If you have ever wanted to take a leap of faith to follow your dreams, then you need to add country singer Stephan Hogan’s debut album, So Long California, to the top of your playlist. These songs will give you the motivation you need to start your own journey.
After living and working in Nashville for almost two years now, Hogan is ready to share his album and music video that focus on his journey of moving away from his home state, California.
“As a songwriter, you just write all the time and when I started out, I didn’t think, ‘in two years, I’m going to release an album.’ It was more like, ‘I’m just gonna try and bust my butt to improve my craft.’ I feel like I whittled it down to songs that I’m really proud of.”
The title track is actually one of his most recent songs, written about three months ago. It sounds like a relationship song, and it is, but not between two people. It’s about Hogan’s relationship with the place he knows so well.
“In that song, it sounds like I’m singing to a girl, but I really wrote it about California.”
The feeling of going back to his hometown after living away from there for a few years inspired the lyrics, “This town looks the same, just the love is gone.”
“There’s just a different energy to it now that it’s not my home anymore,” says Hogan.
The music video has a very “’out on the road’ vibe,” according to Hogan. He and his wife shot all of the footage to give it a much more personal touch, almost like a vlog. The clips of the two of them on the road, in all sorts of different places around California, allow the audience to understand the experience through their perspective.
“I wanted to capture the feeling of the song with some of my favorite places,” says Hogan. “These nostalgic places capture who I am.”
After playing guitar in Nashville for the first time eight years ago, Hogan ended up gaining the confidence in his vocals he didn’t know he needed. He realized he didn’t need to have a fancy voice. He just needed his passion to succeed.
“I remember moving out here and shortly after, I realized, ‘I could really do this singing thing.’ It’s just been a crazy, fast two years, but a good journey so far.”
He has been determined and worked incredibly hard to get his music career started. These songs were all written and recorded by Hogan, and the music video was filmed and edited by him as well.
“It’s rewarding to be able to do that … and it’s just something I’m proud of.”
Check out the music video for “So Long California” here: