Discovering and promoting independent/rising artists is my passion. At this point, after doing this for over 5 years, there are not many names that come out of nowhere and surprise me like Kade Hoffman did. Each week for UPstar. Music's "New Music Friday" playlist, I listen to over 100 new songs from independent/rising artists. Don't get it twisted, I love doing it, but at this point it takes a lot to get me jumping up and down about a new song or artist. As soon as I heard Kade Hoffman's "Hungover & Heartbroken", I stopped in my tracks, my eyes widened, my jaw dropped and I thought to myself... "who the hell is this guy". From hearing his voice you would think he's a grown man, experienced and doing this for years. Instead I find out he's only 18 years old, which makes his vocal talent even that much more impressive and unique. This young man isn't going to be a guy a few people around the country listen to once in a while when they are bored. Kade is about to be an absolute megastar and sell out amphitheaters, without a doubt. Country Music is an interesting place. It's not always easy to determine the next stars, as there are just so many talented folks in Nashville, Texas and around the country. I can count on one hand the artists I can guarantee and Kade is one of them. I sat down with Kade Hoffman and talked about growing up in Colorado, farming and ranching, how an old TV show made him interested in picking up a guitar and the artists who help shape his music.
Get To Know Kade
"I've lived my entire life in southeastern Colorado and grew up farming and ranching. I didn't start playing music until I was 13 years old. That's when my mom bought me a guitar. I started playing and learning different songs. That's what really got me interested in music. Since then, each year my love for music has snowballed. I went from practicing and learning songs, to (the next year) figuring out what I was doing and then the year after started to write my own songs. I took up songwriting and the year after that started posting myself playing my music. I posted my first song back in December."
This Young Man Is Going To Be A Star...
At just 18 years old and truly just getting started with his music career, Kade Hoffman is already showing glimpses of being a star in Country Music. In recent years, artists like Tyler Childers, Charles Wesley Godwin, Sturgill Simpson, Colter Wall have made Western and Appalachian Music mainstream. While they may have some differences, they fall into a similar subgenre of Country Music. Kade is fore-fronting the next generation - keeping this majestic sound alive. Kade Hoffman's sound is an experience that makes you stop whatever you're doing and take in every line and verse and feel what he's singing about on the deepest level. "Hungover & Heartbroken" is a glimpse of the bright future and star power Kade possesses. His career is going to explode like a powder keg; I feel it deep in my soul. His lyrics are authentic, tell stories and show Kade is wise beyond his years. He looks at life through a special lens. This is just the very beginning for Kade Hoffman. Being excited for his future is an understatement.
Q & A With Kade Hoffman
Q: What was that "light bulb" moment that you knew you wanted to pursue music?
A: "The first time I really wanted to play an instrument I was watching the TV show Andy Griffith and saw him playing on his porch. I don't remember the song, but I thought to myself "I think my grandma would really like that". My grandma has always been super into music and put me on to Country Music and all the old stuff. I really wanted to learn how to play for her. The next time I went to town, we were at a guitar shop and my mom said she would buy one for me if I would play it. It took me a month to learn my first song on guitar. From there I picked up everything pretty quick. That was the first moment I really knew I wanted to do something with music.
After that, the big pivotal moment I knew I wanted to take music seriously was after I had written my first song. I was really proud of it and sent it to my older brother. He was blown away and showed some of his friends. He even told me that one of his friends cried when they heard it. That really made me want to pursue music and take it seriously."
Q: "Who are some artists/songwriters that influence your music?
A: "Probably the biggest influence growing up was Johnny Cash - my idol. I thought he was the coolest thing. To be able to have your own songs and go out and perform them, I wanted to do that. He was the first major artist until I began getting more into music. After that it was bolder, Western guys like Marty Robbins, Eddie Arnold, the more traditional country guys who influenced me. They inspired me to want to write songs and put time into doing that. My songwriting is really influenced by Vincent Neil Emerson. The way he writes his songs really resonates with me on a personal level. I've really looked up to guys like Sturgill Simpson, Colter Wall and Tyler Childers who made the Western sound mainstream."
Q: What's a lesson you've had in music or life that have helped you grow in your music career?
A: "I don't think there is just one moment. The last 5 years or so have been pretty brutal for me. I've had to deal with a lot of different obstacles that have come up. I'm not going to get into everything, but I lost one of my closest friends back in 2020. That was during COVID and both a few major events and some small things happened that have really impacted my life and my music. All of that has hardened me. But I wouldn't change anything, because everything that's happened has made me a better person. Now I focus on the positive things more often and take my experiences and write songs with them."
Q: Who's a person in your life that has made a major impact on your musical journey?
A: "My entire close family has been super supportive. I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing without their support; they have helped me a lot. I'd say the people that have really pushed me to pursue music, specifically, was my oldest brother. Both my brothers have been very supportive, but my oldest brother has encouraged me and has helped me with a lot of things. My mom has always had a feeling about me making music and really thinks I can be something. I hope she's right."