I first heard Hannah Robinson play at the Bournemouth University Freshers Fair. With a sound that is enchanting (she has been nicknamed the “Soulful Songstress of the South”), my flatmate and I were completely immersed in her music-give it a listen and you will be too.
She is currently in the middle of recording her debut album, competing in the final of acoustic showcase 'Bournemouth Unplugged 2012', and playing numerous shows around Bournemouth, so we're very grateful that she took the time to answer a few questions for Alt Jukebox:
1.Firstly, why should people come and check you out at your shows?
People should come and check out my shows because generally the local music scene needs people to support it and keep it going. Specifically, if people like soulful acoustic live music then I hope they would enjoy my performances.
My music career began with my big brother teaching me my first 4 chords on the guitar -I continued to teach myself and play songs at home. I then began to sing with friends for fun, as I was in quite a musical social group. I joined a local band as a vocalist for a couple of years, where I got a lot of experience and opportunity to perform, and then I went solo - I was about 16 at this time. When I turned eighteen I was able to got to bars and venues to do open mics and gigs at showcase nights, and at 19 I decided to leave my part-time job and begin my career in music.
3.Who are the bands/artists to have influenced you?
My influences range from my childhood and the music I was exposed to; music on the radio in the 90s, and the music my parents played in the car and in the house. I grew up listening to David Bowie, T-Rex, Faithless, REM, Queen, Leftfield... I blame exposure to The Beautiful South and Suede at a young age for my melancholy streak. When I was a teenager I got into rock music of the time, but I still listened to other genres too. Later into my teens I got into soul music - I think this was through getting into reggae and roots music - and then into blues. All of these genres are still a big passion of mine. I have a diverse record collection.
4.You are currently in the middle of recording your debut album. How's it going?
The album is going well, thanks for asking. I'm very happy with my choice of studio, songs and musicians. I'm satisfied that the songs sound as they did in my imagination, sometimes better! I'm enjoying the process and I'm excited about eventually holding the finished product in my hands and taking a long breath out. And hearing what you make of it...
5.You are also a member of local blues band Paint it Blue-do you find it hard splitting your time between your solo work and your band? What's it like to do both?
I have put a lot of time and energy into Paint It Blue, and I still do, but certain changes have meant I've had more time available to put into my solo material, with the band still progressing too. Paint It Blue has been going nearly four years, but I was writing songs and playing solo before we formed the band, so to me my solo work is not a new venture. Doing both certainly keeps me busy, but I think I have the balance right. I think the band is more of an act with a big sound, and the solo stuff is more intimate and stripped back. I enjoy doing both.
6.What are your plans for the rest of 2012?
My musical plans for 2012 are to complete the album, get it 'out there' and aim to do new things that perhaps would not be so easy to do before. For example, playing festivals and larger venues. I'd love to travel.
7.Thank you for your time. Finally, what tips would you give to young singer-songwriters like yourself?
I would advise young singer-songwriters to play and write as much as they can. Might sound obvious, but you truly get out what you put in. If you're looking for gigs then record a good demo and get out there getting to know and talk to people. The more often you perform, the more natural it will become to you.
The Empyrean - John Frusciante
Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window (Rope is also fantastic).
Favourite Music Venue:
Shepherds Bush Empire has a lot of history and beautiful facades.
The Trengilly Wartha near Constantine in Cornwall.
Favourite Record Store:
Square Records in Wimborne is a cool shop as it's a surviving local independent record store. I'm a sucker for FOPP too, a very limited chain with shops dotted around the UK, I always find a bargain.
Favourite Clothing Store:
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