Hello Harvard
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Hello Harvard

Burlington, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Burlington, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Pop




"Careless + Trappers by HelloHavard | Track(s) Review"

"These guys know how to make music sound good, and good enough for you to forget your bodily-fluid-covered-mornings"

" I cannot wait to hear what else is going to appear on their EP, I’m trying to keep myself for fangirling a little too much. Awesome songs." - Adam Reeve

"The Daily Krapht – Hello Harvard – “Trappers”"

"If you need a catchy song to get your toes tapping and your head bobbing, “Trappers” is the perfect choice for you." - Kerriann Curtis

"Tune In Guelph: Hello Harvard"

Guelph duo nominated for Hamilton Music Awards’ Pop Recording of the Year

Hello Harvard, comprised of Guelph’s Andrew Bontempo and Johnny Pomykacz, has been nominated for Pop Recording of the Year by Hamilton Music Awards.

Hello Harvard released the track “Trappers” almost a year ago, cleverly breaking their way into the headphones of many U of G listeners. The track’s heavy swing drumline, combined with Bontempo’s ultra-pop vocals, makes for an exciting listen. One cannot listen to “Trappers” without feeling the need to tap their feet.

“In My Head,” on the other hand, is an older track that showcases Bontempo’s acoustic skills. “In My Head” brings to light Bontempo’s pop/punk inspired vocals.

“You’re Mine” and “Falling Fast” are two new tracks that have not yet been released by the duo; however, I had the opportunity to give them a listen. Let me tell you, “You’re Mine” might just be my new morning wake-up jam. Bontempo has always been inspired by Blink 182, and this inspiration is clear in these two not-yet-released recordings.

D.S.: What was your inspiration behind the track “Falling Fast?”

A.B.: The track was inspired by a lot of things. I’ve always wanted to make a really upbeat song that just made people smile when they listen to it. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of pop tracks, which has shifted my focus on a lot more melody-driven guitar riffs and vocal lines. As for inspiration behind the story line, I believe everyone, at some point in their life, can say they have fallen fast for someone. I know I have. I really wanted this song to paint that picture. I wanted to capture the image that you would do anything for that person no matter where they were in the world.

D.S.: How has it been being a student and coming out with a new EP? Are there challenges? Are some days more difficult than others?

HH - A-10A.B.: I’m not gonna lie. It’s hard. It’s always tough to balance everything from music, school to friends. I had a lot of these songs already written, so now the hard part is just recording them and making them sound sick. I think the biggest challenges for me are trying to balance friendships and music. If I’m not working on school-work, I’m pretty focused on getting the EP finished. But for sure, some days are a lot harder than others. It’s always tough being a fulltime student here at the university while simultaneously trying to make it as a musician.

D.S.: What is it like being nominated for the Hamilton Music Awards for Pop Recording of the Year?

A.B.: It’s such an amazing feeling. Just even being considered for any award is a great feeling. I’m just really happy for the nomination by the HMA’s and alongside some big names.

D.S.: What vision do you have for your upcoming EP?

A.B.: This is my first real EP. I mean in grade 12 I put a collection of songs out and called it an EP but, this time, I want it to be different. A lot of these songs were written at different times so you may hear some different sounds in each track. But my true vision for this EP is to finally put Hello Harvard on the music map. I’ve been writing these songs over a couple of years and, now that the EP is almost done, [I have a] really good feeling and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for it.

D.S.: When did you decide to make Hello Harvard a duo? When did you decide to make that transition from an independent artist to a two-person band?

A.B.: Good question. I made the decision when Johnny (the Guitarist) kept begging me to be in the band (I’m just kidding). Hello Harvard I feel is more a pop driven band, so I felt that if I went solo, I would be competing with the Ed Sheeran’s of the world. Being a duo, I feel like we have some sort of uniqueness to our band. Johnny and I are great together. I like to think we bicker like a married couple. Anyway, Johnny has been a great addition to Hello Harvard so far, and I’m really excited for what the future holds.

D.S.: Are there performances lined up for this coming year? Maybe the summer? Or a mini-tour?

We’ve been looking into playing some summer festivals and potentially partner up with some local groups along the way. I’m really hoping we get a chance to play The Festival of Friends this summer. - Dani Subject

"In Conversation with Andrew Bontempo"

I recently sat down with Andrew Bontempo, front man for Hello Harvard, to chat about his experience as an aspiring musician and his upcoming plans for an EP.

Earlier this year, Bontempo produced a hit single entitled “Trappers”, accompanied by a music video. Of course, being a song about one of Downtown Guelph’s most popular bars, the music video was inevitably a hit that was “shared” throughout Facebook by various U of Guelph students.

Read on to check out what he had to say about his experience creating music.

Interview with Hello Harvard’s Andrew Bontempo on Sept. 2 @ Second Cup

Why did you decide to start making music in the first place?

Blink 182, 2003. They got me into it 100%. It was them and Green Day and all those pop/punk bands. I just started learning their songs and I was like, “I wanna write a song”. I would really listen to how the songs were structured, and then I just kept writing.

So you played guitar first?

I started with piano. I wanted to start with the drums, because what 8 year old kid doesn’t want to start with drums? My dad
Andrew Bontempo on set of his music video for "Trappers".Andrew Bontempo on set of his music video for “Trappers”.

was like “no, before you start drums do piano”. So I did that and I hated it. I learned it, though, and when the time came he was like “okay, do you wanna learn drums?” and I was like “no, I wanna learn guitar”. So at 12 years old I was playing guitar, and that’s when I started writing songs- guitar started that for me.

What were your intentions behind your first EP?

I put that out when I was in Grade 12. That was when I decided to go solo. The guys I was working with, the Glass Tiger guys, were like “hey, we have this independent label, do you wanna record your songs and put them out there?”. I said “yeah”, so it was kind of like a mix. It’s a mix of everything- love, teenage angst, staying young. It was the end of Grade 12 so, nobody really wanted to move on so “Stay Young” is basically about that. There wasn’t one central idea around it. It had 5 songs. It was kind of like just record it, get it out there, and see what happens.

And what’s the writing process like for you?

It’s long. It’s terrible. I’m getting better at it as I figure out what I can do, but it’s usually like I’ll sing a melody first and then I’ll write my guitar parts. A lot of the guitar parts are based on melodies. I write the lyrics. Then I try to organize what the drums should sound like. So I mean, it could take a month, it could take a year.

Your mindset behind “Trappers”- was it basically to get your name out there?

Well, that and just ‘cause first year we went there a lot. That was the first bar ever we went into. I don’t know about you, but that was what we were introduced to. Everyone’s gonna go there without even thinking. Then second year came around and I was like “I don’t see myself at this bar, ever”. Everyone’s like “oh we’re going to Trappers, we have to get loaded” and it’s like “oh, okay”. It’s like you have to. then second year came around and I was like “I’m gonna write a song about this place” because everyone had the same feeling that we like it, but like, why do we keep going there? Why is this the place to go? So I just kind of summed up all my friends’ thoughts and my feelings towards it and I wrote it.

So you’re a student at the University of Guelph. Has that had an impact at all on you as a musician?

It has in a way because it opened up the party scene a little more for me. Learning everything from a different side of life from university has helped. “Trappers” wouldn’t have come out if I didn’t go to school, if you want to look at it that way.

You have an EP coming out.

My idea is to do five really good songs. I’m thinking probably April now.
Courtesy Photo. Courtesy Photo.

Will the sound be similar to your last EP?

It’s gonna be a higher production. This next one is going to be going through a process of demoing, premix, and just a bunch of different stages of writing. A lot more work is going into this one, to get it to where it needs to be. Our goal is to get it to the radio. I’m taking my time with it.

And with the new EP, what are you going to be trying to communicate with those songs?

I usually always have the same feelings towards different interactions with people. I’ll draw from anything, but I think the ideas are essentially the same- just kind of let go. Just have fun- live in the now, essentially. I don’t see myself having one consistent idea. It could be about a party, or it could be about I went away this summer and I met someone and that’s how it goes, you know?

You’ve performed live before?

Yeah, I actually used to be in a high school band- we were actually pretty good. [laughs] I played hockey so we were all like “hey, you play drums?” “hey, you play bass?” so we were all pretty good. We were pretty big around the Burlington area for a bit with a bunch of our friends. They got less interested in it, I was more interested in it, so that’s when I started Hello Harvard. I wrote all the songs for them anyways, so I decided to just continue writing. I was originally acoustic, some of those songs on the first EP were acoustic, like “Summertime” and “Somebody Save Me”. The new EP is gonna be more like a band. Acoustically I was like, I don’t need anyone. But eventually more ideas evolved and I needed a band.

Where’d you come up with the name Hello Harvard?

My friend was looking for schools in the States- she was gonna get a scholarship. She was like “Oh what if I go to Harvard?” and I was like “Hello Harvard”, walk in there and say that. At the same time I was trying to think of a name, and I kind of liked that name. I’m surprised it stuck. I was gonna change it to The Bontempos- my last name.

Is your EP gonna have a title?

I wanna name it, maybe after the song “Careless” because I feel like that’s the central idea. But I don’t know- I haven’t officially sat down. I feel like when all of the songs are completed and I listen to them all I’ll get a better idea, but I couldn’t tell you at this point. It could just be another Self-titled, I duno. I want it to be like a coming of age- I want to consider this as a debut album.

My last EP was more of a different variety of sounds, and this is more central-themed to the “Trappers” dance/punk idea. That’s what I really wanna do. I don’t even know what to call it, it’s like swingy. I got the idea for “Trappers” from 1940s swing and The Mask. - Dani Subject


Still working on that hot first release.



Award nominated Canadian band from Burlington Ontario,whose antics include bickering like a married couple and creating an entertaining performance for all audiences. Hello Harvard's music is a combination of pop-inspired vocal melodies fused with alternative and punk rock.

Recently, Hello Harvard was nominated for Pop Recording of the Year for the 2015 Hamilton Music Awards. Currently, Hello Harvard is set to have an international release of their debut Silly Things EP this April 2016. In support of the release Hello Harvard plans to tour across Ontario.

Band Members