Years ago, when she still posted on her music on YouTube, Hope Oberwanowicz – better known as Hope Vista – looked forward to getting more than one million views. Now that she has, this former Bayonne native, whose family still resides here, looks forward to getting a record deal.
Currently a solo artist, Hope has managed to become a digital artist for Island Def Jam, a huge step towards achieving her dreams, since this is a label that represents bands such as Rihanna and Justin Bieber.
She even got to play live at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park.
Her guitar work and her vocal talents allow her to express a number of emotions, changing with each song, while allowing her to show off her vocal talents as well as her ability to coin a lyrical phrase.
A student at Rowan University in the Class of 2015, Hope said she has grown up with music since she was 3 years old, mainly the classical music of her father and classic rock on the radio.
Her favorite band is The Rolling Stones, partly because of their longevity and partly for their ability to continue to produce quality music.
Hope’s father is a music teacher at Henry Harris School.
“He goes there everyday,” Hope said. “His mom still lives there. I’m in Bayonne a lot, because my best friend and her family also live there.”
She has memories of improvising songs with her grandfather when she was very young and picked up guitar because of her father, who plays classical guitar. She would often wake to find him playing classical pieces in the kitchen with sheet music everywhere.
“While I would like to get a record contract, being a star is not what I’m all about.” – Hope Vista
Her own songwriting began after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, when she found music as a vehicle to express some of the feelings and stories associated with the tragedy. Many of her songs have an emotional depth that most women at age 20 haven’t yet realized. She says she isn’t afraid to sing about anything or say what is on her mind. She learns from others and draws on everything to inspire her, especially when she has writer’s block.
“While I would like to get a record contract, being a star is not what I’m all about,” she said. “If I can change one person’s life with my music, then I’ve done what I want to do. I want to influence other people, change or even save their lives.”
She said another goal she set for herself was to look over someone’s shoulder and see them listening to one of her songs on an iPod, and this actually happened.
While a six-string guitar is her basic musical instrument, she also can read music and play some keyboard, and has amassed about 500 original songs.
“I continually write songs,” she said, although sometimes she starts them and then comes back to them later when she runs into a block.
She is inspired by nearly everything she sees, she said.
“It usually starts with lyrics. I might wake up in the middle of the night and write something down and then go back to it in the morning,” she said.
But she has a talent apparently for picking good melodies to go with her lyrics.
Although she is attending college, she sees this as her back up plan, taking dance just in case. “I know I need to have a college degree,” she said. “But music is my entire life.”