Hooked Like Helen indie music

We prefer to release EPs when we record a group of songs and put them together into one release, it becomes a body of work and an entity of its own. The music tells a bigger, broader story and reaches the listener on a much deeper level. I feel like one song isn’t enough to get to know an artist or band sometimes. – @HookedLikeHelen

Listen to the Interview
Episode #330 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax : http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2016/06/08/episode-330-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax

by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
Interviewing: Nikki Stipp

The Music business…
is a necessary evil. Something I wish I would have learned more and gave a hoot about in my teen years. I’m coming up dry on the pros at the moment! Cons include the fact that it takes so much energy and shameless self-promotion (which does not come naturally to me) in order to move forward in this industry. It seems like having a whole lot of money to pour into a project is almost mandatory. Having connections can get a person further than having good music. Of course, I believe there are exceptions (or we wouldn’t be doing this!) but it is easy to feel the weight of the odds against you…

Hurdles and pitfalls…
Sucking it up, getting out of my comfort zone, reaching out, spending money, and dedicating a whole lot of time to breaking some ground.

Social media…
That I can reach old friends from LA with my new releases, and get a bit of exposure to the world wide web.

I’ve noticed that some of the main social media sites we use tend to have their programs configured in such a way that it is very difficult to get our music posts seen by friends/followers without “sponsoring” them.

We prefer to release EPs…
when we record a group of songs and put them together into one release, it becomes a body of work and an entity of its own. The music tells a bigger, broader story and reaches the listener on a much deeper level. I feel like one song isn’t enough to get to know an artist or band sometimes. We do release singles on occasion and we try to get them featured on blogs and played on the radio, but the whole EP is what we really take pride in sharing, and signing to publishers, etc.

For me personally…
I’ve had music in my head since I can remember. My aunt had a baby grand and some of my earliest memories are me sitting on the piano bench, feet dangling, writing little melodies and figuring out how to play theme songs to my favorite cartoon shows. I was probably 4 or 5! 🙂 It wasn’t until about 6th grade though that music really took over and I decided to try to turn it into a career. I was inspired by my favorite artists and the power that music had on me as an adolescent.

I believe there is certainly an emphasis on being current and trendy…
but that has gone hand-in-hand with pop music since forever. I’ve been learning to broaden the scope of what the “true me” sounds like, but at the end of the day I stand behind my individuality as a singer and musician and I feel like if you are saying something real, it will touch people.

I am most afraid of…
Dying before I’ve finished a body of work that’s worth a sh*t.

In music, my personal definition of success would be…
making the best music that I possibly could, and being able to support my family with it. Having a core group of true fans that feel the way I feel, who are touched by the music in some way.

Our most recent success story has been winning an Indi.com challenge for Best Original Song. Our video for “Liar” was chosen as the winner by the producers of the motion picture “High Strung” and it has led to some super cool opportunities for us. We are so thankful for the honor and excited about the future!

My over all goal for my life & career is…
see “definition of success” above! 🙂 Add “to be happy” to it, haha.

3 Ways that I challenge myself…

1) Working really hard at writing more music, better music, arranging parts, tracking, constantly creating even when I’m tired and uninspired.

2) Allowing the process of co-writing to unfold. Working with other musicians and communicating to them the music that’s in my head, and letting them do the same so that we can blend our visions and
create something rad.

3) Cold emails to publishers, blogs, radio stations, etc. Accepting that rejection and/or being ignored is part of the game and that sometimes being a little bit pushy is ok.

I wrote this song for our most recent EP during a period of reflection on my past. Sometimes it’s easier for me to pretend that this song tells a fictional story but the truth is, it’s quite autobiographical. I fell into a very destructive “relationship” situation when I was very young, and it took me a long time to escape it. It took an even longer time to accept the breadth of the damage that was done (including to my musical career) and to ultimately move on. I think that it was important for me to write this song from a healing standpoint, and the last chorus of the song has an empowering change in the narrative, in which I sort of take control and find some kind of redemption. I tracked the tune in the home studio that my husband and I share, and our producer, Isha Erskine arranged the strings and mixed it.

Support the artist on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/liar/id1040345160?i=1040346307

Hooked Like Helen logo

Our music is honest…
We write from our hearts and we play what feels good! 🙂 We are super proud of this EP because we were lucky enough to assemble our “dream team” of collaborators to make it what it needed to be. A handful of super talented musicians/ friends helped us realize the HLH sound and it has been very rewarding artistically. We hope to reach some new listeners with the “Get Well” EP, people who can relate to our music and who can take something positive from it.

We would love to get into licensing…
It could be an amazing way to find music fans that might dig us, and it would be so cool for our art to lend itself to something bigger like film and tv! Also, earning some funding for the next record would be a huge plus haha!

We live in a small town outside of Cleveland, Ohio..
The closest city is Sandusky, home of the record- breaking rollercoaster park, Cedar Point. Jon grew up in this part of the country, but I came here from LA in 2013 and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from the music scene. Well, I was dead wrong! The amount of talent in these cornfields is out of control. The Womacks, Emily Keener (was just in the top 12 on this past season of The Voice), Acoustic Scotty, Dalton Brand, Ancient Elephant, Death by Rodeo…every last local act is solid af. Nobody is doing what we’re doing as far as genre so we are a little bit of the oddball, but the music community has been extremely welcoming to us. Kelly Rose and Shawn Daley from the local radio station WLKR 95.3 have been so supportive of us newbies!

It used to be watching Breaking Bad on Netflix but we finished it and now there’s just a void haha. Cooking is quite a passion of ours; Jon has a culinary background and can really chef it up in the kitchen.


I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
Sia. She is such a brilliant talent. I feel like I would need more than 5 minutes but I could learn so much from her as a songwriter and singer. Somehow she is able to write these massive mainstream pop hits that maintain a sense of artistic integrity, edge and authenticity. Who does that?

Website: http://www.hookedlikehelen.com/

Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hookedlikehelen/
Twitter: @HookedLikeHelen