Hanna Chats About Good Morning Texas, Chance The Rapper, & New EP



Whats your first music memory? 

[Grandma voice] When I was a little girl... [normal voice] no, just kidding. [laughs] Um, my first actual music memory of something [...] that took me somewhere in music and wasn’t just a vision in my head is when I got picked up for a Disney pop group. I think that was what really changed the game because I was in the suburbs, had no idea what I was doing, just had this fire in me and my poor mom was just like, “Pray!” And I was just like, “Yes, I’ll do that! But--" and then she would say, “Pray!” And I was like, “Okay!” and she’s just amazing and she was right.  You know when you’re just young and impatient and like, “I need to do something myself!” [Prayer] is just really powerful.  That ended up opening a lot of doors that should’ve been impossible, I would say.  I was this inexperienced freshman in high school first semester and was begging my mom to let me be homeschooled because I wanted a career in music so getting picked up for that pop group without even trying out for it was my first memory.


What's your favorite song off of your EP Under Construction

Well, all three of them are one big story to me.  And coming from me and not being that outsider, you know, I’m like that biased person because without one the other doesn’t make sense.  I love “Unravel Me” because I feel like my crazy self.  The music video we are about to shoot for [it] I’m so excited for because it's this inner crazy Hanna that really is me now but wasn’t when I should’ve known to be.  You know, just being your fullest self, and that's why I would say I love “Unravel Me” because it kind of pulls out that...I’d use the word “animal” but in a really safe way.  I feel like we as humans [prevent] ourselves from being who we are because we are scared, and this is that one song of mine, [like how] “Swangin” is understanding your identity [and] not being someone else but being yourself. "Blinded” is the conversation I had with myself: "Don’t you see I’m standing right in front of you," so it's a broken part that needs to be fixed. “Unravel Me” is finding that.  Where I came back to life because I was able to finally see who I was and who I’ve always been but not necessarily connecting that to another individual, and it's just a super vibe-y song.  “Unravel Me” [is my favorite] for sure.


Who’s had the biggest influence on your career? 

My parents.  That's the most cliché thing to say but it's so true because without them I would probably be in some dumpster somewhere trying to brush my hair with a fork (laughs).  If we’re being real: y’all see this amazingness? It's not because I’m like, “Oh, I’m poppin',” it's just a bunch of blessings and my parents. They are amazing. 


What was it like getting to perform on Good Morning Texas?

Oh my gosh.  Someone the other day asked me, “What's the biggest crowd you ever performed for?” And I [said], “Good Morning Texas because all of Texas and [...] their grandmas [were watching].” The day of I went to some random place to go support my friend who DJs for me, and this old man came up to me and said, “Me and my wife, we watched you this morning, we love you!” And I was like, “Did I just get a completely different demographic?” It was just like, “How do you know who I am?” I was fan-girling over him! I went to my DJ friend: “Charles, Charles, did you see this guy?! Did you hear this guy?!” [Laughs].  So that was crazy doing that, like you have to [be] open-minded, understanding that my voice is for people and not for myself. It doesn’t have to be [perfect,] like, “Oh my gosh, what if I mess up, what if I do this--?" 

When you think about it the right way, none of this is really about me [even though] my face is everywhere and my Instagram has to have all these pictures of myself. It takes a lot to get your brand growing but I can’t wait to get to the point where I’m able to just really just have full funding to make it about the people and to do what I want to do.  But it was fun.  It was crazy but it was fun.  Like she just slid into my DMs [and asked,] “Can you come onto Good Morning Texas?” [When] I [asked] when, she [told me], “Next week.” And my whole crew runs really deep, so my mom, dad, roommate--she missed work for it--and my boyfriend and my friend Issac [were all] there.  They thought we were like a dance group [laughs]. I was like, “C'mon, dance!” Yeah, it was fun.


Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with? 

Chance the Rapper! 100% Chance the Rapper. 


What would you want to be doing if you weren’t a musician? 

Oh, I love this question because I have this conversation with people all day long. I would love to be doing architectural design. I got my real estate license a few years back thinking [that] I [would] sell houses and support myself, but you have to do real estate 100% and not do that halfway thing. [I was] in studio sessions at night [and would] have some lady calling saying something like, “Can you find something on the MLS for me? I’m bored and I want to look at houses.” [I'm] just like, “Go to bed or play with your cat, like, I don’t know what to tell you.”  So I had to literally put my license on pause [to pursue music] but I would be doing something with homes.


What inspires you to make music? 

Genuinely being able to say something and people looking at you with their ears on and ready to listen. Knowing that people come to listen to some random person open their mouth and say something, you have the opportunity to sing life and speak life over them and give them a good time. Really the most inspiring thing that fuels me is knowing that I have the opportunity to say something that's going to inspire some person that thought they could never do what they wanted to do to get up and get one step closer to doing what they love, even if it takes five years.  No one has ever looked at me in the face and said to me, “Hanna, the reality of it is you’re really never going to be able to do this,” but you know they’re thinking it. I’ve had [that] conversation with people. I had a really close friend [who] I loved to pieces; I was young--this is when I just started doing music, [even] before the pop group. I think we were talking about my wedding or something one day way down the road like you do when you’re a kid and I said, “I’m going to have Alicia Keys sing at my wedding.” She kind of stopped and her response was, “Don’t you think if you were to be doing what you wanted to do you would have done it by now? You should probably pursue something that is more safe.”  She was [...] someone [who] I loved and she loved me and it was really out of [that] love but in [it] I had to learn that my heart and my vision and my dream was planted inside of me. If everyone in the world is against it, [...] you just have to stick with [it] because they will only approve whenever you’re winning.  I think that the most inspiring thing to me is getting the opportunity to plant these things and to be that one person [who] might never get to meet you in person but [who] can say, “Look, I came from no one that did this and there was no set way and I didn’t have the most amazing trainers and it was literally just a God-given talent and a love and a passion and then as I got older I learned why I wanted to do it and that really changed everything."  Before I knew my purpose I didn’t know where I wanted to take my music it was just like I want to do it, but everyone wants to do it, right? So what is the difference? What is the platform that you have that can do something and give to? People don’t buy your tickets [just to stare]. People go to concerts to get something.  They’re giving you their money to get something like a memory or something they can hold onto, something that can inspire them and change them, and as an artist I feel like if you can’t see that then you’re building a wall around [yourself] already. I didn’t know when I was younger, I was just kind of born naive and once I understood I was like, “WHOA. So you’re telling me that people want something from me?!” Once I really grew up I was able to see what I wanted to give with music and that changed everything.  It made me think, “I don’t care if I’m sitting in a box on the side of the road. I’m making this happen because I can and I will.” 


What concert that you’ve played has been your favorite one and why was it your favorite?

I loved my last show at Granada Theater.  It was so fun not only because it's Granada Theater--because that place is really dope and it has a lot of history--but I think that that was the first time I really performed “Holy,” which is a new song I’m about to release very soon and I’m so excited about it because it's really uplifting.  I don’t know. I just prayed over that show and when I got onstage everything changed and it was just different...  I can’t explain it.  There was so much life brought to the stage and I think that [...] everyone was very energetic, and my mom and dad were front row. It was really cool.


Whats been the most difficult moment of your career?

Gosh. More like moments [laughs]. I would say the most emotional would be the relationships you build with people and understanding who is right in the picture and who you have to understand to draw the line with. I feel like this [is with] life in general.  I’ve never really known how to do that because I love everyone and when you love everyone you want everyone to feel loved.  You’re like the "yes man," and when you have to kind of draw the line in the sand for that - it started and then there was just an avalanche effect, like seeing people's real intentions with me and you’re like, "Are these the people who have been here my whole life, or if they’re not, are they really here for me or are they here for like - you know?" I’m here to help everyone, like Issac, I want to put him on. I'ts not like, “Oh, you want something from me?” Like, yes, you want something from me and I want to give you something when I can.  If I can’t get this thing going then how can I help you? But the biggest thing is not being able to genuinely [...] spend time with people that I love and be there all the time and give consistently and just do life together. Because when I tell you I’m sleeping, up at 5am every morning, studio sessions at night, and you have to do like three side hustles, that's almost easier than getting to go hang out with friends.  All my friends live all over so they get to go travel and do all these things together and they’re like, “Just save up for a trip!” And [I tell them], “It's not a matter of saving up for a trip, it's a matter of the second that I book it I’m going to get a big show that comes up out of nowhere and that's my job, that's my life.”  So finding those relationships with people [who] really love me, [who] understand, and [who] want to stick around and get through it [...] has been a journey because you learn by living it.  And you learn by sometimes letting the wrong people in, and not knowing when to close the door for a small season.  Right now my focus is my family [and] my loved ones, the people who are here to move forward, and then who knows who else gets brought into the picture, because I am an open book.  But yeah, that's the most challenging thing.

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians? 

Understand your identity and what you want to say.  Just know your why.  That's so important.  When you know your why you can at least then be patient and learn your sound.  Just let it come to you.  But when you have something to say you can take it wherever and it doesn’t even have to be serious.  I talk about self love a lot and we make a lot of vibe-y songs, [but] I haven’t really put out a lot of stuff. This is really just the first project and it picked up good momentum, but I call it the seed that was planted.  You have to start somewhere and I just think that knowing my why helped me start and I think that the issue for any artist is [not knowing] where [to] start. Don’t try to be someone else. Just do you.  And if you don’t know what that is, [then] figure [it] out as you go.  I put out some bad music because [...] I was just doing what I knew, and I put out some good music that I took down because it just wasn’t the right season for it or I needed to do more to it.

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