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Photo by Grace Wilson

Hour Haven strikes an emotional chord in Westwood

January 16, 2024 | Leah Snyderman
Hour Haven is breaking ground in Westwood as Cherry Pop Records’ newest signed artist, bringing a fresh sound to the music scene. 

Known to his friends as Silo Woods, Hour Haven is a third-year music industry student and has been performing around Westwood since starting at UCLA. He sees himself as a true student of any creative expression and upper academia, constantly applying what he learns to his music.

Hour Haven first got his start through his elementary school’s drumline and continued this activity until he reached high school when he started making his own music on his laptop. Growing up, music was always around him, mainly because of his family, but also because music is a key part of his Latino identity and culture. Listening to Spanish artists and speaking multiple languages has aided in the vocal delivery of his music, he said. Hour Haven eventually evolved from rapping over premade beats to creating his own, marking the start of his journey to find his own unique sound. 

“Borrowing beats felt too cookie cutter,” he said. 

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Hour Haven relies on his childhood experiences combined with his current studies during his creative process. As Hour Haven continues to develop his own sound, he draws inspiration from Tyler, the Creator, Kendrick Lamar, Yves Tumor, Rochelle Jordan and N.E.R.D. He is also influenced by the world around him, constantly finding different sounds and motifs to incorporate into his music from anything in his daily life, including his classes and surroundings, he said. 

“Everybody at UCLA in the music industry [program] has introduced me to careers I’ve never heard of,” he said. “The people of UCLA will always inspire me.”

Hour Haven values the diversity of both UCLA and LA and uses them in his creative processes. His genre-blending sound incorporates lots of contrasts, using a range of sounds from distorted voices to soft melodies. 

“I think LA is why my music and sound is so dynamic and juxtaposing,” he said. 

He calls his hometown of Lawndale a “hidden gem” of LA and the source of his cultural connections. Being a part of the Latino community has impacted his perspective on life and his identity as a whole. The music, food, and traditions encourage him in making his own music – especially eating pupusas and tacos to fuel his body, he said. 

“Having ties to El Salvador and Mexico and being the fused product of many cultures and traditions, I have been surrounded by several perspectives and ideologies that typically differ from the average American, allowing me to view things more holistically or creatively,” he said.

Being multicultural has helped Hour Haven connect with all sorts of people, regardless of their background, he said. 

Outside of his music, Hour Haven enjoys studying psychology and anything visual, from films to video games to concerts.He can be found climbing anything from buildings to trees – a key part of his personality that makes him a “hyperactive percussionist,” as he would say. He is a part of the Bruin Flea, a monthly flea market highlighting local and student vendors that donates the proceeds to various charities, including End Overdose, which is an organization committed to ending drug-related deaths. Hour Haven holds this cause especially close to his heart as he lost his mother to substance abuse after losing his brother to gun violence. 

During rough times, he turns to his music. It allows him to say what he wants to say and acts as a vessel of emotions. 

“My music at first was just trying to be witty, and it didn’t feel like me,” he said. “I wasn’t proud of it; I wanted to show what was real.” By talking about his past, he has been able to find resilience and optimism. Music has given him catharsis, he said. 

Hour Haven hopes that his music can provide his listeners with a “quick fix” – just as his name reflects. 

“It’s because of music that I’m still alive,” he said. 

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