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Many people today are looking for a raw, powerful, and evocative sound with spine chilling and imperfectly perfect vocals. For those who are, Meet Hope Waidley: The 20 year-old singer-songwriter with something to say. She is classic with a twist, like a sugar cane coke with lime. 

With her new single “It Rains in Michigan” out now, Hope’s storytelling is on display. She does a beautiful job of walking us through the emotional landscape of a section of her life. The soft tones and strong yet smokey vocals are perfect for listening to in this challenging time. After growing up in Michigan, this breezy soul now resides near Los Angeles California. With classic influences and a fresh perspective, Hope blends genres and explores what it means to make music from the soul. When an artist knows themselves their music has that depth so many are looking for in art today. 

At 18, Hope and her sister traveled the country in a Ford station wagon, doing street performances, exploring, and finding their independence. This helped build a unique and uncategorizable voice that is guaranteed to spark something inside your soul. Want to know more about Hope? Continue reading below and see her take on 20 questions.

How are you?

I am doing wonderful! I am learning a lot lately about life in general and am grateful for that.

Favorite stay at home activity?

Dancing. I LOVE dance parties or making up silly dances. Even when I was younger, my cousin and I would create full dance concerts that we’d force our family members to watch.

Favorite book?

Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne

Most underrated snack?

Chocolate Milk

Favorite lyrics of your own:

That’s hard… there’s a lyric from “It Rains In Michigan” that says “it’s no longer a thought laid on the floor — I’m in love, you pick it up, and say, “I’ve never felt like this before.” I never was someone that really cared about or craved falling in love or wanting a relationship. In fact, I really tried to avoid it. There’s just so much else in life to invest my heart in so it was a thought that I put aside and didn’t think about. Then I met my boyfriend whom I am currently dating and I fell in love, in real love. He picked that thought up, one that I never paid attention to, and it became present.

Song that always makes you feel better?

Island In The Sun by Weezer

First thing you are going to do when quarantine is over?

Hug a stranger

Guilty pleasure?

Warm homemade chocolate chip cookies

Where do you get inspiration from?

It’s hard to pinpoint but I’d say that any inspiration I get is a gift really.. from God. I get inspiration from hardships, from the goodness God helps me see in the midst of bad, from beauty that lies within situations, places, people, etc. I get inspiration from changes and newness as well.

Top three most iconic/ influential people to you?

My Mother, my Father, and my Sister. I’ve always been very close to my family. I admire them each and am so incredibly grateful for them. My family is there for each other to help each other grow and learn and process and talk. They’ve always been my core support group.

Any good street performance stories?

Sometimes street performing can get weirdly competitive, and though my sister and I were not like that at all, there were a few incidents where other performers would get angry with us. In New Orleans, I was singing in the French Quarter, and two kids came by, fake tripped, and poured their water all over me, my guitar, mic, and amp. It was kind of gnarly, and I cried hahahaha. But we laughed about it 10 minutes later and we still laugh about it now. The nicest part of that situation was all the random strangers that came and hugged me and asked if I was okay. There are lovely people everywhere.

Does your station wagon have a nickname?

We always went in phases naming the station wagon but never remembered what we said. It took us all over though despite being on the verge of breaking down at all times. Great little car.

Favorite fruit?


Favorite color?

Yellow! It is a happy color.

If you were born in a different decade which one would it have been?

I think it would have been interesting to live in the 1950s… there were cheerful times but also great conflict, like any decade, but the 50s intrigue me. I’d like to have seen it with my own eyes.

Favorite song to play live?

My favorite song to play live is my song, “Wonder.” It’s a song that still affects me and moves so powerfully. I feel it touch my soul and spirit every time, from the moment I wrote it to now.

Was there a specific moment you can remember that changed your life?

I used to be really into running actually, and I spent hours training for track as a mid-distance sprinter in my early years of high school as a 14/15 year old. I wanted to get a college scholarship in track and field. When I was about 15 in a half, I felt that running was not for me despite how much I was training to make it happen. One night after an indoor track practice, it hit me that I was here and alive for God and however God wants to use me to help others. & that it’s God’s plan and not my plan and to give up control and trust the Lord’s plan over mine. That changed everything.

Why music?

Writing songs was always a part of my life since I was 6 years old. It was a way for me to cope, to process, to find a release, and I figured if these songs could help me, they could be used to help other people. My dream is to help people in whatever ways they need.

If you didn’t make music what would you be doing?

Who knows, hahaha. Maybe working as a barista in different coffee shops or doing mission work.

What’s next?

Also a great question. So far, I have an EP coming out on May 8th called, “Wonder,” which I’m very excited about. The songs on this EP mean so much to me, and I hope they help others like they have helped me. With everything that’s going on in the world, it’s pretty uncertain what’s next but it’s enjoyable taking it day by day.



photos /  Eric Daniels

story / Weslee Kate

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