Q1: If you had the opportunity to get an inspiring message across to a lot of people, what would your message be?
A1: If I had the opportunity to get an inspiring message across to a lot of people, it would be to take every day as it comes. We have an opportunity each day to reinvent ourselves, and it is our choice whether we move forwards or backward.
Q2: How did you get started with your music? And if you weren’t an artist/musician what would you want to be doing?
A2: I began singing when I was about 5 years old when on the karaoke with my grandparents. They then started to take me to care homes to entertain the residents and, from there, I just grew.
At 11 I got my first guitar and was writing my own songs by 12. After finishing my GCSEs at Myton School I went on to Warwickshire College to study music performance and production.
In October last year I decided that it was about time I released what I had spent years writing in my bedroom, and went in the studio at 14 Records and planned my EP. Having worked with Matt Waddell, an incredible producer as well as Joe Dolman, a fantastic co-producer and dear friend, I have made friends and new family at the studio and we are really proud of what we have made.
I don’t like to think about what I’d be doing if I wasn’t pursuing music, it’s my thing, I don’t think I would be able to do anything else!
Q3: What or who keeps you motivated and inspires you?
A3: The recognition and appreciation of my music is what keeps me going. I didn’t begin writing with the anticipation that others would ever hear my works, but it’s so heartwarming when I hear people singing my songs back to me. After releasing my song Sleepless Nights, the title track from my Debut EP, I received a tweet, from a complete stranger, thanking me for the song, because it had helped them get through a rough time. That in itself keeps me going, I write as an outlet for myself to get my troubles and worries off my mind, the fact that it helps others in doing so is the most rewarding thing.
Q4: What is the most memorable experience of your life/career so far? And what have you learned from it?
A4: The release of my Debut EP has been an overwhelming experience. From writing songs in my bedroom to playing a sold out show, surrounded by friends, family and those who had helped me to make it all possible. To the excitement of having my first radio play, thanks to BBC Introducing Coventry and Warwickshire. For me, it’s not about getting into the charts and being world famous, it’s about the small minority who will listen to my music and take something from it, the fact that people are listening and appreciating what I do makes me realize that I’m doing what I should be doing.
Q5: Would you go back and change anything in your journey so far? (If no, why)
A5: If I could go back, I wouldn’t change a thing! There have been so many hiccups and blips along the way, but that’s what makes the end result so rewarding. Nothing worth doing is every easy. The mistakes that I have made along the way, I have learned from, and that’s what it’s all about.
Q6: In the next two years what do you ASPIRE to have done?
A6: In the next two years I aspire to have released a lot more music, played a load more shows and to have reached a greater audience. For me, the most important thing is that people enjoy my music.
Q7: How much of your life and background have influenced you to become a songwriter/musician?
A7: My life has shaped my songwriting; the things that I have experienced such as the heartbreaks, my parents splitting up, and the ups and downs of every day. I think that’s what people most relate to when they hear my music because we all experience these things in some way or another.
Q8: What lyrics mean the most to you and why (ones you have written and or ones you didn’t write)
A8: My sister introduced me to a band called ‘Nahko and Medicine for the People’ and I take a lot of inspiration from the opening line in one of their songs ‘Black as Night’; it’s simple yet valuable.. ‘I believe in the good things coming.’ It’s so straightforward but just makes me think of silver linings to every cloud.
From my own works, I take a lot of meaning from ‘you’re using torches to show me a light at the end of the tunnel’ (Need a little love) I think it just implies the sense of something being a cheat. Having battled with depression for a long time, I think it reflects the idea that whilst people will do all they can to get you out of such a dark place, it’s got to be a natural step. The saying ‘there’s always a light at the end of a tunnel’ to me, always meant that you’d only see that light during the day when it was sunny. So the idea that there is an unnatural light being used to direct me to a more positive place makes it look as though it’s deception.
Q9: If you could collaborate with anyone who would to it be and why?
A9: If I could collaborate with anyone, I wouldn’t be able to pick just one person! There are so many artists who inspire me: Gabrielle Aplin, Joni Mitchell, Simon and Garfunkel, Hudson Taylor, Paolo Nutini. People in the local music scene such as Joe Dolman, Jack Hopkinson, Izzie Derry, Jake Melles, Chris Jenner Jones and Callum Mckissock influence me every day. They are all people I am fortunate enough to call friends, who also have undeniable talent. If I ever had an opportunity to work with another musician I would take it, any opportunity is a good opportunity.
Q10: What is a most inspiring message you have internalized in life so far?
A10: ‘Do not let your heart be troubled’ has been a message that has stuck with me for many years now. It’s a saying that I live by. We constantly deal with troubled thoughts, but by having a troubled heart you are holding onto unnecessary hurt. Love is the most powerful thing, nothing, and nobody is allowed to hinder that.
Q11: What is your motto in life/what do you live by?
A11: My life motto is not to be knocked by the emotions that I feel. Emotions are there to be felt! The rubbish things that happen in life come to make good songs in the end!
Q12: What is currently on your playlist?
My top 10 most listened to songs on my playlist at the moment are
- Gabrielle Aplin – What did you do
- Phil Collins – Something happened on the way to heaven
- Simon & Garfunkel – Baby Driver
- Billy Joel – She’s always a woman
- The Vaccines – Wetsuit
- Lewis Watson – Little Light
- Hudson Taylor – Just a thought
- Hozier – Jackie and Wilson
- Paolo Nutini – Jenny Don’t be Hasty
Q13: If you could have a song to be the soundtrack to your life what would it be and why?
A13: If I had to pick a soundtrack for my life it would be ‘Send me on my way’ by Rusted Root. First of all the song features in two of my favorite childhood films, Matilda and Ice Age. But I feel like the song takes you on a journey with the melody, it’s upbeat and chirpy and just makes me feel a little less apprehensive about moving onto different things. And after all, you know what they say about the young!
Q14: What are your biggest dreams? and what are your biggest fears
A14: One of my biggest fears is being on my own, ever since I was little I’ve had terrible dreams about losing those closest to me, I think that this fear has developed from an anxiety of not being able to do things on my own.
My biggest dream is to pursue music, to have a career out of music and to be able to continue to write and release music that not only helps me but helps those who hear it.
I also long to make people proud.
When studying in high school I used to live in the music department. One of my tutors, Mr. Kelley, was an inspiration to all those who were graced by his presence, he didn’t care if people weren’t perfect at their craft, he just loved noise and the idea that people were trying and enjoying themselves. He was constantly pushing me to aim higher and do better, but to be proud of the little achievements as they were still achievements. It broke my heart to learn that he had passed away. But still to this day, I feel his charisma and his excitement for music and whilst he is not here to carry on pushing me, I hope that I have done him proud.
I think pride is something that constantly pushes me forward and helps me strive to be better, just the simplest thing such as seeing my mum and dad’s eyes light up when they see me perform is the most rewarding thing!
Q15: What is next for you/your plans for the next year?
A15: My plans for the next year are to keep doing what I am doing, but do a little bit more of it!
Q16: What would your advice to be to those out there who want to live out their dreams?
A16: My advice to people who want to live out their dreams would be to just do it! Nobody else is going to live your dream better than you can.
Q17: Lastly, for those who don’t know where can people follow your career?
A17: You can follow my musical adventure on my Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter and via my youtube Hannah Woof. I also have just released my debut EP which is available for you to buy and listen to via iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Shazam etc