Shawn Hook's last album, 2012's Cosmonaut and the Girl, was out of this world, yielding three Top 20 hits, "Every Red Light," "So Close" and "Two Hearts Set On Fire," and setting him up for a promising career. His electro-injected dance-pop earned a Juno nomination for Breakthrough Artist, a national tour with Midway State, and a dedicated fan-base proudly named Hooksters. The accomplished singer-pianist is now working on his new album for Universal Music Canada, due mid-2015.
The first single, "Million Ways," shows the Vancouver native moving even further from his acoustic roots. The song is a mix of pop, disco, soul, R&B and electronica and showcases Shawn's enviable falsetto.
"I've been listening to a lot of indie electronic music since I put out Cosmonaut and the Girl — like Phantogram, Capital Cities, M83, Empire of the Sun and Disclosure," says Shawn of his new influence. "It's still electronic, but not dance. It has old school synths, cool programmed beats and some real instrumentation mixed in."
"Million Ways," co-written with Victoria "Lady V" Horn (Demi Lovato, Armin Van Buuren), Mario Marchetti (J. Lo, Fergie) and Marc Himmel and produced by Mike Wise (Walk off the Earth), almost didn't happen. With only one night left in his Los Angeles stay, Shawn cold-called Lady V for a writing session and asked Mario to work at his studio.
"We started writing and the energy was awesome. We were all dancing and it was fun and lighthearted," Shawn says. "The melody came and then the chorus — 'I'm going to find a million ways to love you.' It matched the music. Five hours later it was done. We used the demo vocal on the song that's on the radio right now."
That's when he hit the ground running. For the past 18 months Shawn has been non-stop writing music with A-listers Jeff Trott (Sheryl Crow, Jason Mraz), The Fliptones (Jason Derulo, Jake Miller), Jimmy Harry (Pink, Hedley), Todd Clark (Phillip Phillips, Serena Ryder, Lucy Hale), Stephen Kozmeniuk (Madon