Interview with Eric Hunker

Written by Divine Magazine

Eric Hunker, the Tulsa-based singer-songwriter celebrated for his heartfelt lyrics, gained prominence with his debut solo album, “All These Little Loves,” which charted impressively at #9 on iTunes’ Singer-Songwriter Top 20.

He’s graced prestigious stages like SXSW, Sundance Film Festival, and the United Nations and is now set to release his new album, “Beautiful Endings,” on October 20, 2023, coinciding with a national tour. Eric’s music is honest and heartfelt, delivering Indie-Folk/Americana melodies infused with humor and humanity. His music is for fans of Jason Mraz and John Mayer.

Photo Credit: Nolan Blair

When did you start writing music?

The first time I remember writing music was when I was about eight years old. Me and my best friend formed a band called DMF, which stood for “Dan the Man” and “Franco” which, for some reason, was the alias I chose for my stage name. We wrote a handful of bizarre songs and recorded them on his family’s computer. We burned them onto a CD and I was hooked on the realization that we could create something from nothing. What a revelation. I didn’t take songwriting seriously until I was 16 or so. But it all started with DMF.

What does your music say about you?

I try, pretty hard, to write from a place of experience. I stick to what I know and what I feel. So, I guess I hope my music paints a picture of who I am. I’m restless. I’m a dreamer and a wanderer. I’m hopelessly romantic. I’m constantly searching for adventure. I think if you listen to enough of my music, you’ll hear those pieces of me. 

If we were to look at the artists you are listening to, who would be on your playlist?

It’s always changing, but there are a few consistent voices right now. I live in Oklahoma, so I gotta give love to Zach Bryan. His latest album has been on repeat. Like the rest of the world I keep breaking my own heart by listening to Noah Kahan. Dawes is always in the mix somewhere. I keep a healthy dose of Willie Nelson on rotation as well. But I’m always looking for new songs and artists to dig into. Half the fun of music, for me, is the hunt for the good stuff.

What is your current music project about?

This album is called Beautiful Endings. If I had to sum it up in a few words, it’d be this: endings aren’t always tragedies and loves don’t have to last forever to be worth your while. It’s a collection of songs that are separated into two sides: Beautiful and Endings. Beautiful is all about love and hope and chasing a life well lived. Endings are about loss and finding beauty even in spaces of grief. I’m really proud of this collection of songs. You asked what my music says about me. I think this paints a really clear vision of who I am.

What is the best advice you have been given?

I was just having a conversation with a couple musician friends who shared two conflicting pieces of advise. The first said, “you’re only as good as your last gig.” The second said, “you’re only as good as your next note.” I think the truth is somewhere in between those two. If you want to stay inspired and connected in what can be a brutal career, you have to hold both of those truths all the time. Don’t let your ego get the best of you, but also don’t let a bad gig prevent you from playing that next note. There’s always new notes waiting to be played.

If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give yourself?

I would tell myself to ignore everyone telling me what I should be doing with my time. There’s such a fine line between getting advice and living someone else’s life. I think I spent a lot of time hindering my own success because I felt like the world didn’t expect me to succeed. I would tell younger Eric to ask for what he wanted and create what people couldn’t give him. 

Photo Credit: Nolan Blair

What would be a good theme song for your life?

“True Believer” by the Bouncing Souls

If you could learn any language fluently, what would it be?

Italian. I lived in Italy for a couple of years during and after college. I’d still love to live there for at least a few more years in my lifetime. I find the language to be beautiful. It feels good to speak it. Sometimes lyrics and the ways they’re put together are just satisfying to the tongue. That’s kind of how I feel about the Italian language on the whole. Maybe it’s just the food. That could be it.

What would you bring along to an idyllic picnic?

If there’s a better snack than cheese and crackers, I haven’t found it. It’s versatile. It’s not messy. It’s playful. It pairs well with almost any beverage. So I’m bringing nice cheeses and assorted crackers. Maybe a deck of cards. Definitely a picnic blanket. 

If you could pass on a nugget of wisdom to the next musical generation, what would it be?

Technology changes. Marketing changes. Social media changes. The way people listen to music changes. One thing will never change. Playing your music for real live people will always be the most powerful avenue for making fans. It will never go out of style. Get out from behind your phone and laptop and play your music out in the world. Even bad shows are good practice.

You can find Eric Hunker below and keep up with all his music at:

Website I Instagram I Facebook I TikTok I Twitter

© 2023, Divine Magazine. All rights reserved.

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