With Mighty Oaks, Ian Hooper has conquered the German charts, he received praise for the depth and melancholy that define his songwriting and played some of the world’s biggest a stages from Lollapalooza to Rock am Ring. In other words: he has every reason to be content and grateful, and you bet he is. Ian’s role in Mighty Oaks is one he loves, but in playing with his band, there are certain boundaries and limits as to what he can do, or how it could sound. Ten years into his career in music, he felt a longing for something more. It is now being manifested in “Here To Stay”, his solo debut single, released through Warner Music Germany.
Ian says: “I’ve been discovering a bigger energy in myself lately and I wanted it to reflect in my songwriting – one that is positive and infectious, that gets people on their feet dancing and singing. I wanted a power and depth in the songs that is unavoidable, but at the same time a sense of lightness and freedom. While this could be possible in a Mighty Oaks context, I knew that it needed a different sound for me to feel fulfilled.”
Ian invited his his friend and producer Tobias Kuhn (The Kooks, Milky Chance, Die Toten Hosen etc.) out to his Berlin house for a session, and Tobias suggested that Philipp Steinke (Boy, Bosse etc.) join as well. Without a concrete plan for what they’d work on — a new Mighty Oaks track, a song to pitch to another artist — they set off to work. Recording each instrument live – piano, guitars, acoustic guitars, drums – they took turns in shifting seats in the studio, changing roles, everyone taking turns on different ideas and recording each other in a blur musical bliss. The result was the chance beginning of something new – “Here To Stay”, the starting point of Ian Hooper’s solo career. “Once I heard the finished song, after all the parts were there and working together from beginning to end, it felt as if I’d finally found the key to a door that had always been locked for me.”