DRA Exclusive: Hannah Anders Interview
This week's In the Spotlight artist is Hannah Anders. If you are looking for a new voice in country music to listen to, Hannah is your girl. Her high-energy performances, mixed with relatable lyrics will have you a fan in no time. We recently had the opportunity to interview Hannah. Check out our full interview below.
DRA: Thank you for taking time to interview with us. For those out there new to Hannah Anders’ music, tell us a little about your background and how you found your way to country music.
HA: Thank you so much for the interview!
Absolutely. So, I was raised in Georgia, which was a really awesome place be a kid and grow up. We lived on 18 acres of land, we had horses and goats, and I really learned the value of being in nature, spending time with my family, and pitching in and sharing the work in that environment. Growing up in the south really shaped who I am and my exposure to country music happened at a very young age. I didn’t exclusively listen to country music as a child, I had a broad spectrum of genres that I loved, but as I began to write my own music and perform it always naturally fell to country. I loved the honesty and the stories so much that when I began to develop myself as an artist I knew that that was the platform I wanted to tell my story in. As I grew up I gained an appreciation for classic and southern rock and that really started to take a hold in who I was as an artist and performer greatly influences me to this day.
DRA: Speaking with anyone who has seen you perform live, they instantly state your show and presence on stage is energetic yet has the feel you are singing directly to them. How do you prepare for each performance? What is your goal when you step foot on that stage?
HA: That’s just absolutely the best compliment, thank you. It is SO important to me that people come to my show and have a great time and feel a connection to what I am singing.
I firmly believe that the first step to that is preparation. And I can’t speak to my live show without crediting my awesome players. My band and I have been together for years and we share in our passion of creating a fun, energetic, well prepared, show. We rehearse for several hours at a time, constructing set lists, transitions, working out parts, etc. So, there is a lot of behind the scenes work that has to happen so that you can truly “let go” on stage and deliver the performance. If you’re worried about lyrics or “what comes next”, there’s no way to give the audience what they came for.
My goal when I step on to that stage is to connect to each and every person in that room. Whether that’s to energetically give them permission to have a good time, to laugh, to dance, to have a tender moment, they know what they came for and they’ll feel it when it happens. The longer I perform I have really come to belive that the shows are not about me. They’re about the people that come to see me. I am there for them and I hope that they feel that.
DRA: Speaking of performing, you have toured all over the world, where has been your favorite place to perform to date?
HA: I have been so fortunate to go to so many amazing places and I hate to choose favorites but…I love Ireland so so much. The people, the countryside, the history. We received the most incredible welcome in that country and have been welcomed back with open arms so many times I just have such a tender place in my heart for it. They are true music fans and you feel it when you go there.
DRA: Artists always look to other artists as inspiration, whether it be for songwriting, entertaining, or career. Who inspires you and your career in country music?
HA: This is such a difficult question to answer because there are so many. I am inspired every day by the amazing talent in country music now and inspired so much by those that have come before.
If I were to pick a current artist that inspires me I would have to go with Miranda. Her songwriting has grown into this beautiful, soulful, deep, place and yet she hasn’t lost her edge and I love that about her.
Throwing it back I was always inspired by Garth Brooks. I got tired just watching him run around and sing like that lol. I used to think as a young girl how amazing and effortless he was on stage and how much I wanted to be able to perform like that.
Again, I could list people all day but those are two I love so so much.
DRA: The new single is “Lazy River”. Tell us about the background behind this summertime song.
HA: As I said I grew up in GA, and one of the things that I used to LOVE to do was go up to Helen and float down the Chattahoochee River. In the summer time literally, hundreds of people will get their tubes and a cold beer and enjoy the water and a relaxing float. So, the whole idea just screams summer to me. My producer came to me with the idea in January and said, "Hey, I have this musical idea I've written, and I don't really know what the song is about other then it feels like a floating down the lake or lazy river kind of song". As soon as I heard it I knew we had to run with it. All my childhood memories of that time came to my head and the visual was so clear. We brought in another good friend and writer to flush out the idea with us and "Lazy River" was finished in just a couple of hours on a freezing cold day in Nashville in January, lol. I think it helped us power through the winter!
DRA: “Lazy River” is the perfect song for summer that has us ready to hit the river. Where is your favorite place to go for a summer vacation?
HA: Thank you! I grew up going to the Atlantic Coast of Florida, specifically a little town called Flagler Beach, for vacation every summer with my family and so that holds a really special place for me. My grandmother still lives there so I love to go see her when I can.
DRA: Your songs all have a feel-good, pure country sound. How important is that to you? To have songs that make people smile or completely relate to?
HA: It is really important to me have songs that make people smile and make them feel like someone is telling at least a small part of their story. I hold on to that every time I make music.
As far as the sound goes, I try to write music that I would want to listen to as a fan and what would make me happy, or make me laugh, whatever the case may be, and I go from there. The writing process is really organic for me, I am so envious of people who can sit down and write a song every day, I WISH I was like that. I have to get hit with the feeling or idea and then I run with it.
DRA: You recently performed during CMA Fest. How was that experience?
HA: It was great! CMA Fest is such an awesome, unique time. It brings country music fans together from all over the world and it’s amazing to get everybody in one place and just dive into the music for 5 solid days.
Photo Credit: @fashionqphotography
DRA: What can fans expect from Hannah Anders next?
HA: My full-length album releases on August 31st and I can not tell you how excited I am about that. I can’t wait to share the new music with everyone and perform it on the road this summer. We have some big shows coming up which I always look forward to and some other exciting things in the works which I’ll keep you updated on. Instagram and Facebook are a great place to follow me for all of that, my team and I try to stay really on top of those announcements for everyone.
We would like to thank Hannah for taking the time to interview with us. Be sure to follow her on social media for the latest updates and tour information.