Alt rock artist, Hope Vista, recently released her EP, Prevail, which features Nick Thompson of Hit The Lights. The EP consists of five different tracks about hardship, love, and determination. The record is reminiscent of both 90’s pop and modern pop-punk, which allows Hope’s Joan Jett, Set It Off, and Avril Lavigne influences to spark to life. She released a music video for the leading track, “Dominance” in early November. Learn more about Hope and her experience working with Nick from their responses. Be sure to check out the music video for “Dominance” and the rest of Prevail below.
How would you describe your music to others?
It’s very pop punk driven, with some grunge influences and a few pop hooks. Pulsing guitars.
Who and what influences your music? Why?
My dad was my first and biggest influence, still is. But when it comes to other musicians, there’s always been a lot of influence coming from Joan Jett and Avril Lavigne. Britney Spears too, which probably seems like an obscure one. I was just always captivated about how she could captivate others. Such a big, big audience. I’m also pretty influenced by daily life and experiences I hear or see around me.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Not much, honestly. I work on music 25/8. And if it’s not music related, it’s something writing related, which also coincides with music. All of my favorite things seem to tie together in some sense. Writing articles, experimenting with makeup, anything having to do with clothes, enjoying social media. Those all tie together!
How would you describe your writing process?
I do most things backwards from what the norm is when it comes to songwriting. I have lists of song titles that I want to bring to life, and so many different concepts to align with those titles. I just start with one, write the verses out really quick, do the bridge, and finish with a strong chorus. Choruses are really difficult for me.
From start to finish, how long did it take to create Prevail?
I started writing “Dominance” a little less than a year ago. Everything else started getting written around June, and it was all finished at the end of September!
Why and when did you decide to collaborate with Nick on Prevail?
I was actually already a few days into my second session at ZK when Nick was brought up. My PR agency asked if I’d be interested in having him feature on the EP, and I said absolutely. I thought it would be a pretty cool mix; and I also was really interested in seeing how his creativity kind of worked, he’s completely brilliant.
How did the recording process work for you?
It was very draining, both emotionally and physically. There were two sessions; the first was for three days when I recorded both “Wild Girl,” a stand-alone single, and “Dominance.” That was insanely fun. And then the second session was around 11 days long, when I did the rest of the songs. That was the draining part. I spent 11 days with ZK Productions, just writing, creating, singing, making decisions. My heart was just done after all that. I remember coming home and not leaving bed for I think three full days, because I had nothing left in me, my personal battery was dead. But it was a really, really rewarding set of experiences; a continuous learning process.
What is something you learned from the creation of Prevail?
I learned to push myself way, way past any limits I ever imposed on myself. Feeling drained afterwards and not being able to function for a couple days was just the side effect, but the final product was so much more. Both times I went down to Atlanta to record, I had all these personal limits on myself, things I thought I couldn’t do. But every single day I spent there showed me that I was wrong, and I’m proud of finding that breakthrough.
Can you talk about the inspiration behind some of the tracks on the record?
“Half Past Fine” acts as sort of a sequel to my song “To: Daddy.” I just wanted to write something honest about loss. “Back Against The Wall” was a tough one, it’s about a subject I’ve never really discussed in an interview or any song. It’s about…. the 10 year long falling out with a family member. And I think it was important to make a statement about that, I wanted to give those who have experienced something similar a voice. I kind of rounded out those two songs with the overall theme of the EP through the song “I Prevail,” those lyrics are extremely important to understanding the whole cohesive idea of the record. And then I had to balance everything out a bit, so “25/8” and “Dominance” do that by highlighting captivation and just…falling for someone.
Do you play covers at practices or shows? If so, which ones are your favorites?
I do one at shows! My latest was “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys and that’s been my favorite so far, it was actually a lifelong dream of mine to cover them. EVERYONE sang to that, so that was just completely awesome.
What do you typically do post-gig?
Immediately after, I drink some gatorade, brush my hair, and change. Then I touch up my makeup really quick and head to my merch table for the rest of the show usually. Post-show I try to make sure I meet anyone I can!
What image do you think your music conveys?
Strength, I hope. That’s all I can hope for. No pun intended. But seriously, I’d like it convey strength and a powerful voice. One that listeners can find themselves in.
What do you wish you had known about the music industry?
I’m not sure, I keep learning new things with every experience. That’s the beauty of the whole process.
What has been your funniest or craziest fan experience?
Almost a year ago I was at this band’s show, just hanging out with some friends, and this girl popped her head over a barricade, she was wearing one of my bracelets. And she just said, “I love you!’ and started crying, I got so scared. But it was the cutest thing ever! I initially thought that she’d mistaken me for someone else, but then I saw the bracelet with my name on it. It was funny, but so cute.
What can we expect from Hope Vista in the coming months?
Hopefully to get on the road in the beginning of the new year. That’s really what I’m aiming for. There’s a lot of tiny pieces that go into making that happen, so my fingers are double crossed that they all match up. I’d really like to get a second music video out and start doing some YouTube stuff again soon, but we’ll see! There’s been some talk of making a few changes in the first quarter of 2016, but nothing is anywhere near being definite so I don’t wanna talk about that just yet!