If you love the raw, organic vocals of artists like Maggie Rogers and HAIM, folk-pop singer Hope Waidley needs to be the next artist you add to your playlist. Hope Waidley has been pursuing her dreams of singing and performing since she was a kid growing up in Grass Lake Michigan. Now, at 20, she’s bubbling under the radar with just over 10,000 followers on Instagram, but Waidley's vulnerable lyrics and charismatic performances connect her with new fans every day.
Since launching her career in 2017, Waidley has traveled around the country spreading her beach vibes to the masses. With music videos that show her sprinting through fields, swimming in ponds, and driving in her RV, her sound and energy are truly radiant. The more you get to know Waidley, the more you’ll feel like the summer warmth never has to end.
If you’re not already a fan of this up-and-coming music sensation, you should be. Read on to learn more about Waidley, her music, and all the facets of her life that'll make you want to “dance with the sun” just like her.
1. She started writing music at the age of 6.
Waidley always enjoyed music and singing from a very young age. Waidley told Rad & Raw she started writing at 6 years old and realized music was her release. At 16, Waidley toyed with the idea of releasing her melodies to the public because they meant so much to her and would hopefully create an impact on her audience. The rest is history.
2. She was a student when she dropped her first EP.
Singers all have to start somewhere, and Waidley started in her college freshman dorm room. In 2017, Waidley was a freshman at Michigan’s Grand Valley State University when she dropped Hope, her first EP. Waidley told Flood Magazine she celebrated the release of Hope with a surprise party in her dorm room. With a fun start to her career, Waidley used this momentum to keep writing and performing.
3. She considers her songs her friends.
Waidley uses her music to face and overcome hard times in her life, just like a true friend. “I’ve often felt as if each song I write is a friend to me, a friend that is filled with everything I need to hear at that moment, whether it be to cope or simply just to process,” Waidley told The Gate Entertainment Magazine.
One song that's especially close to her is fittingly called "Closure." “The song ‘Closure’ was written during a very difficult time, and it became my best friend,” she explained to Flood Magazine. “The words came as if they were a gift, and I’d sing them over and over again—it would put me at ease.”
4. She traveled the country busking for a year.
With her guitar in hand and sister by her side, Waidley went across the country to pursue music on her own by busking on sidewalks and performing in local venues throughout 2018.
The Waidley sisters spent a month exploring states and going city-to-city to experience music life on the road. During their travels, Waidley kept her fans updated on social media, sharing snippets of her trip, the people she met, places she’d seen, her performances, and moments she’d remember forever.
5. She loves to surf.
While residing in California and traveling from coast to coast, Waidley enjoys hitting the beach to catch surf time. “There is a lot to learn and you have the choice to grow and continue to ride the waves or back away because it looks like the easier choice,” Waidley told Rad & Raw about her love for surfing. “There is a lot more satisfaction when you ride it out. You never stop surfing and finding ways to understand the ocean.”
6. She has one major vision for her music.
When it comes to sharing her music and sound, Waidley wishes to spread more than just a tune. “Any song I’ll ever write is a feeling of release, a way of coping, and a friend to me. Simply my hope is that this music helps people with however their soul or spirit may need to be helped, just as it helps mine,” Waidley captioned an Instagram clip of her Born Again music video.