Hogan Todd is a rising solo artist from Phoenix. He has been writing and recording for 20 years, and plays alternative rock music on the guitar.

Todd has always had a love of music. When he was little he would use pots, pans, tennis rackets, and more to make noise. His mother was not so thrilled.

“My mom was totally against my brother and I becoming musicians,” Todd said. “So she forbid us to have instruments in the house. She said we would grow up to be like Kiss, which I think is so great. So we had to sneak around her back and play at friends houses to learn music.”

Despite his mother’s disapproval very early on, Todd’s musical ambitions soon became his career. Although gaining attention and support has been difficult, he has continued to work hard and performs as much as possible. He has been inspired by many people over the years, though not all are in the realm of music.

“I am a huge Paulo Cohelo fan as well as Louise Hay,” said Todd. “They have definitely impacted my life and my direction spiritually and intellectually. Both are amazing writers and live and dwell in the totality of possibilities. Musically I would have to say the big three are Randy Rhoads, Jimmy Page, and Eddie Van Halen. Randy Rhoads for his musicality and classical approach to the guitar. He made me want to learn and explore music. Eddie Van Halen for his creativity and no barriers in his playing. He is so amazing as a writer as well. It definitely gets overlooked. Finally, Jimmy Page, for teaching all of us what it means to play rock guitar. How to create mood, light, and shade in music and pushing the boundaries of Western music in general.”

Todd loves music as an outlet to express himself and as a way to connect to other people. He feels very blessed to be a musician.

Most of Todd’s performances have been as openings for other bands, including Lifehouse, the Goo Goo Dolls, and Kings X. He is currently bidding to play as an opener for several major artists.

“It’s crazy how the business works but it is kind of like L.A. Clubs you have to pay to play,” Todd said. “Sometimes they even get a chunk of your merchandising as well. So that is where I am at. Trying to negotiate to keep my shirt on literally.”

His songs have also been played on television shows such as NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” This summer, his career will take him to Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and more.

Todd’s new album is “Nowhere in Between” and his music can be found at all the online retailers, including iTunes, Best Buy and Amazon. For more information about Todd, visit http://www.tatemusicgroup.com/epk/?id=15279 or http://www.hogantodd.com/#.

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Jessica Tueller is a junior at Desert Vista High School. She is interning this summer for the Ahwatukee Foothills News.

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