Employee Spotlight: Candler Hobbs
This month's College of Engineering Cares spotlight focuses on staff members who show that a little bit of passion can go a long way when it comes to hobbies. Candler Hobbs (ME) is a young aspiring musician who is in the process of recording his first album.
School of Mechanical Engineering
How did you get into music?
When I was a kid I took three years of piano lessons and I was always in chorus. When I was in ninth grade I picked up one of my dad's old guitars and started playing that a little bit. He bought me a beginner acoustic guitar for Christmas and I really fell in love with playing guitar.
In high school I really got into listening to music, and the genre I embraced was singer-songwriter classic rock. Elton John, James Taylor, Paul Simon, and of course the Rolling Stones. I bought a lot of albums and taught myself to play by ear. I never took any lessons.
In college I met other musicians who became good friends and started playing with them. Playing with people who were better than me certainly pushed me to improve and take it more seriously. Berry College was a great place to perform and grow as a musician.
When did you start writing your own music?
It was after my freshman year at Berry. I liked performing and playing so much, and I knew if I wanted it to go anywhere I had to have my own material, so I tried my hand at writing. My first song was called "Sunshine." I really buckled down and got into writing seriously after college when I was job searching. I'm really glad I had that time because it let me write quite a few songs.
Have you performed since you graduated from Berry?
I have. It's slowed down since I started working at Tech in 2013 but I started playing open mics at places like Eddie's Attic in Decatur. I haven't performed as much lately because I've been focused on getting my album recorded. I love performing though. I wouldn't mind writing songs for other artists if I had the chance to do that, but the real fulfillment for me is being able to write a song and perform it for an audience as a form of expression.
What prompted you to record an album?
I've been wanting to make an album for a long time, and I've had the material to do it for a while, but I'm glad I waited to do it. I'm a much better musician now than I was when I wrote some of the songs. It's exciting, even though it's hard to fund it myself. I'm recording some at Middle Tennessee State with my old college roommate and the rest will be done at a home recording studio in Nashville. It gets expensive to rent a studio and hire musicians. I know I'd be disappointed in myself if I didn't do this though, and I want to perform more regularly and this will give me something to share at shows. Who knows- maybe I'll get a little bit of a following. Another reason to record it is so I can get everything copyrighted and protected.
When do you hope to have the album finished?
I'm hoping the recording can be done by Christmas but then it has to be mixed and everything and I want to launch it properly. Definitely within the next year, but maybe by next summer. Hopefully I can get it up on iTunes and Spotify.
Watch Candler perform "Sunshine."
Watch Candler perform a cover of the Rolling Stones classic, "Wild Horses."