A diehard supporter of Nashville and quintessential Southern gentleman, we couldn't think of a better person to have opened the festivities at SwimVille than Will Hoge.
Known for his expert work as a singer, songwriter and musician on the Nashville and country-music scenes, Will knows a thing or two about entertaining. He's also an incredibly talented artist, who was recently nominated for a CMA, ACM and Grammy for "Country Song of the Year" for "Even If It Breaks Your Heart," a #1 song recorded by the Eli Young Band.
As he gets ready to release his newest album, Small Town Dreams, Will was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about his career, love of Music City and experience at SwimVille.
SWIM DAILY: Tell us about yourself as a musician. You’ve overcome some pretty insane hurdles in your career and personal life—how have they shaped you into the artist you are today?
WILL HOGE: Being born and raised in Nashville, music has and always will be a huge part of who I am. I feel as an artist everything I do is shaped by the things that have happened to me.
SWIM DAILY: On your upcoming album, Small Town Dreams, you seamlessly combine storytelling and music to share your life story with your fans. How do you take your personal/life experiences and turn them into songs that people will hear, love, remember and then buy?
WILL HOGE: I believe that the more personal and honest I can be with my writing, the more it somehow becomes more universal and something that folks can relate to. And if you're forced to add a lie, make it a damn good one.
SWIM DAILY: What impact have your wife and two kids had on your desire to persevere and continue working toward your goals a musician?
WILL HOGE: They truly keep me going. They're all so supportive and proud. I hope in some way it will encourage my boys to know that they can set their sites on something, and with real dedication and hard work, they can make it happen.
SWIM DAILY: Why did you decide to stay rooted in Nashville all this time? Did you ever think of leaving?
WILL HOGE: Nashville is the best city in the country. I've never thought of leaving. Affordable. Great for families. Best musicians. Best studios.
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Plus, LA and NYC have shitty fried chicken and biscuits.
SWIM DAILY: How and why did you get involved in Swimsuit Launch Week? Was it a unique experience to most of the shows you play?
WILL HOGE: I've known the Kings Of Leon guys since they first moved to Nashville. I adore them. I love what they bring to the city and how much they continue to support Nashville as a whole. As soon as they reached out I was on board. It was unique and really the best first-year event I've ever been a part of.
SWIM DAILY: Lastly, did you get to meet any of our models? Any favorites?
WILL HOGE: I was tickled to see and hear how much they all enjoyed Nashville. I think it speaks volumes for the continued development of this town. Had a lovely conversation with Hannah Ferguson following my show—very sweet and kind. Also, Jessica Gomes did my introduction and was incredibly gracious afterwards.
Be sure to come back for one final musician Q&A with Mikky Ekko!