Born in Bristol, Hooper began his career in 1982 as a percussionist and backing vocalist with Bristol post-punk band Maximum Joy. He later became a DJ as a member of The Wild Bunch, the Bristol-based sound system and group that would turn into Massive Attack.
Between 1989 and 1992, he produced the debut album for Soul II Soul (Club Classics Vol. I), Massive Attack's second album (Protection) and Björk's first outing (Debut), which in 1995 Mixmag magazine ranked the 31st, 1st and 3rd best dance albums of all time.
The 1995 BRIT Awards honoured Hooper as Best Producer for his work on Massive Attack's Protection, Björk's Post and Madonna's Bedtime Stories albums.
In 1998 he won a BAFTA Award (Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music) for his work arranging the score and soundtrack for Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet.
In the late 1990s Hooper set up the Meanwhile, imprint, which is a subsidiary of Virgin Records.
Hooper continued to work steadily into the 2000s. He received a Grammy nomination in 2003 for his work on No Doubt's Rock Steady and Lamya's Learning From Falling albums. His other work has included producing the singles "GoldenEye" (1995) for Tina Turner, "Under the Bridge" (1998) for All Saints and "Down Boy" (2002) for Holly Valance, as well as providing remixes for artists like Janet Jackson and Sade.
He has worked with Gwen Stefani on her solo albums and on U2's 2004 release How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, for which he won a Grammy Award. He also produced the debut solo album of Andrea Corr of The Corrs, entitled Ten Feet High which was released on 25 June 2007. It sold one million copies.
Hooper produced the full-length debut album for Disney actress/singer Emily Osment, Fight Or Flight in 2010.
In 2011 Hooper produced Paloma Faith's Fall To Grace Album, nominated for two Brit awards for 'Best Female' and 'Album of the Year' and is to be released in the US via Epic Records. L.A. Reid, said of the signing to his label, "In an era where authenticity resonates, Paloma is the epitome of soul. It's an honor for Epic Records to be part of her career in the United States."