Long Island native Steven Markowitz, better known as Hoodie Allen,
started writing lyrics as a kid. His love for making music never
changed. In 2009, while attending college at the University of
Pennsylvania, Allen continued writing raps. One of his first mixtapes,
Pep Rally, began to get him a lot of recognition when ďYou Are
Not a Robot,Ē scored his first big hit. Since he has gained more
recognition for his huge single ďAll About ItĒ featuring Ed Sheeran and
his older song ďNo Interruption.Ē
Allen made his official debut in 2012 with the
mixtape All American. This was released through his own label and
it ended up being number ten on Billboardís Top Albums. From this point
on, it has been nothing but success for Allen. In 2014 he released his
debut album People Keep Talking which featured huge artists like
Sheeran and Alex Wiley. People Keep Talking made it to number
eight on Billboardís album chart.
Early this year, Allen released the album Happy
Camper, which made it all the way to number one on the charts. This
was an incredible achievement for Allen, considering the album was
released for free for his fans. He followed the album up with his
Happy Camper Tour through the United States and Canada. His fans
expect more big things in the future. Itís safe to say Allen will have
even more success.
Currently youíre on
the Happy Camper tour. Today youíre playing the Electric Factory in
Philadelphia. How does it feel to be playing in the City of Brotherly
Itís great. I really always look forward to Philly.
I went to college here [at the University of Pennsylvania], so I went to
a bunch of shows here as a fan. Now Iíve been able to play here. This is
my third time playing at the Electric Factory. Itís always surreal.
When you released
Camper it peaked at number 1 on the album charts on iTunes. Were you
expecting this album to have so much success?
In terms of iTunes, I had very little expectations
for it. I really didnít know what to expect, because obviously I was
very much promoting it as a free album. The fans [had an] option on what
they wanted to do. The fact that enough people decided to buy it that it
actually charted, that was an awesome surprise. I did not expect that.
When we arrived here
we noticed a huge line of fans, some saying theyíve been here for over
two days to be first in line. How does it feel to have such dedicated
Itís awesome. Itís crazy. I worry for them
sometimes. Iím like, ďHey go get some sleep. Donít sleep outside.Ē But
the Instagram first in line has been a really fun thing Iíve done that
since 2012 really. Itís a tradition at this point to reward the fans who
are first in line. Just as the shows have gotten a little bit bigger,
the first in line has become earlier and earlier. So yeah, the people
who are first today... today is Saturday... the people came like
Thursday night. So yeah coming on like 48 hours.
You and your opening
act SuperDuperKyle have a close relationship. Whatís it like being able
to tour with your friend and perform with him every night?
Itís great we actually became like a lot closer from
this tour. Weíve known each other obviously because the rap world Ė
especially our peers Ė itís a small circle. [We] got to make champagne
and pools together. Playing every night on tour is a really fun moment
for us. Itís great because especially one of the songs that I think
everyone in the crowd, either you came from me or you came as a Kyle fan
or you came as both, everyone knows that song. Itís really nice moment.
You have a pretty big
set list for this tour. Do you have a favorite song to perform live?
Some of my favorite songs to perform on this tour
are just songs we havenít played in a while. Like "High Again," which we
havenít really traditionally had on our set list for a few years. To
bring that back, stuff like that is sometimes my favorite.
You have a really
supportive fan base. How does it feel when you see familiar faces in the
crowds of your shows?
Itís great. Thatís one of the best parts for me. I
can start to associate different people with different cities. Itís
like, ahh... I know that Iím going be in here today and Iím going to see
this person. Maybe thatís weird of me to know fans that well, but itís
something to look forward to.
Do you have any
artists or groups youíd love to collaborate with in the future?
Yeah, absolutely. Iím a fan of so many people, so
itís hard to limit it. But yeah I mean, Justin Timberlake... whatís
good? Hit me up.
How would you
describe Happy Camper Tour in three words?
Can I curse? Happy as fuck! Super duper happy.
How has your music
evolved from when you first started to now?
I always really write from my own experience. As I
go through different things in my life, the music comes within shape and
shapes it differently. If anything I think Iíve become maybe a stronger
songwriter and more reliant on myself. When I started in 2009 or so with
the mixtapes, a lot of it was sampled music. The chorus would already be
built in there through the sample. Stuff like writing my own hooks and
song structures. Stuff like that I think has changed the most.
When youíre on tour,
do you still find time to get back to your creative roots and write
On this tour I havenít really written anything,
because our day is just usually so jam packed. Weíre doing like five
shows in a week, so really when youíre not on stage youíre just taking
that bit of down time. Make sure that you have your voice right and
everything is good. But I do know that once Iím done with this tour in a
couple days, Iím going to get back in the studio and start working on
the next album.
What can your fans
expect from you in the upcoming year?
More music. More music, and weíre going to go to
Europe at the end of the summer. The European fans are going to get a
Happy Camper tour. And yeah, I want to put out another album this
year. I think thatíll be the main focus.
Who would you
consider to be your biggest inspiration and why?
I donít know. It hard to pick like one single music
inspiration. I would say I really grew up loving the classic New York
hip-hop era. That really inspired me to want to do rap rather any other
genre to begin with. Guys like Nas and Big Pun[isher] and Mos Def were
some of my favorite artists going up.
Do you have a message
for your fans?
Donít do drugs! Oh, real message? My message to the
fans is thank you for being so cool and supportive. Allowing me to
continue to tour and visit your cities and do this. Itís really the most
awesome thing that I could possibly ask for. So thank you for that!
HOODIE ALLEN'S NEW SINGLE "ARE U HAVING ANY FUN?" ON VIDEO!