By Leah Adams
Hannah Gill & the Hours is a group is fronted by vocal powerhouse and songwriter Hannah Gill. Their EP “The Water” was just released in May.
“The Water” is comprised of songs inspired by Gill’s transition from living in a small town to New York City. It is a collection about embracing life’s adventures, breaking free from society’s mold and finding personal freedom.
Learn more about Hannah + The Hours in the following All Access interview:
Thanks so much for your time today! So, how’s the year treating you all so far? What were some of the highlights of 2015?
The year has been pretty amazing! We have been playing loads of shows to help gain momentum before the EP Release. Since performing is probably my favorite part of the music process I would say it has been a good year. J As for highlights regarding 2015 I would have to say my graduation from high school in May of 2015 was a huge one. It marked the moment where I went from a part time musician to a full time recording artist. Another highlight was when I moved to NYC in September. It is crazy to think that all of this has happened in a little under a year.
Hannah, growing up, did you always know that you wanted to be a musician and be in a band? Can you talk about how you think moving from a small town to New York has influenced you as an artist today?
Ever since I was a kid I knew I wanted to sing for a living. The feeling I get when I am on stage is so indescribable all I ever wanted to do was replicate that feeling. I think coming from a small town has made me more modest in a way. To move from a town with 15 musicians to a town with 150,000 really puts things into perspective.
What was it like making that big move?
It was pretty smooth actually. I knew I was bound for the city for a few years prior so the move itself came somewhat effortlessly.
How did this group first come together? Why do you think you all work so well together?
It really started when I teamed up with my friend Brad Hammonds, I was invited to record a few songs at his studio (As a favor for his father) and after hearing me sing we teamed up and began writing and performing together. Brad on guitar and myself on vocals. As a few years passed we really started to develop our sound and found other musicians we really clicked with. Forming the band was incredibly organic. I think we all work so well together because of how similar yet different our personalities are. Of course we all love to make music, but the slight differences in how we go about it make us a great team! We are constantly bouncing ideas off of each other.
How would you describe your sound to someone that has never heard it before?
Soul Pop! The outer shell of the EP is very pop, but the more you start to analyze the tunes you find that the bones have a strong soul, jazz, and blues feel.
Next month, you will release your EP, “The Water.” What does that feel like? Where did this inspiration for these songs come from? How do you all coordinate on songwriting?
The inspiration for most of the songs revolves around my move to NYC and the changes it brought. I guess my newfound freedom in the city was good inspiration! I worked closing with Brad, and my friends John White, andRich DeCicco while writing the lyrics for songs like Austin and The Water. Lyrically it is great to have a creative group of people available to bounce ideas off of.
Let’s talk about your current hit single, “Change In Blue.” Where did this song come from? What inspired it?
The song was really inspired by my move to New York City; I had all of this newfound freedom. Because of that, one night I suddenly had this huge wave of confidence. The type of feeling that really only hits you every couple of years, where you just feel like you can do anything, and you just feel super confident and super empowered by the idea of what you’re doing. I had that overwhelming sensation, and I had to write a song about it. I think the whole song is that feeling that you get when you know that you’re about to do something life changing. And realizing the freedom in that is something absolutely amazing.
How have your recent shows been going? Where have been some favorite venues and crowds to play for?
They have been going really well!! My favorite venues we have played in the past month or so have to be bothMexicali Live (Opening for Sister Sparrow) and Gramercy Theater (Opening for Kris Allen). The venues themselves were beautiful; the staff was kind (which is always a huge plus) and the crowds just wanted to have a good time! I love playing for people who just like to get up and dance!
Who are some of your favorite artists? Who continues to inspire your sound? Who would you love to work with in the future?
Oh gosh, I love a lot of musicians but my favorites at the moment have to be Leon Bridges, Michael Kiwanunka, Cake, Billie Holiday, Chet Baker, Johnny Flynn, and Melanie Martinez.
As for people who inspired and continue to inspire my sound I have to stick with my classics. Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, and Nina Simone. These artists have moved me both emotionally and musically and will always have a place in my heart.
If I could work with anyone, I would love to do a collaboration with Hozier. I was a fan of his back when his music wasn’t on ITunes and you could give a donation (in Euros) for his Take Me To Church EP on his website. I even commented on his FB early on soliciting feedback for a song of mine and he responded saying, “Talent well beyond your years, keep up the good work.” I don’t know… It would be a really fun story to tell don’t you think?
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners are taking away from your songs?
I just want to make something that people enjoy. Whether they laugh or cry, sing or dance. I just want to move people with my music the same way that my idols did to me. Music is one of the few things in life that truly connects everyone, and all I want to do is connect.
Read the original interview here.