Hoodie Allen may not be the University of Pennsylvania frat boy he once was, but he hasn't outgrown the urge to throw one heck of a rager. "I'm trying to plan a secret party for 200 fans for the album release," he says. The album, "People Keep Talking," comes out Oct. 14 and is his first official album, coming after his self-released EP "All American" and five mix-tapes.
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Allen's YouTube videos have racked up as many as 16 million views and thousands of his roughly 500,000 Twitter followers eagerly retweet everything he posts. Basically, his fans are ready to party with him.
"From the beginning, I didn't want there to be any boundaries between me and the people interested in what I do," he says. "I've been able to get to know [fans] on a real level and it's been an unconventional way of making friends."
His friends also includeMax Schneider and Ed Sheeran, both featured on the album."Working with Ed was cool because we've been friends for a while, but I think there's a difference between being friends and getting into the studio where you both have your own way of doing things," he says.
But despite his famous friends and popularity,Allen surrounds himself with the same people who supported him from the beginning. He currently lives in New York and his roommate is one of his childhood best friends. "We met when we were five years old, playing soccer, and we went to high school together. He doesn't have anything to do with the music industry at all," Allen says. Another one of his close friends is college buddy RJ Ferguson, who co-produced this album as he did "All American" and most of the mix-tapes.
"The core of the album is really about believing in what you're doing and your ability," Allen says. "It's OK to do things that aren't traditional and that people might question as long as you believe you're doing the right thing."
That belief has been the theme of Allen's music career thus far. After graduating with a degree in marketing, he got a job at Google, which he quit in 2011 to pursue music full-time.
"At the time, it was something I felt really good about, but I noticed other people around me were a little unsure," he says.
People may keep talking, but things are paying off.
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