“My goal is to create a more accessible body of music for a wider range of music enthusiasts,” says Hooshere Bezdikian, a Hollywood digital executive producer and independent artist seeking to break into the music scene. Her new EP, “So Far Away,” features five original electronica/pop compositions, infused with light rock beats.
“There is a message, or at least a social commentary, in most of my songs,” notes Hooshere. The song/feature title “So Far Away,” though stylistically different from the rest of the album, lyrically suits the layered meaning behind the EP, she says.
Hooshere Bezdikian has a unique interpretation of traditional Armenian music, with rich vocals, original arrangements, progressive beats, and an inventive, balanced fusion of modern and traditional instrumentation.
Although the new release is a departure from her previous album, “Provenance,” which features mostly traditional Armenian songs, it remains true to Hooshere’s distinctive trip-hop sound, combined with subtle Middle Eastern rhythms. “My first album, ‘Provenance,’ means ‘origin,’ which stands for the origin of the music therein, as well as my origin as a person. ‘So Far Away,’ in contrast, represents the fact that I am literally and figuratively so far from those origins, yet continue making music that undeniably ties back to those very beginnings.”
Hooshere is confident that venturing into American music will not inhibit her from continuing to make new Armenian music. “This departure from my first album was to push myself further as an artist,” she says. Hooshere’s desire to explore her songwriting abilities was a challenge, but made the journey more enjoyable and the end-product more valuable.
A New Yorker born and bred, Hooshere was surrounded by art from an early age. In particular, her parents’ involvement with the New York Hamazkayin theater group exposed her to a life of singing, dancing, and acting. Yet, Hooshere didn’t consider making a career out of performing until her first taste of the spotlight in high school, when she performed in front of a crowd of over 800 people. “I guess a part of me always wanted to sing professionally, but I only realized after that experience that singing was something I really wanted to pursue,” she explains.
The artists she admired growing up are as diverse and eclectic as her own music, ranging from rock bands like Led Zeppelin and Rush, to pop icons like Michael Jackson and Madonna, to folk duo Indigo Girls. Inspired by lyrical and poetic female singers, such as Alanis Morissette and Sarah McLachlan, and Armenian Revolutionary singers like Karnig Sarkissian, Hooshere became captivated at the power their music had on her. “I always gravitated towards traditional Armenian music. I remember studying lyrics to Sarkissian’s music and being so moved by the passion in all of his performances.”
Initially, Hooshere performed at several clubs in New York, including the ultra-glitzy Canal Room and the Bitter End, where comedians such as Bill Cosby and Joan Rivers had their start in comedy. The Armenian singer has since performed at a variety of venues, including concert halls and church sanctuaries, and considers live performances her preferred method of expressing herself through music.
“Nothing compares to the feeling I get while performing and connecting with audience members. The energy of an attentive crowd is incomparable, and to this day, I consider it one of the biggest rewards of being a musician,” she divulges.
A digital executive producer for the past 15 years, most recently at a major Hollywood award show, Hooshere’s experience in production began immediately after college. “My passion is music but I was always too much of a realist to pursue music alone,” she says. “I could never wrap my head around the idea of being a ‘starving artist’—knowing how much my parents had sacrificed to provide a future for me.” As a result, Hooshere split her time between producing and singing—the former as a full-time career, the latter as secondary yet equally important pursuit.
Notwithstanding hopes to make another record in the next few years, the recent mother does not anticipate quitting her day job anytime soon. “In a perfect world, I could do this full time. But the reality is that I can’t drop everything and focus solely on my music. I am grateful for being able to create new music and perform periodically,” she says.
Hooshere has been recording new material for documentary films, and has a couple of performances lined up, including one in Detroit in December. “No matter what, I will always continue making music because despite my modest accomplishments, I still feel like I have barely scratched the surface of my potential.”