The name struck me as too familiar not to search it out. There she was not once, but twice. Hannah Trigwell‘s take on both Katy Perry and Fleetwood Mac had caught my attention a couple of times. Now it wasn’t about what she’d done in the past but about the present and future. Now we have her new single, “Nobody,” and soon we’ll have her debut album, RED.
With countless aspiring artists on YouTube covering everyone from Paramore to Ed Sheeran, it’s easy to get lost in the mix. Not Hannah. She rose above and certainly beyond – and she’s still on the rise. We talked about where she’s been and where she’s going as her debut RED sits as one of the most anticipated releases of 2018.
Kendra: Busking is a common theme among many artists in their origin story. You’ve come a long way from those days, but can you still remember the first and last time you did it? What were you feeling on the first vs. the last?
Hannah Trigwell: I still love busking, and I’ve had the chance to do it a few more times across the UK this year. The first time in Leeds (in 2008!!) was adrenaline-fuelled and I remember feeling very exposed, but I loved it. When I was starting out, it was really a great way to get live experience and spread the word about my music. The last time was this year, in Chester after a day of songwriting, the sun was shining, a crowd gathered as I performed on the streets of the city centre and the atmosphere was amazing. I left feeling very grateful!
Kendra: Being a YouTube success is not an easy thing to accomplish. Some think it is though. From your perspective, what work needs to go into making your presence known that’ll take you from YouTube to the stage?
Hannah: It’s tricky for a lot of musicians (including myself) because the workload…vlogging the studio experience, songwriting, recording good music, touring and all the business stuff that goes with it…it can be VERY intense. But I think it’s really important to take listeners on the journey with you!
I love putting my own spin on popular songs too, recording and editing the cover videos takes a lot of time. You just have to prioritize different things at different times. Generally, I’d say that good quality videos and consistent uploading (once a week has worked well for me!) is the key, but sometimes it’s just not possible. I’ve got so much behind the scenes footage from recording my upcoming debut album RED, but haven’t had a chance to edit it all yet! Lots of vlogs are on the way haha.
Kendra: You always choose great songs to cover. Do you feel there are one or two artists no one should even try to take on in cover form?
Hannah: I always feel a little nervous covering legendary artists. I wonder whether some songs just shouldn’t be touched. My favourite song ever is probably “Earth Song” by Michael Jackson, and I think it might be a mistake to attempt to cover something like that, because of how incredible the original was.
Kendra: Let’s get down and talk about your debut coming out early next year. When it came time to make your own music and put yourself on a record, were you nervous at all?
Hannah: I’ve been writing this album for years, so I’m confident that it will be “all killer, no filler” – I’m proud of each track, the only thing that has made me nervous is bringing them all together as one cohesive piece of work, as a lot of the demos sounded very different. It’s all sounding great right now thanks to the producer Ben Matravers, and I just can’t wait to get it out for people to hear.
Kendra: What do you feel RED will bring to the music playing field that is missing right now?
Hannah: Honestly I’ve tried not to think about any gaps in music right now, what’s cool and what’s not, I’m just making music that I really rate, and if people like it then that’s awesome. If I’m the only person that likes it, I will at least know deep down it’s totally “me” and I will be happy with the end result.
Kendra: Well, it’ll have your lead single “Nobody.” It’s got this powerful atmosphere around it. I think a lot of people are definitely going to connect with what it’s about, that struggle of feeling like a total nobody. When you hit that feeling, how do you pull yourself up?
Hannah: I’m lucky to have such supportive people around me, in my career and in my personal life. A lot of my lyrics have been inspired by low times and feelings of doubt. Songwriting has always been therapeutic for me.
Kendra: Throughout October you were busy playing all over the UK. Every show sold out. Does seeing a show has sold out energize you even more before you hit the stage?
Hannah: Totally!! I still get a little nervous before each show, but I kind of love that. Playing a sold-out show with no nervous energy at all would feel like I had run out of a passion for performing, I don’t think that will ever happen!
Kendra: Next year you’ll drop RED, but what else will you have going on?
Hannah: I’ll be touring again in the spring-time, some big shows coming up! It’s incredible to still be independent in music, running my own label, promoting my own shows and each year is getting better and better so I’m looking forward to 2018!
Kendra: A lot of new artists start out covering songs on YouTube like yourself. If you had to make a mixtape for new artists that featured the best songs to cover, what five would be on it?
Hannah: Oooh tricky one! That’s really hard actually because the song has to suit the artist’s voice ideally…but here are some songs that would be on the list for me: