Fans had been camping outside the House of Blues since 5 a.m. with only flimsy umbrellas to protect them from the drizzle. Some had driven all the way from Louisiana for their first chance to see Hoodie Allen while others could not wait to see him in concert again.
Meanwhile, inside the House of Blues, music from a sound check thumped throughout the halls adorned with the signatures from past performers. Tour managers and assistants came in and out of Hoodie Allen’s dressing room where he sat on a couch chatting with people before the show later that night.
SMU Campus Weekly: Hey welcome to Dallas, I am from Southern Methodist University’s student run newspaper, The SMU Campus Weekly. Have you gotten to spend much time in Dallas before?
Hoodie Allen: We’ve played here, I wanna say about 5 times. Usually on a show day you only get to hang out around the venue and surrounding area. I guess we haven’t explored Dallas as much as we should’ve, but we’ve been here a bunch.
SMUCW: Congratulations on the success of the release of Happy Camper. I saw that it went No. 2 on ITunes and No. 1 on the rap and independent album charts. How does it feel when you see all of your hard work pay off like that?
HA: It’s cool, especially because it was meant as a free album. I didn’t really have those goals or metrics on how it would do on iTunes or billboards, so the fact that it still did pretty well is an amazing testament to the fans who come to the tour and that I interact with online.
SMUCW: I saw some of your fans outside and was talking to them, and some have been here since 5 a.m. That’s amazing, I don’t think I could get anywhere at 5 a.m.!
HA: Yeah same here! It turns into a big day for them. There are people who have been waiting for a long time, but for whatever reason, the other days didn’t work out for them the other years. So this is really cool for them.
SMUCW: You recently tweeted, “it’s okay to be selfish on the pursuit of your dreams because no one else is gonna work harder than you to make them happen”. I really like that, and I think that it is very true. What all have you had to do recently to reach your goals, or have you faced any major challenges recently that you’ve had to overcome?
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>it&squot;s okay to be selfish on the pursuit of your dreams because no one else is gonna work harder than you to make them happen</p>— Hoodie Allen (@HoodieAllen) <a href=”https://twitter.com/HoodieAllen/status/701156666994085888″>February 20, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
HA: I cant exactly remember why I wrote that, what inspired it in the moment, even though it was just like two days ago. In terms of what it means to me, or the challenges in general, I think a lot of that mentality comes from having done a lot of this music stuff on my own, by non-traditional means. A lot of people have a path in place, and there’s a traditional path. You do this and you get a management team, and then you get a publicist, and then you get a record label and the record label puts an album together. I’ve been more, cavalier with things. The reason for that stems from the idea that I thought I was always gonna work harder for myself than anyone else. I hate seeing friends of mine who put a lot of control and faith in someone else’s hands. They don’t even realize that that person isn’t working as hard for them as they possibly could. It brings you back to; if you want something you have one chance to make it happen for yourself. I just want to put that out into the world. Don’t look for a handout because there is none. You’ve gotta make that for yourself.
SMUCW: When you graduated from college you had a job offer from Google that most college seniors would kill for, but you eventually moved on to pursue music full time. When did you realize that you wanted to pursue music full time?
HA: I wanted to do music since I was 17, but the timing was fated. When I was a senior in college was the first time anything I did musically reached outside of my personal circle and started hitting people who were on the Internet and different countries. It sort of built itself up in a place where I had gotten this job offer, I took the job offer, I moved my life out there, but I was starting to be able to see music as a job because it was something that people were starting to want to pay me to do. That sort of set it on a crash collision course, well which one are you gonna pick? Because you cant do both at a 100% without burning out. So I chose music.
SMUCW: What do you wish you could’ve told yourself at 20, while you were in college trying to figure out what to do with the rest of your life?
HA: I would’ve been surprised to know where 18-year-old version of me is now. I think I used my time in school pretty well. I did work a lot on this thing and build it as my passion. Maybe if I had known what was possible I would’ve worked even harder and it would’ve happened sooner.
SMUCW: You are performing a show to a pretty packed, if not sold out, venue tonight. What are you looking forward to most about the performance tonight?
HA: Dallas is always one of my best crowds. We’ve been able to grow here for a while and play a ton of different venues. I’m just excited to be back because out of all the Texas markets, Dallas has really been one of the most consistent places for me. It should be a fun night.