Introducing....Hannah Jane Lewis

British country music singer-songwriter Hannah Jane Lewis is set to release her debut self-titled EP tomorrow in the UK and on 12th November in the US. I was recently able to catch up with her and ask her a few questions.

You're quite a new artist, how would you describe your music?
Hmm I always find this question so hard to answer as I don't really like to pigeon hole myself as a particular genre/style. It has elements of country and elements of pop...I think I fit somewhere in the middle. I used to live in America, so am heavily influenced by all that I heard over there. All the songs I write are about releationships and experiences that I've been through, so it's very honest. I'm not the best at saying how I feel in conversation, but I find it easy to say in song. That was a big release for me when I found out I could do that!

You've covered a lot of songs on your YouTube channel - which was your favourite?
Kacey Musgraves "Keep it to Yourself" is probably my favourite. I'm a huge fan of her music, and just think that song completely nails the subject matter. She's brilliant at writing really simple, blunt and to the point lyrics. I remember hearing that and being like 'YES, exactly'

You've written quite a few songs, which was the hardest to write?
"My Time" was definitely the hardest to write, and also kind of a strange writing experience for me. I wrote it when I was coming up against a lot of roadblocks career wise, and feeling really frustrated and impatient. So I started writing it but found it really hard to finish, I think because I hadn't talked about that emotion I was going through in that song, so was reluctant for others to hear it and to know how I felt. I almost threw that song away, because I didn't think it was very good. But I played it for my sister and she loved it, and for some of my friends who found it really relatable. So I am really glad that I kept it, and now I love singing it.

Which song do you wish you had written and why?
Probably "Slow dancing in a burning room" by John Mayer. It portrays heartbreak so well, and the idea of staying in a relationship that you know isn't working- which is really common. I think its really hard to distinguish between staying because you think it's safer/easier that way, and staying because you genuinely want to. My favourite lyric which breaks my heart every time I hear it is "I was the one you always dreamed of, you were the one I tried to draw. How dare you say its nothing to me, baby you're the only light I ever saw". It just makes the story that little bit sadder.

Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with and why?
John Mayer, I absolutely love him and always have. I went to his concert a couple weeks ago at the O2 and was blown away, I'm pretty sure I stopped breathing for the majority of his set! I was in awe. I think he's a genius, as a musician and a writer- which is rare. He's always been a huge inspiration for me. I also admire how he's constantly evolving, his records all have a different flavour.

What venue would be top of your list to play at?
In England, probably Wembley Arena or The Royal Albert Hall - I don't think I'd ever get over that. In America, Madison Square Garden or The Grand Ole Opry. Dreaming Big [laughs]

What would you like to achieve in terms of your music?
Ooo so many things! Obviously right now, my goal is to get to the stage where I can do this as a full time job, and I will be relentless until I get there! Ultimately I just want to share my music with as many people as possible though, and have it touch someone somewhere. There are songs that I hear that immediately take me back to the situation/emotion I was experiencing when I first heard them. I'd love for one of my songs to do that for someone else.

What is your favourite part about being a musician?
I have two favourites. The songwriting process is really rewarding to me, it is the best feeling when you know you are on to a good one. Or that you said all you needed to say. It is also pretty wonderful when someone says they really relate to a song, then I feel like I did something right!

For me, there isn't really anything that compares to the rush of performing though. I've been used to being on stage since I was really little so its very second nature, I couldn't love it more. I genuinely just love to sing. I also used to do a lot of musical theatre, so it feels really liberating now to be able to be myself on stage singing my own songs about my life experiences.

What is your least favourite part about being a musician?
Well right now I'm managing every aspect of my music which can be quite the challenge, and am finding that I'm pretty bad at the technical side of things. I'm not that great on the computer etc, but have just been fumbling my way through it! It can be pretty stressful but I'm learning a lot so I'll be thankful down the line.

What would you say to someone wanting to be a musician?
To keep pushing and pushing as hard as you possibly can, and to never give up. There are so many talented people in the world but the stamina to keep going is what sets you apart from the rest. With that it has to be something you couldn't even think about living without, because it is really hard and takes a lot of time and dedication.

Hannah's EP features four tracks, Missing Piece, 17 Again, My Time and The Worst Way which is a great introduction to a talented singer-songwriter. I would definitely recommend purchasing this, keep an eye out for a review in a future blog!
She is also set to be part of the Grand Union Gig Guide Songwriter's Evening taking place in London tomorrow. Alongside her are Raintown, Gary Quinn and Jeannine Barry and it's sure to be a great night! You can read my preview of the evening here and I will also be reviewing the event.


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