Coming to Vietnam was a dream come true for Blake Richardson, George Smith, and Reece Bibby. But what the trio that makes up the rising British band New Hope Club didn’t expect was the big group of Vietnamese fans eagerly waiting for them to step out of the Tan Son Nhat Airport on a breezy Monday afternoon. Complete with banners, flower bouquets, and customized New Hope Club non la, the scenes at the airport were nothing short of jovial — fitting for a band that’s setting the music world on fire.
New Hope Club was formed in 2015, originally by Blake and George. Reece joined in November of the same year, and the trio became inseparable ever since. With the three of them undeniably blessed with super vocals, charm, and a shared vision to “bring good music out for people to hear,” the band slowly made their way up.
They started doing covers of The Vamps’ songs and eventually performed their first-ever gig in front of 16,000 people on The Vamps’ 2016 tour. As the band discovered their own voice and style, they started to write original music. By 2017, they were already making waves with their debut EP, Welcome To The Club. And they never stopped.
Now that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is well behind us and live performances and international tours are now permitted, the New Hope Club is bringing new music for their solid fans to hear. From Spotify Vietnam chart topper Know Me Too Well (featuring Danna Paola) and new single Call Me A Quitter, Blake, George, and Reece are conquering the stage, singing their hearts out and sending out messages of positivity, love, and hope to the world.
The New Hope Club performed in Ho Chi Minh City’s Capital Studio on Tuesday night, taking their Vietnamese fans on high with feel-good songs and a musical passion beyond their years.
How was the experience of coming to Vietnam and performing for your Vietnamese fans?
Blake Richardson: We only used to see our Vietnamese fans online. To come here in Vietnam and have that kind of response, it’s so so cool to be here. We are very happy.
George Smith: It was exciting to see everyone sing along.
Reece Bibby: We prepared our old and new songs for them.
Your musical journey has been quite colorful. From doing music covers to now touring around the world to spread your original music, how has it changed your lives?
Blake: We were doing covers before. But when we met each other, we knew that we’d always wanted to make music together. We started with social media; it was a good way to put out cover songs and let people see what we’re like as people and as a band. I think finally releasing this new music just makes it real and fun, and hopefully, the fans will enjoy that as well. It’s so surreal that we get to do this for a living and come to amazing places like Vietnam.
How hands-on are you with the music you produce — who writes the songs, makes the melodies, and conceptualizes the music videos?
Blake: We do everything. Before the pandemic, we were growing up and figuring out who we were as humans, who we were as a band, and what sound we wanted to make. But when the pandemic hit, everyone found a time to reflect. For us, we are just so proud of our journey and the music we’ve released. We spent the past two and a half years figuring out who we are and experimenting and having fun making music. From the music videos to the artwork, to all the music and everything, it’s just the three of us. If the people like it or not, it’s up to them.
George: It also means so much more when we play our music live because we remember the exact moment we wrote that part of the song, and then hearing our fans singing that part — it’s unreal. It just connects us to them in a different way. It’s very cool to see people like it.
You started quite young in the music industry. Has it been a challenge to grow up faster than your peers?
Reece: We all grew up listening to a lot of bands and have always wanted to be in a band ourselves. I don’t think we could ever go on stage without our instruments. We love playing, it’s one of our favorite things to do. When we do the arrangement of the songs and we play the instruments in the studio, it feels like it’s an extension of who we are.
Who are your musical inspirations?
Blake. To be honest, I draw inspiration from The Beatles to current [names] in the music industry and just kind of mix everything together and create our own sound. But our strongest inspiration is the kind of message we want to put out. We try to be a band that brings music that makes our audience feel good and music that brings everyone together.
George: We also take inspiration from the other songs that we’ve written. When we look back at the songs that we did, we always say that we want to have as much fun as we did when we wrote that one.
How important is it for bands like you to connect with your fans from around the world?
George: Since we really started on social media, we know how powerful it is. During the pandemic when we couldn’t see them, we tried to message our fans every day and keep them up to date. We also kind of teased some of our new songs through TikTok, giving them little sneak peeks into what’s coming and seeing their reactions. But we didn’t wanna give too much as well, so when it came out, it would be worth the wait.
Blake: The support that fans showed us during the pandemic was incredible. They could’ve just given up within those two years and just come back when we’re ready, but no, they really stayed. We are very grateful for their dedication.
You started in the industry at a very young age. Was there any struggle in having to grow up fast because you had a responsibility to your music and your fans?
George: I wouldn’t call it a struggle because there are obviously a lot of harder jobs that other people do. But for sure, it had an effect on how quickly we had to grow up, surrounded by people a lot older than us. Luckily for us, we have each other. We grew up with each other, and we’re always growing up as people and as adults. And we also grew up with the music that we do.
You’ve been together for almost a decade now. How does it feel to be on this beautiful journey in music together?
Blake: We spend every second of every day with each other. We play football together. We couldn’t do what we’re doing now without each other. When we met each other, we immediately knew that the chemistry was there and that we were trying to achieve the same things. We also have the same mentality. We wanna be the best that we can be and work as hard as we can. I’ve come to realize how lucky we are to be in this together.
George: We’ve got each other so well over the years and became best friends…or brothers, basically. We’ll be like this even when we’re already 55 years old. My favorite part is whenever we’re on stage, and I look to the left, and I see them and get to sing with them.