Singer-songwriter Chloe Tang's released her music video for her self-empowering song "Hype."
Tang explains, "'Hype' is a self-explanatory track about calling someone out on their bullshit, basically saying, 'You've got a huge ego and that kind of attitude can be dangerous.' However, on a deeper level, it can be an empowering song for anyone who is torn down/intimidated by people who act like they're better than you. The idea behind the song was to give people the courage to say, 'Fuck it, I don't need that kind of negativity in my life. You're not worth the hype.'"
Writing and performing music at an early age, Tang went to Grammy Camp in 2013, followed by studying songwriting at the University of Colorado, Denver. Since graduating in 2018, she's been climbing to success, sharing the stage with Dua Lipa at the Fillmore Auditorium, as well as amassing more than 550,000 streams on Spotify.
Because of her no-nonsense, down-to-earth attitude and intoxicating talent, Popdust sat down with Chloe Tang to discover the inspiration for "Hype."
Chloe Tang- Hype (Official Music Video) youtu.be
Who is your favorite musical artist?
I've been obsessed with Lolo Zouai recently. I don't even remember how I found her, but I have been listening to her new album on repeat. She is a huge inspiration because she has such a cool sound and image.
How did you get started in music? What's the backstory there?
Oh man, this might take a minute. I started playing classical piano at age 5 and then learned some guitar from my dad and always loved singing. I always followed a musical path: going to art schools, joining choir, band, going to music camps. Then, when I started writing my own music I knew that was it, and I basically did everything I could to create really good songs. With the help and support of my parents and a lot of people around me, I just started figuring things out. I went to school for songwriting in Denver, CO, and I basically just learned by watching people. If I didn't think my songs were good enough, I went to songwriting conferences and met people who were better. If I didn't know how to book my own show or form a band, I asked people who did know and then figured everything else out.
What musicians influenced you the most?
I always loved John Mayer. I've been through a lot of musical phases in my journey, but his music will always be some of my favorite. It's very nostalgic for me because he helped me fall in love with writing songs.
How, if at all, do your musical influences shape and impact your music?
Yes, absolutely. More in a constructive way than a "copying" way, but yes. I don't necessarily look at my idols and think, "How do I become them?" But when I'm stuck I do think, "What would they do?" I look up to them because they're hard working and so talented. If there's a time when I'm stuck and can't think of a lyric or I feel really discouraged, sometimes I just look in the mirror and ask myself what Rihanna would do, ha!
You're based in L.A. What's the music scene like there?
I just moved here in October 2018. It's very different than the Denver scene I'm used to, but I feel like I fit in here more. I enjoy the culture of people constantly grinding, writing, collaborating, and working their asses off. It's intense for sure, but I honestly love it. It pushes me to be better, and I also love the weather, so that's great.
Now that you're rocketing to fame, how do you keep yourself grounded?
HA! The word "famous" is so funny to me, because I don't know if I'll ever fully understand all the different layers of fame, and I definitely don't think of myself that way. However, I am very lucky to be surrounded by people who are super genuine and real and that keep me down to earth. I also work with kids as my day job, nannying and teaching music, and that is one of the things that makes me happiest because it makes me feel really special and needed in a way that fame never could.
Is your music—your sound—evolving? If so, in what direction? More in the direction of R&B or more toward pop?
Yes! It has been evolving since I left the womb. I'd say it's all over the place. I have some kind of emo/trap stuff and some moody '90s hip-hop stuff, but I'd say it's all in the pop realm. It's just leaning a little more left of center now, but I will always incorporate pop into my music. It's where my writing was born.
What was the inspiration for "Hype?"
Basically, there's a girl I know who thought she was the shit and had this bad attitude that was such a turn off to me. I've always been a very forgiving person, but for some reason when this girl came into my life, I realized there were a few people in my life who convinced me they were important [so] they would put me down to make themselves feel important. From then on, I decided it's not worth it to be around that energy. So I was like, "You and your crew think you're so cool, but you're not worth the hype."
Of all the venues you've played so far, which is your favorite and why?
Ooh, The Fillmore in Denver for sure. I worked security there part-time while I was in college so that I could pay for making music. Then, like a month after I moved to LA, I got a text asking if I could open for Dua Lipa at the same venue! It was a sold-out show to 4,000 [people], and I got to see all my old co-workers while I put on my make-up backstage. Most amazing night of my life for sure, and I can't wait until I get to do that every night.
What is your songwriting process?
It depends. If it's just me, I start with chords on guitar or piano, [and] then move to melody and lyrics. But I've been co-writing a lot more since I've lived in LA, and now it's very interactive with my co-writers. It's an interesting process to let yourself be vulnerable like that, especially when you don't necessarily know your co-writers that well, but I always hear melodies first.
To me, there's a definite trap-lite sound to "Hype," along with R&B and pop flavors. How would you describe the song?
I would describe it as a sassy, mellow, younger cousin of one of The Weeknd's songs. I think it's definitely pop overall, but it has an R&B vibe to it. I'd like to think it can easily cross over into other genres.
What's next for you, musically?
Honestly, who knows! I have a short term plan: to release a few more singles in these upcoming months. I have a huge pile of songs I've been sitting on, and I cannot wait to just get them out there. But beyond that, I'd LOVE to go on tour…maybe with a certain Dua Lipa again if I'm lucky.
Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.
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