Twenty-six-year-old Yannick Hooper is a full time creative. When he is not writing his own songs, films or plays, he is a full-time soca artiste. He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Theatre and Film from The Errol Barrow Centre In Creative Arts (EBCCI) at the University of The West Indies where he wrote and acted in plays as a student.
Bajan Vibes sat down with Yannick to discuss who he is as an artiste and his contribution for Crop Over 2018 – Wine Down Low, a collaboration with Red Bull Finland 2016 winner DJ Puffy.
He said the collaboration came about as Puffy had an instrumental that perfectly fit the lyrics of the song he had already penned for Crop Over 2018.
“What a lot of people don’t know is that me and Andre [DJ Puffy have been friends] for many years. We were just hanging out and he played this instrumental for me and I was like – wow, it is very cool. [Coincidentally], I sang a song that I had and I was thinking where I am going to go production wise? And [then] the song fit perfectly [with] the instrumental. It was the same key, the tempo was the same, the cords matched back with the song. It was something that we looked at as the universe just talking,” he said.
Yannick also told Bajan Vibes that his relationship with DJ Puffy is a professional one with DJ Puffy having done remixes for his music in the past.
“But this is the first time that we have done an official project. Since we met that day, it would have been down the road. I would have sent the vocals to him because as you know, he is in and out. I did the vocals by myself and I sent them to him and we put them together and that is how Wine Down Low came about,” he said.
The song has received 3 500 views on YouTube since being released on May 15, an overwhelming and pleasing response for Yannick.
“The response has been phenomenal; so far it blew my expectations. I put a lot into the writing of the song, my melody and things like that. The instrumental is made for the party; it’s made for the dance; it’s made for the fete and we just feel so happy that people are appreciating it how we are. I believe as an artiste you have to appreciate your work fully. It is very important we create for the people and the public, but it is important that we also create music that makes us happy,” a smiling Yannick said.
The multi-talented artiste credits his father David Hooper who inspired him to enter the soca arena.
“I am a full-time soca artiste but I am an artiste in general. I have done theatre, I have done film and these aspects are things that occupy my life on a daily basis. I have written plays, I write film scripts, you name it. I would not say that it was something I wanted to get into. My father, David Hooper managed Collsion and being around him inspired me. I knew from very young that it was something that I wanted to be a part of,” he said.
However, Yannick’s decision to be involved in soca full time occurred at his former alma matter, the Deighton Griffith Secondary School.
“At my secondary school I did a performance and everyone came up to me and said – you need to be doing soca, and it was from there that I knew that was what I wanted to do,” he remarked.
Yannick’s inspiration includes Michael Jackson, Chris Brown and Machel Montano as they are all serious about their craft. He also released a new single on May 30 entitled Sold Out which has received 111 views since being published on YouTube. (LG)