When it comes to musical man crushes, we don’t discriminate—but it’s always nice when they’re Canadian. Hailing from small-town Nelson, B.C., 32-year-old Shawn Hook is the latest pop star to come out of this talented country (we might be a little biased). With his oh-so catchy tune, “Sound of Your Heart,” and most recent love ballad collab with Vanessa Hudgens, “Reminding Me,” we’re getting some serious Sam Smith vibes—and we’re into it.
FLARE chatted with the artist about his biggest celebrity crush, what Netflix show he’s obsessed with, and why performing in his hometown made him cry.
You’re back at the iHeartRadio MMVAs this year! What performers are you excited to see?
I’m excited to see Jessie Reyez. She’s a local artist and I really like her song “Figures.” I haven’t seen her live, so I’m all about supporting new up-and-coming music. I actually saw [Imagine Dragons] recently at the Billboard Music Awards, but I’m looking forward to seeing them a little closer this time. They put on a great show.
Your new single, “Reminding Me” is super beautiful and v. popular with over 5 million views on YouTube. What was it like collaborating with Vanessa Hudgens on the track?
It was a lot of fun. When I first met her for coffee, she showed up about five minutes before I did, so that was a really good sign. She’s very punctual, professional and on her stuff. Shooting the music video was a lot of fun, as well. She’s got lots of energy and she brought a nice vibe to set and did a great job in her performance.
Describe yourself in three words.
Loyal. Family [-oriented]. Driven.
Do you have any pre-show rituals to amp you up before a performance?
An hour before my set, I like to sit down with either my notepad or my laptop and write out my set list and certain things I want to talk to the crowd about. I like to visualize how the show is going to go in my head before I step on stage. The story for each song is consistent, but I like to talk about certain experiences I’ve had in the cities I’m [performing] in. Even if I’m there for the first time, I like to go out and check out the city and different restaurants and get the vibe.
How are your family and friends reacting to your success?
They’ve been so supportive. I recently did a small headline tour in B.C. and my hometown show sold out in a week. There were so many familiar faces in the crowd and the encore I got was incredible. It literally brought me to tears. I’m very thankful to be from a really small community that is so supportive.
What is your favourite thing to do when you’re home in B.C.?
I like to be active and workout, and play golf to take my mind off of stuff and be in the outdoors. I love nature and being outside. If I’m totally brain dead and done, I’ll play X-Box or watch Netflix.
Speaking of Netflix, what’s your guilty binge show?
Orange is the New Black. It tricked me into it because at first I thought it was going to be a hardcore prison show, which it was at first. Now, it’s more of a soap opera. There’s definitely more comedic drama, less hard-edge drama, but it’s still entertaining.
When or where do you do your best songwriting?
I try to bring everything with me because I wrote my last record while in Sweden, London, New York, L.A.,Vancouver and Toronto. Any place where I can look outside and [feel a good] vibe. If it’s peaceful and allows me to think clearly, [and has] a piano nearby or acoustic instrument—if the setting is right, then that’s the room.
What’s your ideal night out on the town?
[Right now] I’m in Toronto and I’m also a vegetarian, so tonight I want to go to Planta because I’ve been there before and I love it. I can’t get it anywhere else. Whatever city I’m in, I like to go out and get a good meal, and then catch either a sporting event or a live show, or go out for drinks with friends. If I’m by myself, I’ll just come back [to my room] and watch Netflix.
Do you collect anything unique while you’re travelling?
I like to collect guitar picks. If I see a band or if I go to a store I like, I’ll pick up picks. No pun intended. I used to collect pins when I was a kid, but I stopped that. Now, I like to collect wine. I want to get my wine collection going, but when I’m on the road it’s kind of tough to take that home.
What’s your all-time favourite love song?
I really like “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith.
Who is your secret celebrity crush?
My first crush was Pamela Anderson. It was probably also my first Google search [laughter] and my first suspension. No, I’m just joking.