Hannah may be best known for her YouTube channels, where over the space of 12 years she has accumulated over 100 million views and 600,000 subscribers. Famous for her delicate covers of pop songs, Hannah has also experienced chart success with her original material, including number one hits in Vietnam and Laos, and a top ten hit in Mongolia in 2015 with her original track ‘Headrush’ (featured on her EP ‘Pieces’, 2012).
From humble beginnings busking on the streets of her hometown Leeds, to amassing millions of hits on her first video to go viral, the road to ‘RED’ seems to have been carved out for Hannah. In the late 00s, Hannah was encouraged by her peers to upload the covers she was busking to a new video platform called YouTube. In those very early days of YouTube, uploading content was like throwing things up against a wall to see what sticks, as the platform was still developing and people were getting to grips with what it was to be used for; “Back then it took a long time for anyone to see the video. There were less creators though so you were more likely to get featured – YouTube as a platform was still developing as I was developing as an artist, so everything was improving at the same time – my ability and the platforms popularity.”
As the platform and Hannah’s popularity grew, ravenous fans from far reaching corners of the world were begging for original music. Hannah released two EPs (Pieces, 2012 and Rectify, 2014), amongst a host of albums collecting her song covers from YouTube. Following up with three sell-out tours of the UK and Europe,support from BBC Introducing, performing at the Isle of Wight and T In The Park Festivals, Hannah also won ‘Best Unsigned Artist’ in the Online Music Awards. In 2015, her international success with the single ‘Headrush’ became national news, although she was completely unaware of its success until a Twitter alert bought it to her attention a month after the fact.
Through all of this, Hannah has remained the epitome of an independent artist, both in her music career and content creation. With little reliance on labels or outside organisations to bolster her career or grow her following, it fell to Hannah to forge her own path; “Nothing has come easy to me and I’ve had to work super hard consistently to be able to tour and make a full-time career from my music, I definitely haven’t caught a break yet, but I’m not going sit around waiting for it to come when there is so much work to be done and songs to write. It’s great to be independent because you have complete creative control, but it is a lot of work. I film and edit all of my videos and music videos and I do my own artwork, so there’s always a lot to do, but I love it. The biggest challenge has been trying to make people or businesses take you seriously when there’s no major label backing you.”
Hannah’s musical output has culminated in ‘RED’, a collection of 14 original tracks (including two previous singles – ‘Nobody’ and ‘Another Beautiful Mistake’) that she is finally ready to share with the world; “I feel like I’m finally letting people in on who I am as an artist. Recording stripped back covers is something that really helped me to build up an audience, and I love putting my own spin on my favourite songs, but I’m really passionate about songwriting, and I’ve only released a handful of original songs to date. The songs on the album are very personal, and I’m really proud of how they have come out in the recording process – so much time and energy has gone into this record, so I’m very emotionally attached to it as a whole. I really re-live the emotions of each song whenever I hear the studio recordings or perform them live.”
Hannah embarks on a 7-date UK tour this September:
SEP 02 SUNDAY – The Old Hairdresser’s, Glasgow
SEP 03 MONDAY – The Chameleon Arts Café, Nottingham
SEP 04 TUESDAY – Surf Café, Newcastle upon Tyne
SEP 05 WEDNESDAY – The Brunswick, Brighton
SEP 06 THURSDAY – The Spice Of Life, London
SEP 07 FRIDAY – The Louisiana, Bristol
SEP 09 SUNDAY – Headrow House, Leeds
NOV 24 SATURDAY – Kardomah94, Hull