Back in 2003, Shawn Hook set the Guinness World Record for longest time spent standing on a medicine ball. His record was three hours, 16 minutes and six seconds.
It all started when his dad watched a news segment about the previous record holder and Hook thought that he could beat that.
“Yes, it’s kind of funny. It’s an odd record. My advice would be don’t drink too much water because the moment I got on the ball, I remembered that I hadn’t gone to the toilet,” he said with a laugh during a phone interview from Los Angeles, California.
Then in 2015, a Harvard student beat Hook’s record. Instead of being crushed about it, Hook was glad someone broke his record as he was ready to move on to something else.
These days, the 32-year-old Hook is looking to be known for his talent as a singer-songwriter. His latest single Sound Of Your Heart is about making up for lost time.
“I was in a long distance relationship and I was missing my girlfriend. The song is mostly about taking someone for granted and hoping to make up for it all,” he said, describing the song.
However, Hook could also be talking about his music career. Since making his debut as an artiste in 2006, Sound Of Your Heart is only Hook’s seventh single and, so far, his most successful. It went to No.1 on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart and has sold over 80,000 copies in his native Canada. His foray as a singer-songwriter began when his music instructor in college gave him a nudge.
“I took vocal lessons from a college music instructor. He asked me, ‘Why are you here doing vocals? You should be out there as an artiste’. I knew that I always wanted to get into music and become an artiste. But first, I needed to learn how to improve myself.”
Hook’s music instructor offered to produce his first album, Both Sides, which was released in 2006. He regarded the album as an experimental phase for him.
“At that time, I was influenced by Coldplay and John Mayer. I had this idea that I was going to be the piano-playing singer. I had also just picked up the guitar at the time. So, I really was trying to explore as much as I could. I wrote songs without any expectations of them becoming hits. I was just writing whatever I had in my mind.”
He only begun to realise the impact of his own work when one of his songs, Soldier, was used for the soundtrack to an emotional video dedicated to the men and women who’ve lost their lives in the battlefield. Hook, who never pushed Soldier as a single, said he was very thankful for the responses he received about the song.
“I wrote the song from the perspective of a soldier and it really resonated with people from that line. My inbox was flooded with e-mail from families saying they played the song at their son’s funeral. It made me really emotional.
“It was a valuable lesson to know that people relate to true lyrics. As a professional songwriter now, I make that my goal. It keeps everything in perspective that the reason I’m writing songs is to touch people through music,” said Hook, who has dabbled in acting after guest-starring in an episode of Bones.