he’s a major star on the Japanese charts and club scene.
It was over an early morning breakfast in Balans (Westfield Stratford) that our very own Mark Wincott stumbled upon him, in-between sips of Americano and mouthfuls of pancakes smothered in maple syrup, Stevie agreed to do an interview with him, here's how it went....
Please introduce yourself and your music in one sentence....
I’m Stevie Hoang an Independent RnB singer songwriter from East London
Where did you record your album ‘Forever’ and what made you choose that studio?
I recorded my album forever in my bedroom as I don’t have a flashy recording studio haha
Who produced the album?
I produced the whole album as always. Not out of choice, it’s just really hard to find good producers that don't charge crazy prices.
Did you approach the recording of your latest album differently to previous releases?
Yes, this album wasn't strictly RnB like my previous releases, I wanted to make it appeal to a wider audience so I experimented with some different genres like County and pop
In your opinion, what is the BEST album/record ever released?
My favourite album is always the latest one I’ve done, so I would say forever.
Tell me a fascinating fact about you?
Once when I was about 10 years old, a car ran over my foot and it didn’t even hurt
What is your favourite venue to play live at?
Intimate venues like Cafe de Paris and Indigo2 where I can also play the keyboard and interact with the audience
Social media is all around us, how do you think it has aided your music?
It’s definitely been crucial to my career, I started off on Myspace and YouTube and that’s how I got discovered.
If you had a chance to put together your own ‘super group’, who would be in it? (only living members please)
Chris Brown, Usher, Trey Songz and R Kelly, the RnB avengers haha
Where is your ‘go to’ place for food and what are you never going to tire of eating?
Balans in Westfield Stratford, I go there at least 3 times a week for breakfast. They make the best coffee and American style pancakes.
What classic song would you have liked to have recorded and why?
All I want for Christmas by Mariah Carey, this song will never die so I could just retire and live off the royalties.
What advice would you give an aspiring musician about what to look out for when a record company offers to sign them up?
Record Companies can give you a great platform to get your music heard on TV and radio but a lot of the stuff they do for you, you can do yourself so make sure you really need them for the deal they are offering
What was the first gig you ever went to?
Craig David at Wembley Arena and it is still the best concert I’ve ever been too. He has the best live vocals I’ve ever heard
How come Superman can deflect bullets with his chest, but when a gun is thrown at him he has to duck?
Because he's not very bright, every superhero has a weakness, nobody’s perfect.
Name three people (alive, dead or fictional) that you would like as dinner party guests?
Will Smith, Micheal Jackson and Hulk Hogan, 3 people I idolised growing up
‘Addicted’ is a well-loved track, what was the process of creating the music and lyrics for it?
I was just playing about on the keyboard one day and stumbled across a piano riff and then added the lyrics, it was written very quickly without much thought. I think all good songs are made this way.
There are many good bands and musicians out there, who would you ask the readers of musicmuso to look out for?
I like following Independent Artists that inspire me, a few of my favourites are Mumzy Stranger, Jay Park and Esmee Denters
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
James Bond. Because my music is smooth and popular with the ladies.
What are your plans for 2016?
Plans for 2016?...... hmmm, to carry on making good music for my fans and hopefully travel to more places around the world.
We thought it was only fair to put Stevie through the quickfire questions, we sat him down, locked the door and threw them at him, one after another, here's how he got on....
Coke or Pepsi? Coke
Drum machine or the real deal? Drum Machine
Mac or PC? Mac
Fry up or Sunday roast? Fry Up
CD or Vinyl? CD
Better Call Saul or Breaking Bad? Breaking Bad
Car or Motorbike? Car
Acoustic or electric? Acoustic
Shower or Bath? Shower
Tattoos or Piercings? Tattoos
Jennifer Lawrence or Zoe Saldana? Jennifer Lawrence
God or Google? Google
We'd like to thank Stevie for taking time out of his hectic schedule to chat to us, by the time we had finished, his pancakes were starting to go stale and his coffee was cold, we apologised and offered to top him up but being the true gent he was, he declined.... Please take a few moments to check out his social media channels, we've been good to you and listed the major ones below, all you need to do is point and click!
Interview by Mark Wincott