It seems like everywhere we turn something is happening in the world. And with so much chaos, it’s easy to feel like there’s no way out. Michael J Woodard helps us to find that light to optimism with his track ‘hope full,’ that not only encourages us to stay focused on our goals, but to be optimistic no matter the obstacles in your way. A message that so many could benefit from hearing!
The visuals for this track are just as dreamy as the songs vibe and we have an exclusive THP premiere of the official music video for ‘hope full’ right here for your viewing pleasure!
If that music video doesn’t have you plotting your next move then maybe Michael’s journey to stardom will get you off your seat and stepping up to your next challenge! Finding love for music at an early age, Michael J Woodard went on to perfect his craft at The Musicians Institute in Los Angeles before blessing our screens on American Idol in 2016. So, if you thought that voice sounded familiar, you were right!
Check out our exclusive interview with Michael ahead of his music video premiere!
You started singing at an early age, can you tell us how you found your love for music and how you knew this is what you wanted to pursue?
I’ve always had this love for music that is just beyond explanation. I remember falling in love with music and realizing I could sing when I was about eight years old. One of the earliest music memories I have was performing at my elementary school’s Christmas pageant.
Many know you from your time on American Idol where you made the top five, congratulations on making it so far in the competition! What’s one piece of advice that’s stuck with you after the show?
I would say the best advice was to follow the momentum you gain from the show and to always stay true to yourself regardless. As a contestant, you can get caught up in winning the show, but I always tell people that it’s not just about winning. It’s about introducing yourself to an audience that you’ll potentially take with you on your musical journey afterward.
Looking back, what’s one thing you wish you would have done differently while on American Idol? What do you wish you could tell your younger self to prepare for the experience?
I can honestly say I wouldn’t have done anything differently competing on American Idol. I always said if I was going to do it, I wanted to be 100% myself and doing that made my time on American Idol amazing because I was not being someone I wasn’t.
How did you come to decide to audition for American Idol? What was the driving force behind you getting to that audition?
That’s a very extensive story in terms of the process leading up to the audition, haha. I’d auditioned for another show that ended up not working out and a producer from that show was also working on Idol and invited me to audition. I was reluctant to go audition for A.I because of all the rejection I had faced from reality competitions when I was younger. But my mom, who is my everything, was really the driving force behind me auditioning for the show.
And you’re now signed to Katy Perry’s label, Unsub Records. Where were you when you found out she wanted to pick you up as an artist? Can you give us a play-by-play of that moment for you?
Yes, I am signed to Unsub Records, governed by my amazing mentor KP. I was in rehearsals for the American Idol tour and I got a call from my manager at the time saying “Katy would sign you tomorrow” and all I remember is me saying “YES!!!” haha.
And you recently released ‘hope full,’ which is a very uplifting song, reminding us to be optimistic, no matter what we may be going through. We know that’s always such a good viewpoint to have on things, but what inspired you to write a whole track about it. Why do you think it’s so important to project that feeling of hope to your listeners?
I will say when I wrote it I didn’t go into the studio knowing exactly what I wanted to write about that day. I had actually started another song and scrapped it, and then wrote the beauty that is ‘hope full.’ I remember my co-writers for ‘hope full’ observing my personality and reflecting on it and saying they admired my positivity and my bright energy, and we just decided to write about it. I wanted to also touch on how other people should see the world. Even though life throws a lot at you, strive through it and always know that there are better days ahead. I feel like the song communicates that and I hope the listeners believe it like I do.
And we’re premiering the music video for this beautiful track, what can you tell us about the inspiration behind the visuals?
Thank you guys so much for this. If I could use that crying happy face emoji in this interview I would. For the visuals, I wanted to capture that optimism and provide situations where I’m showcasing that. There are figurative examples there, where the dancers represent trials, but all the while I’m still being positive and keeping my head towards the sky.
If you look at a lot of songs released recently, not many have such a positive message. What or who encouraged you to release this track as a single?
You know it’s unfortunate the times we’re living in and it’s important to give people an escape from their reality sometimes. I think music is supposed to do that and I hope the song and my music does that for its listeners.
You’ve also been doing some acting along with your growing music career, how did you end up in that space? Was acting something you’ve always wanted to try?
I was actually doing a lot of auditioning and pursuing acting opportunities growing up. But I kind of took a break from it to focus on my music and then out of nowhere the opportunity to do Arlo the Alligator Boy came along, and it was the most genuine unpremeditated acting opportunity. Someone reached out to me about auditioning for this role and I was super nervous. But as soon as I read the script I had this moment where I realized I was kind of reading my life! Doing this project really opened me up to the acting world again and just touched me in the most amazing way.
You voice Arlo in Netflix’s Arlo the Alligator Boy. Was the approach to recording for this different than being in the studio recording a track? How did it feel to hear your voice come out of an animated character while looking at the finished project?
The recording processes were not that different. The main difference is the creative process. For my own studio sessions I’m writing all the songs, and for the Arlo soundtrack most of the songs had been written already. Luckily the Arlo music is just beautiful and I adored every part of recording those songs. At first, it was definitely weird seeing my voice coming out of Arlo’s mouth. haha. But you get used to it and then realize you’re actually doing a good job. I’m a pro at hearing my speaking voice back now and have a whole new passion for acting.
What can fans look forward to from Michael J Woodard in 2022? Any projects you can tell us about in the music or acting world?
2022 is going to be an amazing year. I have only dropped two songs so far and I have recorded over 150. My first EP is coming, more performances are coming, and more music videos are coming. I have a lot of goals for the new year and I can’t wait for everyone to see the things that are about to come. You’re gonna wanna stay tuned!
What did you think of the new music video? Are you inspired to reach your goals after watching it? Do you remember Michael J Woodard from American Idol? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us over @TheHoneyPop! You can also catch us on Facebook and Instagram!
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Featured Image Source: via Breyona Holt