The Heart of the Matter
February 05, 2019
An Interview with Stuart Hoffman


The following is an interview with singer/songwriter/composer/ Stuart Hoffman, a long time friend of Heart of the Matter and all-around awesome human being. It is the first in a series of interviews with Heart of the Matter readers with something of value to say.

Why is music especially important these days?

Music has been called the universal language. THAT is a powerful statement. These days, we, as a human race, maybe more than ever, need to be united, not divided. Music, the universal language, has the power to unite us.

What do you love the most about composing and performing music?

Giving my heart a voice. Bringing forth what was invisible and making it visible, what was inaudible and making it audible. Having the awesome feeling of being a channel for an expression that wants to be expressed, a message that wants to be shared. Being beyond the state of duality that enslaves the creative impulse. To put into words, without words, but with music. Channeling the love in my heart into the hearts of others. When I'm singing, I often close my eyes and feel as if I'm in a huge arena, the Hollywood Bowl, for example. The feeling is so massive, so all encompassing, so benevolent, so grand, and so life reinforcing.


You have been a long-time student of Prem Rawat. What impact has he had on your music and creative life?

Prem Rawat has taught me how to go within myself to a place that is full of joy and peace. Spending time in this inner sanctuary and being filled by the beauty that lives there, I am compelled to give that feeling expression through music and song. He has dedicated his entire life to reminding me to spend time in the place that is the source of creativity within. It is because of his influence and the gift of having him in my life that I am compelled to try to express the beauty and gratitude I feel for life itself and all the amazing gifts wanting to be discovered everyday.

Over the years, you have performed at various Prem Rawat events around the world. What was that like for you?

Wonderful. A dream come true. Getting to give back in this way was a gift I will always treasure. It was a highlight of my life. Being a part of his events, him presenting his message to people everywhere, was such an honor. And getting to spend close time with him was precious.

What is the most challenging thing about being a composer/musician these days?

For me, making the time. Staying in a consistency of rhythm. There are many distractions, of course, the least of which is making a living. The primary way music is sold these days is via streaming. It has never been so difficult to get compensated for the mammoth efforts that go into the creation, production, recording, producing, mastering, distributing, and marketing of a music project.

What lyric of yours do you like enough to put on your tombstone?

"And if I could make a wish come true, I'd have one more day with you."

What songs have you written that are the you most proud of?

Many. Some instrumental, some words and music. From my first album "Silent Longing": Waiting (a collaboration with Marcel Adjibi). Joy to Joy

From my 2nd album, "Somewhere Tonight": Somewhere Tonight (inspired by my teacher, Prem Rawat's lifetime of endless travel to touch the Hearts of human beings.) One More Day. Capture the Day (a collaboration with Tara Liz Driscoll).

From my 3rd album, "Dance in the Dance": Dance in the Dance, Colors of the Beloved, You Get More Beautiful (inspired by the late Lee Hillyard)

From my 4th album, "Shine Your Light": When The Rain Begins (a collaboration with Jennifer Edwards, One Million Strong (a collaboration with Stephen Rivera, Shattered Dreams.

You've had several musical collaborations in your life. What do you like most about creating songs with a partner?

I love how all parties are taken outside of their abilities. I am always surprised by the magic -- the transformation of the piece into something beyond our greatest expectations. I guess, in this case, it's true that 1 + 1 = 11.

Imagine it's two years from now and your wildest musical fantasies have come true. What would that look like?

It would look like pure joy. It would look like performing in beautiful concert halls and arenas with my friends and musicians -- both my original music and covers I have made my own. And knowing our efforts are a part of a global effort to bring people together, to help usher in Peace on Earth for all peoples regardless of race, religion, color and differences. To finally celebrate and rejoice in the oneness we all share by the amazing fact that we are alive. To come together and sing from our hearts the glory of what we have discovered we have been given.


As I understand it, you are a big fan of "anthems" and are in the process of creating new anthems for the future. What IS an anthem and why is it so meaningful to you?

An anthem can capture and express a universal feeling or knowing. An anthem sheds light on what was always there, but perhaps hidden from view. An anthem is the obvious made apparent. An anthem unites. An anthem lifts consciousness to a level where differences fall away and what is similar and common to ALL shines most clearly. An anthem brings hope where no hope could be found. An anthem transcends time. An anthem transcends age and gender and race. An anthem, if you are fortunate enough, writes itself through you. An anthem can speak to the most special place in all. An anthem can carry a generation, a nation. An anthem can unite the world. An anthem can bring out, without trying, what is the very best in us.

Can you tell me about your current musical project? How far along is it? What remains to be done?

My current music project is in its infancy. I am focused on new songs, collaborations, and an anthem or two. Beyond that, there are original and cover songs that did not make it on my latest music release, "Shine Your Light," that I am planning to include in my next project.

Finish this joke: A musician, a rabbi, and a politician walk into a bar...

A musician, a rabbi, and a politician walk into a bar. The TV is on. Donald Trump is talking. A musician, a rabbi, and a politician leave the bar.

I'm not sure if you are aware of it, but one of your songs (When the Rain Begins) is the fourth most popular posting (out of 1,710) on The Heart of the Matter blog. What do you attribute that to?

It's an anthem! Some of my greatest collaborations have been with with my life partner, Jennifer Edwards. When The Rain Begins is a wonderful example of our collaborative process. We were asked to write a theme song, an anthemic piece for an upcoming animated feature film. One of the most wonderful parts of the collaborative process, for me, is discovering the marriage of the music with the words/lyric -- as if it was already there and they were always destined to meet. This was one of those times.

Jennifer penned the lyrics. I put them in front of me at the piano and, effortlessly, within 30 minutes, the entire song was born: intro, verses, chorus, bridge, outro. Then began the production of the song which was also a joyous process from beginning to end.

What state of mind do you need to be in to compose a memorable piece of music?

Receptive. Non-judgmental of self. Being in a state of worthiness to receive a most wonderful gift with an almost infinite possibility of touching others.

Imagine you found a patron (or won the lottery) and no longer needed to work a "day job". How do you think that would affect your music-making?

It would free up all that physical, mental, psychic energy and time I have to spend now to create a steady income stream. That space would be freed up to allow for the creation of new material, production, and arrangement and recording of existing material. Also, it would raise the production level of the project. And most importantly, it would allow the songs to shine and be brought to their highest potential.

What advice, if any, do you have for musicians just starting out?

YOU have something to say. Learn to allow yourself to SAY IT in your own, unique way. Remember your creations are, first, gifts to yourself. Always give at least an equal weight to that fact. The "world" tends to ignore this and insists that all your attention should go into what OTHERS think. HUMBUG!

It's what you think and feel, first. Trust your passion. Never doubt it. You have been given a unique voice to say what you see. Your perception is unique to you and is your gift to share. Why? Because no one else can. And there may be someone else is this world who needs to hear and see your unique perspective. Never doubt. Your music is your best friend. As long as you allow it, it will always be with you. Take care of it.

What are the most important things you have learned about life?

Allow light and life to win everyday. This is the MAIN mission. Be filled with what you have, what you are -- not drained by what you think you don't have, who you think you're not. Life itself is non-judgmental and unconditional love. It holds no grievances or grudges. Every single moment starts fresh and is like a new day. Life wants me to WIN in the truest sense. Life is my best friend. Always. Life is simple. Try not to complicate it. Make an effort to come back to its simplicity everyday. In doing so, you will have achieved true success not as defined by our culture or society, but by life itself. Contentment and gratitude and fulfillment are everything. Our soul's mission is written and embedded deep within our true heart's core. Come home to it. Stay home with it. Always. As much as you can.

NOTE: Stuart's music can be heard on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Tidal and all popular streaming and download sites.

PS: Stuart is available for hire for movie and television soundtracks, commercials, and documentaries. He is also available for house concerts and parties.

Hoffman and Ditkoff
Prem Rawat
For You


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at February 5, 2019 10:27 AM

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