● By Wendy Sipple
Photo by Dante Fontana
This Cameron Park resident has been playing the guitar since Kindergarten.
One of Stephan Hogan’s earliest recollections was imagining performing in front of a crowd. That premonition is now a reality. He began learning to read music and taking professional guitar lessons at age seven. His first public performance was in second grade when he played “Mary had a Little Lamb” for the class. Now, 21, he is able to not only play the guitar but also the bass and piano. “I wanted to be able to write the bass parts for my songs,” he says.
On his new album, Hello, he wrote and played all the bass, guitar and piano tracks. He also has a band that played with him to give his album that full-band sound. Hogan describes his music as “indie-rock, folk-pop.” There are some ballads, acoustic tunes, and upbeat pop music. He seeks a sound that will cross over to many different audiences and generations.
“I am in no way trying to follow any musical trends but rather writing music that everyone can identify with,” Hogan says. “I love the fact that music is a universal language and though people differ on their views, beliefs and ideas, music unites people.” Some influential musicians for him include: Fleetwood Mac, Coldplay, John Mayer, and Crosby Stills and Nash.
Hogan started volunteering in junior high to play music for his church youth group, and then did a two-year internship a couple years later. Through his experience, he was able to land the job as venue worship director and staff member at the Church of the Foothills. Since, he has also performed in a jazz band, and taught guitar lessons for four years.
His job as a church director gives him the chance to play music weekly in front of people, which for him has been a great musical incubator and helped him to be comfortable playing in front of large groups.
Enjoying the intimate venues as well, Hogan performs at various local places including Club Retro in Orangevale, the Cozmic Café in Placerville, and multiple coffee shops and churches. Over the last two years he has focused mainly on recording his album and now that it’s complete, Hogan plans to take the stage even more frequently to develop a larger fan base.
Also a full-time student at Folsom Lake College, Hogan is set to earn his degree in music performance. “Performing is something that I have always wanted to do,” he says. “I am of the mindset that we all have a passion and we all have a purpose.”