Thursday, June 23, 2016

Interview with young singer/songwriter Hannah Richardson

About you: 
I am a 14-year old pop/country singer-songwriter. I have sung in over 450 live performances across the U.S., and am releasing my third album, “Roots” on July 7th, 2016. I have a serious obsession with classic movies, and adore sparkly clothes with bright patterns, as well as cowgirl boots and sunglasses. I make my own music videos, website, album art, original music, and handle the business side of all of the gigs I get. I adore my fans, and am in love with the younger ones who call themselves my #sparklers. 

From where are you?:
I am from State College, Pennsylvania.

What is it that inspires you the most?:
-Life! I always say that my songs are “Hannah’s Life”. The songs on this album were all inspired by things that have influenced me over the years. The album is named “Roots”, and while writing songs for the album, I was thinking about small things that have shaped my life to be what it is today. These include actual experiences and conversations in my life also encouraged me to express myself through music. My first year at high school has definitely been an adventure, not all good, and it always feels good to come home and write. Overall, my objective for the album was to create something cohesive that showed my fans what my life has been leading up to. I am definitely not famous yet, but I can say that the songs represent little pieces of who I really am, which probably makes it my most personal material yet.

What do you want to say by your songs, why?:
I hope what people take away from my music is that teenagers have the capability to express thoughts and opinions of a mature matter in an artistic way. I dislike the common misconception that teenagers are completely incapable of holding any thoughts of substance...Sure, some of us can't, (myself included sometimes), but most teenagers have to deal with tough stuff...often as tough as what many adults go through. Everyone has their stories. On this album, themes such as death and abuse are addressed...What I hope is that I addressed these themes in an insightful way that will give both adults and young people an emotional experience while listening to the music.

Tell us about your experience as  musician what did it give you?:
Music has given me the opportunity to express myself in ways that I cannot through speaking. There are some emotions like love, pain, hope, etc. that, to me, cannot be expressed in words. I have to hear a crunchy electric guitar, or soaring strings, or a breathy piano that evokes an emotion. That’s what music gives me the opportunity to do. I can take feelings inside of me that are hardly ever touched, and bring them out into the open to be shared with others. Then, if the people listening have those same feelings, they have something that will make them feel good! It’s truly incredible, and that’s the reason I love being able to write music, as well as sing it.

Three adjectives to describe yourself.:
Oh, goodness! I guess I’d say Sassy, Spunky, and Silly.

A film, a book and a song:
On the Waterfront
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
“Castle” by Halsey

Tell about concerts if you  had any:
Well, I’ve had over 450 live shows, so I have a lot of options to choose from! One of my favorite concert experiences is performing for schools. I absolutely love it because I get to share messages like anti-bullying and confidence to students meanwhile having a full-scale concert where they get to hear their favorite songs by artists like Taylor Swift and Imagine Dragons! It’s amazing because the kids are so interactive and fun. They’re always cheering, dancing, singing, and being full of life. Plus, they are super happy to be out of class and doing something fun during the school hours…

Do you sell CD-s? How do you make it and where can someone buy?:
Yes I do! The CD’s are sold as physical copies as well as on, iTunes, Amazon, iHeart Radio, Spotify, etc. I make the CD’s through a company called CDBaby where I design all of the album art, upload the songs, and then can get them manufactured!

What was your most big success? 
It has to be performing at The Apollo Theater in Harlem, NY. The Apollo has so much culture and history, that it’s a true honor to sing there…It’s incredible performing at the same spot that Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, Justin Bieber, and more have performed. Not to mention, getting full-house standing ovations from thousands of people is too amazing to explain. I’m also the first person to yodel at The Apollo Theater so that’s off of my bucket list!

Favorite musician.
Just one? It has to be Freddie Mercury. 

What is your occupation, job, interest, hobby besides music. describe it.
Well, I'm absolutely obsessed with classic movies. Some of my favorites are The Search, On the Waterfront, and Rebecca. I also love editing films, and making all of my own music videos! When I'm not making music, I'm listening to film scores and soundtracks, (I'm a complete weirdo I know). I LOVE my friends, and love being with them. I'm also CRAZY about Harry Potter and have been since I turned eight...I'm feeling old.

Which advice would you give to other artists?
It’s absolutely amazing if you’re an incredible musician…but it’s really not enough if you don’t have tons of money. However, DON’T LET THAT STOP YOU!!!! You’ve got to learn how to do things on your own if you want to make it anywhere in this business. Make your own videos, design your own album art, take your own pictures. People will tell you that it’s not going to be as good, but I say that’s silly. You can always make do with what you have! Besides, it’s good to learn to be resourceful; it makes you a much better person. If a 14-year old from a middle-class family can do it and be successful, then I know that you can!

 Your plans.:

Well, besides releasing the album on July 7th, I plan on doing a ton of concerts and continuing to make new music. As far as long-term goes, I am extremely committed to my music. I understand the likelihood of becoming an artist like Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber is very low, but there is a big difference between making a living and being “famous”, (although I’m still shooting for the stars). Whether I “make it” through being a singer, writing music for other artists, or making music videos, I definitely want music to be the center of my life…honestly, I could never have it any other way, and as long as music is there, I’ll be happy.

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