Most musicians begin with music lessons, join a band, and vie for the attention of a recording label. Benjamin Hoppe, junior music major at Cornerstone University, does the whole thing himself.
Self taught on guitar and drums, Hoppe started recording his own music at the age of fifteen. He released six singles and completed his first album, Rescue, in 2011.
“There are so many people who want a record label,” Hoppe said. “You have to make a splash where you are.”
Hoppe used the resources he had to make that splash. With the help of family and friends, Hoppe created the graphics for his own album cover and used an online duplication service to produce the CDs he had recorded himself.
His album, Rescue, recorded in his home, features a synth-pop rock style, comparable to Owl City. Rescue contains the primary themes of redemption, sanctification and truth. Hoppe said that he continually tries to incorporate Biblical truths into songs so that his music is not only good but also edifying to God.
“My music is a depiction of salvation and a reflection of my personal testimony," Hoppe said. “I don’t’ want to just write neutral music, I want music that is going to draw people closer to Christ.”
And that is exactly what he’s doing.
“My parents were super supportive of me and my siblings. They wanted to help us find our gifts and our passions and pursue those things,” Hoppe said. “But at the same time they are very wise.”
Hoppe’s parents encouraged him to listen for God’s calling on his life.
“Going anywhere God isn’t leading you, is a bad idea,” Hoppe said. He knew it would be difficult pursuing music for a career, but he could see God blessing his path.
His single Welcome to the Day, about welcoming new believers into the faith, airs on Liberty University's 90.9 The Light in Va., Bethel University's WBCS radio in St. Paul, Minn., Joy 92 FM in Calif., and several other radio stations nation-wide.
After winning a song writing competition sponsored by Bill and Gloria Gaither, he had the opportunity to travel to Gaither Studios in Ind., where he met with the Gaithers themselves and recorded at their studio. They were able to give him advice on songwriting, music education, and career strategies.
As a student, Hoppe plays lead guitar in CU’s contemporary traveling music ensemble, Red Letter Edition, and participates on Cornerstone’s chapel team.
Although he and his sister recently declined a contract offered to them at a Detroit-area talent search, Hoppe is open to pursuing a record label in the future.
For now, however, he is content doing the whole thing himself.
For more information on Cornerstone’s music program, visit: www.cornerstone.edu/music
To listen to Hoppe’s music, visit: http://www.benjaminhoppemusic.com