Nashville-based producer Super Duper just dropped his latest project — an outstanding new LP on the Fader Label called HALLELUJAH!. The cross-genre project blends hip hop, electronics, and pop tendencies across twenty new tracks, and today we bring you an exclusive deep dive into the album with the producer himself.
HALLELUJAH! impressive solo productions from the producer and collabs from Lonas, Daniella Mason, Mr Gabriel, and Bre Kennedy, and in line with the album’s title, is chock full of lush, praise-worthy tracks. From exultant instrumentals like “June Forever (Interlude)” to the retro grooves on “We Had Everything” and “Purple Roses” featuring Daniella Mason and Lonas, HALLELUJAH! truly has something for everyone. Thankfully, we had the opportunity to catch up with Super Duper (real name Josh Hopkins) to get more insight into the years long process of creating HALLELUJAH!
Throw on the album and check out the track-by-track breakdown for HALLELUJAH below!
“Feel My Way” – If I had to pick one song as the anthem of the album, “Feel My Way” would be that track. It’s a song that was created from the leftover pieces of a previous song and that, in a sense, is a metaphor for what the whole album is about. Bringing new life to things that are forgotten.
“Pasadena” – this song is actually named after the city it was created in. I went on a trip with 2 other amazing producers, Robert Marvin and Ian Keaggy. We rented an airbnb for a week and just worked on whatever music we wanted. No rules or goals. Pasadena came from that week.
“We Had Everything” – This is a special song that evolved quite a bit from the demo. It was originally a laid back dance song with just a female vocal. I always loved the chorus but felt like it could use some more upbeat production. I reworked it and asked a few other singers to join the song. So now it goes from Lonas singing to a gang vocal to Bre Kennedy on the chorus. It’s a little bit of a mixed bag but just works! The talking on the chorus is actually audio from behind the scenes footage while we were working on the song which felt like a nice cherry on top.
“Quiver” (from Lonas) – Depression and drugs have taken a lot of my friends and peers over the years. Most often you don’t get the chance to intervene or tell them you love them. The only call you get is the one letting you know they’re gone.
In June of 2018 I was woken up by a call from one of my best friends. He was drunk and alone in New York. He was done. Calling to say goodbye.
I kept him on the phone for two hours, weaving my words like I was disarming a bomb, wishing I were more qualified for the job, that I had steadier hands.
In the end, it took a team of friends, parents and a brief trip to the psych ward to save my friend.
It took me over a year to put into words how helpless I felt trying to save him from 3000 miles away.
Part of me hopes that no one will relate to these words, but I fear it may be the most relatable song I’ve written.
“Die For You” – This was one of the first songs that I finished for the album because it was always a favorite. The structure isn’t very normal but I just let the song evolve and grow over time and ignored the typical songwriting rules. By the end of the production, it felt right though. It’s a very freeing song for me personally as a producer but the mood and feeling you get from the song also leans into that feeling of freedom as well.
“Wasted” – This song was written with Daniella Mason, Louis Johnson, Chris Young, and Robert Marvin. It was originally a guitar vocal ballad and was so beautiful that way. I added a few production elements and gave it my treatment but I also really tried to keep the emotion of the vocal and the guitars the main focus throughout.
“Purple Roses” – Another song written at my writing retreat. The track was tough one to finish because the rhythm of the verses is a straight four on the floor beat but the drop switches into a shuffle feel which is pretty weird but feels cool. So the biggest hurdle was just making a transition into the drop work. Pretty proud of how it turned out.
“Do It For Myself” – I’ve had this track for a couple of years and never knew what to do with it. While writing I pulled inspiration from Ace of Base and 90s hip hop which was a fun era to play in. I always loved it but the sound is a bit different than most of my other songs so I kept it in my back pocket for years. Then during a writing retreat with a lot of artist friends, I played it and everyone sang a group vocal idea that was so good and made the song feel complete.
It’s probably one of the most upbeat and happy songs I’ve ever done, which is a little scary when downtempo and chill music is such a big trend but it’s too fun to keep to myself.
“Sleepwalking” – this song was written and produced with my executive producer / collaborator, Robert Marvin. We took an old demo of mine that was never finished and chopped it up to try and bring new life to it. The results sound nothing like the original but it inspired a really fun song so that old demo served its purpose as a springboard for something better. Just proof that no idea should be wasted! Might just need to remix yourself to get something special 🙂
“Feel Good” – I wrote this song with Bre Kennedy and Ian Keaggy during a writing retreat in 2019. We really leaned into some 90’s inspired production and Bre was able to sing some really cool ad-libs over the chorus. I chopped them up and lowered them a bit in pitch to give them a more “Jock Jams” kinda sound and I love the way it turned out.
“Spiritual” – came about from the very first session I had with Mr Gabriel. I already had the track started and he was able to come up with the amazing lyrics and melodies in just 2 hours. The main pieces of the song came together so quickly and I think it’s because we were both so inspired at that moment.
Always exciting when you feel that creative spark and so you try to move fast enough to capture it all. It was like a golden hour (or 2) of music.
“All On You” – started as just a piano and vocal. Very simple and beautiful. I always loved the hook of the song so I decided to remove all the other parts and just start the song with my favorite part right away. As far as production, I just tried my best to not overthink it. Wanted it feel like a ballad that someone could breakdance to haha. A weird combination but I always love juxtaposition like that in music.
“Be Right There” – This song was completely inspired and built around that “Heaven” vocal sample. I found it late at night and fell in love with how emotional it was. Made for a really great intro and post. Then I had the idea for the chorus to sound like a crazy 90s mashup or someone changing the dial on a FM radio really fast but a bit more musical. The rest of the production was just about keeping it simple and light. I have so many songs that go to 10 so I wanted to keep this song a little more sparse to let the emotional vocals shine through.
“Hurricane” – I was listening to a lot of Moby when I started this song and he really inspired some cool pieces of the production. From the initial demo to the final version, it went through a lot of different versions and changes to get to the finished product you hear now. It maybe took the longest to get right out of all the songs on the record but it was worth the trouble for sure haha. The outro is one of my favorite parts of the record so be sure to listen to the very end!
Featured photo courtesy of artist