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Moving up: Hip-hop artist SonReal builds audience through steady touring

Aaron Hoffman knows the music industry is one of patience.

For the better part of a decade, the hip-hop artist has crossed the Canadian border to tour the United States.

Little by little, he’s made an impression on audiences.

Hoffman, known by his stage name, SonReal, is back on the road in support of his most recent album, “One Long Dream.”

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And it’s been a busy tour.

He recently did six shows in six days – a new personal record.

“(The tour) has been really awesome,” he says in a recent interview on his day off. “It’s really new for me. I now have people singing all of my songs. Before, it was a small group. Now it’s almost the entire audience. I’ve never experienced it in my life, and it’s humbling.”

Hoffman’s catalog has grown over the course of a decade, as well.

He’s released eight mixtapes, two EPs and two full-length albums.

Now that his catalog has grown, it’s a challenge putting together a set list. It’s also humbling for Hoffman to see the growth of his career.

“We play all but three from ‘One Long Dream,’ ” he says. “Then we go back into the catalog and pull some older songs. What’s crazy is that fans get to know me with my newer stuff. Then they discover my older stuff. It’s a balance now.”

“One Long Dream” is a departure of sorts for Hoffman’s sound.

And it was written during a big transition in his life.

“I moved to LA two years ago,” he says. “When I would make music, I would hope it sounded like my style. Once I moved to LA, I started recording and writing my songs on guitar and piano.”

When it comes to writing, he’s always been a little apprehensive.

“You are always scared of the writing,” he says. “While you don’t want to put your life in front of everybody through a song, I have to. I see it as my job to tell people when I’m low. My pop passed last year, and I was hurt. I want my fans and the people in the world to feel the love. People are going through depression, and people are getting bullied at school. I write my music to make people feel good. I have an obligation to tell my story. I’m not perfect, and neither is anyone else. I have to be as authentic as I can be with my music. It’s a different way of looking at my life.”


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