Hoot (The Story)

“Hoot” got its name thanks to Adieu! The demo started with a loop in which I layered different melodies of vocals singing “hoo” on top of each other. I showed this to Ling and Adieu when we were rehearsing for an upcoming performance, and they were happy to build it further with their keyboard and electric guitar. Adieu then joked about naming the song “Owl” because owls “hoot”, and Ling responded that it was very lame. This conversation was captured in an audio recording, which Adieu soon realised and immediately regretted. I laugh every time I listen to it.

(This photo is uploaded without Adieu and Ling’s consent 😛 Luv u gais muacks)

The song was written in 2016, when Trump made “fake news” mainstream again. At the time I was also dealing with a lot of “noise” around me, and wondered if the spread of fake news and misinformation was due to human’s habitual tendency to gossip, and also the lack of critical thinking skills.

Fast forward to 2020, fake news and misinformation became life-threatening, and so I decided to release the song along with a mini campaign to raise awareness on the importance of critical thinking as one of the ways to combat fake news and misinformation.

(Taken at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2018)

Throughout the years, though the song was performed and rearranged a couple of times, I still didn’t have a name for it. So, I decided to revisit “owl” and see if I could tie it in with the message of the song. This was what I came up with:

“Critical thinking is important in combating fake news and misinformation, and helps to expand one’s perspective. The working title ‘Owl’ is chosen for a few reasons. Firstly, because owl’s have generally been a symbol of wisdom. Secondly, because of an owl’s ability to rotate its head 270 degrees, it reflects an expanded perspective. Thirdly, for the vocal hook which resembles the sound of an owl’s hooting.”

In the end, I decided against using “Owl”, as what it represented might seem like an unattainable target to model after. Instead, I felt that “Hoot” was more suitable because it focused on the messages we share and what information it could spread.

If you enjoyed the song, feel free to purchase the mp3 via the link below.

Or add it to your playlist on Spotify

Thank you. Your support means a lot.

Lyrics and translation: Hoot (Translation)