Michelle Hopkins is here to motivate & advocate. Her single "Have Hope" is the latest anthem for youth going through a tough time in need of words of motivation.
Currently, a senior in high school, 18-year-old Michelle Hopkins is an advocate for change and an ambassador for hope. She uses her voice to sing and speak up for youth and adults supporting rare disease awareness. Michelle is a true example for the younger generation. She has received airplay nationally and internationally, including in Switzerland and Australia & appeared on the "Mark White Show '' and "Radio Active Kids''.
In her recent single, "Have Hope," Michelle reminds us that even if you are experiencing difficult times that feel like a battle, a specific problem that might seem so big, you simply have no idea how you will get through it. Well, she encourages us to do it and carry on if we simply just believe and be positive. With her catchy chorus and her emotional, encouraging lyrics, she ensures us that we need to keep believing even when it's really hard to do. She speaks from a place of experience, and we can tell Michelle advocates for many people all around the world that are simply too shy or afraid to say anything. Thank you, Michelle!
Michelle talks about releasing the music video to the single, "Have Hope," on Youtube, gathering together 80+ personal photos of supporters of her movement...they all had a sign displaying "Have Hope" to spread a beautiful message to people all around the world need. Her single shows us that she's overcome a lot and keeps on pushing through all the trials and tribulations, with lyrics like "Have Hope," "Keep Trying," and "Don't give up" shows us that she definitely has everyone, including her own best interests at heart.
Michelle expresses that she isn't defined by the rare disease she has. She's much more than that! - and proves so in her latest single, "Have Hope."
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Michelle. We're so pleased to have you. This single is so motivational. What keeps you inspired to motivate, and what are other things you do to stay motivated?
Looking back on writing Have Hope and getting to listen to and see the Have Hope music video today, my family and friends who love and support me are inspiring me to stay motivated. They make a difference in my life, and they inspire me to keep trying, set goals, and make the most of each day. I focus on what I can do and what is possible to stay motivated. Right now, I find school very motivating. It is fun to learn new things, and I work hard at doing well in my classes. I also find joy and motivation in being around people, especially my family, who help me celebrate life and my accomplishments. They help make a difference in my life, and I know they also like to make a difference in other people's lives.
You worked with co-writer Kathryn Cloward on this single and many other band members & background vocalists. What was that process like?
I had so much fun recording Have Hope, and it's a bonus when I see other people enjoying it. The process was a fantastic journey, and I appreciated the dedication and determination it took from many people to have it all come together. And I am very grateful how Kathryn made everything pretty easy and fun, especially since I was learning so much along the way. The day I got to be at the recording studio to hear the other band members and background vocalists doing their recordings was energizing for me. Everyone was engaged. They were each amazing at their parts. It was great being part of a team with a common goal. The recording studio was extra special because I got to invite my family to be there to share in that unique experience. I loved sharing time with Kathryn to write all of the songs and then seeing how she made them come to life. I learned about the layers, details, time, and dedication it takes to complete a song. She kept setting goals for us to accomplish to keep moving the project forward, and the next thing I knew, I was recording my vocals, listening to how it was all mixed together, and having the opportunity to name the entire album Have Hope.
As I look back, what is amazing to me is how much we accomplished during 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, so we could release Have Hope in March 2021. I feel lucky that I was able to have the support of many people to create my album. When I see people enjoying my music, and especially my family, it makes me feel good.
You've mentioned that you're an advocate for change. What are two things you'd like to change, big or small, in today's society?
I think it is important for everyone to keep an open mind and be willing to learn new things and to change. I would love to change people's perceptions of others who have physical challenges. I am almost 18 years old, I stand 4 feet 1 inch tall, and I use a reverse-Kaye walker to help me get around independently. Because I have some physical challenges, it can be challenging to meet people, and this can feel a bit isolating. People who meet me today are always surprised to learn that I used to be able to walk, dance, and even run. I would like to encourage people to reach out to others, especially people who may be different because everyone might be surprised by how much we all have in common.
I would like to change how much people know about rare diseases because the more people know, I believe the more we can find cures to improve the quality of our rare patients' lives. Today 10% of our population lives with a rare disease, and today there are no cures. Thankfully, there are many smart and caring people dedicated to the rare disease community, but it will take time, money, and awareness to create change. The rare disease is something I live with every day, and while I try not to let it be the only thing in my life, I hope I can help shed light on the efforts of our rare disease community through my website www.MichelleHopkinsRare.com or through my music.
How did you enjoy the process of creating the "Have Hope" music video, and who helped bring the vision to life?
Being a part of the Have Hope music video and watching it come to life was amazing. Kathryn created the vision for the video. With the power of social media today and since the pandemic was a factor, she had the idea to reach beyond all of the people we know and spread a message of Hope and awareness. There is no reason not to think big, so we started a #HaveHope Campaign. We asked family and friends to simply make a #HaveHope sign, take a picture, post it on social media, and then ask others to do the same thing. It was amazing to see so many people helping and sharing their signs. I love seeing all of their photos and knowing this message is super important and bigger than all of us. We all need to have Hope in life no matter who we are in this world. Everyone's small actions together helped us achieve our bigger goal of creating a video full of #HaveHope images. All good things take a lot of people working together and being willing to give to each other.
What's next for you?
As a high school senior, I am focused on graduating, and I am looking forward to attending one of the colleges I have been accepted to. Right now, I am looking into being a Hospitality Major. I love planning parties and believe that celebrating life's milestones and accomplishments is really important, so I am hoping to turn that into a career. It would be terrific if I could make a difference by working on a career that is fulfilling to me. I would welcome another opportunity for more music, but in the near future, I see myself hitting the books in college and continuing to help create awareness about the rare disease community through my music and my website www.MichelleHopkinsRare.com. I can't thank everyone enough that has made all of this possible.