When she is not providing lead vocals and rhythm guitar to her electrifying blues band 'Paint it Blue', Hannah Robinson is making waves as a solo artist. With a busy schedule of live shows throughout the week plus the recent launch of her debut album 'Oil and Turpentine', we were delighted that Hannah found some time to visit us at Music Unbuttoned. With such a busy schedule I asked Hannah if she is more focused on her band or her solo career?
"It changes, both fluctuate depending on what's happening at the time. At the moment my solo work is taking precedence because of the release of my first solo album".
Hannah's album has been creating a lot of interest and has even been reviewed alongside KT Tunstall's new album in Acoustic magazine. I asked Hannah how she managed to get her album noticed by a mainstream magazine?
"I emailed the contact email address found in the magazine. In my email I explained that I wanted to send in my album and asked where to send it. I received a reply which gave me the editors details. I posted a copy of my album along with a handwritten note. I think that if you present something well it helps people see that a lot of effort has gone into it".
Each song on Hannah's debut album sounds like it has been written from her own personal experiences. I asked Hannah if all her songs are autobiographical and how she starts to write a new song.
"I started writing songs during adolescence I think this is a time you do a lot of soul searching. When writing a song I usually find a good chord structure on the guitar first. However I wrote 'Don't Hide My Shoes' during a time when I had lost my voice. For a week I couldn't make a sound, it was very frustrating not being able to sing. Before my voice came back I could hum so I would hum around the house all the time, this is how I came up with the melody. This is the only song I have written where the melody has come first. I would like to write more this way".
Do you feel exposed or vulnerable when you perform an original song which has sincere sentiment for the first time?
"I play my songs to close friends and family first. But I don't like it when people who don't know me so well try to guess what a song is about, especially if they guess wrong. They might know the facts, but they don't know the emotion that I feel. But I enjoy introducing my song as original material, original material is what defines you as an artist".
Hannah has taken the brave decision to make music her full time profession. I asked Hannah how she has found it and if she has any regrets?
"To become a full time musician was an easy decision to make because I knew it was what I wanted to do, but it's hard work. Had I been a bit more savvy I would have saved some money before going full time but then-again if I was more financially comfortable I may not have tried so hard. I'm always trying to look ahead and keep busy, every day I do something which will contribute to my music even if it is just emailing venues for gigs".
Have you had one piece of advice which has stuck with you?
"I was performing at a pub in Poole and a rather drunk scotsman wrote me a note which read; 'Don't play it, love it, do it'. I still have that note and it is stuck on my wall at home".