Season 17 Winner of The Voice, Jake Hoot recently released the music video for his summer anthem, “Night Left.” Hoot joined Country Now from his home in Cookeville, TN, to give an inside look into the makings for this video and how he got into character for his leading role.
Alongside Hoot, this single was penned by Danny Myrick and Kylie Sackley and produced by Myrick. The song tells the story of a typical late night in summer full of young love, dancing, music and of course, a bit of mischief.
“I had never really written or recorded a song like that, kind of that party vibe,” Hoot explained. “We had ‘This Is The Night,’ that I wrote, but I felt like ‘Night Left’ just took that to a different level and it was this rock & roll, summer country kind of anthem. So we wrote this song, I really loved it, I loved the phrase, ‘alright, bet,’ in the middle of the chorus. One great thing about singing live shows is you can test some of your songs out on the road before you record them, and everybody would always go nuts over ‘Night Left.’ The song just came together so well.”
In addition to being a part of the writing process for the song, Hoot also had a hand in the makings of the music video, which was filmed on a farm near his home. The video pairs perfectly with the storyline of the song, as it follows two young teens heading out for a night of fun in a pickup truck. Just like any concerned parent, the girl’s father, played by Hoot, is waiting not-so-patiently on his front porch for his daughter to return home safe and sound after the night out.
“My manager Chris and I, when we were out in L.A. for The Voice last season, we sat down and came up with it. We just kind of threw a bunch of stuff against the wall and saw what stuck,” he admitted. “We love brainstorming meetings and we kind of just brainstormed for a couple hours. We came up with this idea of dad sending his daughter off and then this whole time travel idea that happens by either turning the clock back in the truck or putting it in reverse and it just goes back to the beginning of the night again. The phrase, ‘a whole lotta night left,’ the night’s just almost never ending because you can just rewind it all back again. So yeah, I had a hand in it. I did not expect to look like that as an old man, but it was definitely a cool thing to be a part of.”
Hoot truly embraced his role in the video, with a little help from his acting skills that stemmed from his childhood. His acting abilities have apparently always been in his back pocket, just waiting for the chance to shine.
“I actually loved it. Maybe something people don’t know about me is I love to just act a fool all the time and we grew up in the Dominion Republic, my family and I, so we didn’t have electricity a lot of times at night. We played charades all the time, charades is our game. So I think I kind of got the acting practice down at an early age, and I love just getting out there and acting silly, so I actually had a really good time doing it,” he shared.
Having a young daughter, Hoot might find himself actually playing that role of concerned father in real life one day. One day, his six-year-old will be all grown up and getting picked up in a truck to head out on a date, just like we saw in the music video.
“I’m not ready yet. She’s only six, but I’m already getting anxious because I’m not ready for some little punk to be running around. But Macy is a tough one, she’s a tough little girl. She’s very confident, she knows who she is, so I feel like she’s going to be able to hold her own with anybody. But I’m definitely not ready to be sitting on the porch waiting for some little boy to come by.”
Hoot had the opportunity to film a music video alongside his mentor and The Voice coach Kelly Clarkson for their song “I Would’ve Loved You,” which appears on his EP, Love Out Of Time. Now he has experienced what it’s like to create a larger production video without another artist by his side and according to the singer, the cast and crew had a great time both on and off the set.
“It was fun. I think we had our expectations set high because the first music video I did on that level was with Kelly Clarkson for our song together, ‘I Would’ve Loved You.’ So that was such a cool process and cool stuff to be on. We were in L.A. at the Wiltern Theatre with Kelly Clarkson and her team and everybody just got along so well,” he recalled.
“Then we came to Tennessee, my backyard in Cookeville, TN, and recorded this video,” he went on to say. “While we didn’t have Kelly Clarkson there, everybody still got along, and it was a fun process. I think I’m very fortunate to have a very good team who tries to set the pace for whenever we’re on set, and just help each other out and have a good time. It was a blast to be a part of.”
As the seasons change, Hoot has plans to shift his focus from late summer nights to cold winter days, siting by the fire with Christmas songs playing the background. This year, he has decided to create some of his own magic with an upcoming Christmas project, that’s still in the works.
“We are working on a project currently that is way way way outside of the country realm, I feel like. It’s a collaboration with a group of out Canada,” Hoot revealed. “It’ll be a Christmas project, so it’ll be coming out for Christmas this year. Christmas is my favorite time of the year, I got goosebumps the other day because I drove past a Christmas store and I saw that it was open. So I’m gonna have to go back there and buy everything in there. I wrote this Christmas song and sent it to this group, and they were like, ‘absolutely we want to be a part of it.’ We’re going to be recording the song in Canada and then we’re going to release it before Christmas.”
In the meantime, fans can see exclusive, behind-the-scenes photos from the “Night Left” music video below.