…And from a personal perspective. Did you ever find yourself objectified in your early days, especially being an aspiring female in the industry? If so, was it expected? How did you handle it?
No, I can’t say that I ever was. Not to my knowledge anyway but then I’ve always been someone doesn’t get involved in any bullshit. Bullshit takes you off course with your work and your goals. I don’t have time for that.
On the same token, despite your own professionalism and resolve, such issues do come up in industries throughout the world, whether creative or not. Do you have advice for others who may be starting their journey up their respective creative ladders, especially those who may be more naïve to such things?
My advice to anyone would be to just concentrate on your own game. Do what you do for the right reasons, act professionally and consistently and don’t give up.
What would you say was the oddest thing that happened to you as a person once you managed to get your name in headlining slots and your visibility (within the scene) increased?
One thing that’s pretty odd is the higher you climb in the industry the more you find absolute strangers telling people (and you) the widest array of completely made up things about you and your own life. Hahaha! I’ve learned that people can chat absolute shite.
On a lighter note, you have also began your own event “What Hannah Wants” with editions at (to name a few) Hideout Festival, Glastonbury, Warehouse Project, and Ibiza Rocks. What is your philosophy behind curating your lineups? Also, regarding destinations, how do you filter out prospective “What Hannah Wants” showcases?
My philosophy behind the What Hannah Wants events put simply is to deliver a great rave! It’s to book DJ’s who can deliver to a dance floor irrespective of their production portfolio.
When taking the brand to destinations, the venue has to fit the bill on all levels. Festival boat parties are great because they’re intimate and you can really mix things up. Arenas at festivals have been fun to curate this summer too, we can really take the crowd on a journey throughout the day. As for club venues, this is a subject I’m really passionate about. My favourite kind of clubbing vibe is a warehouse / rave vibe. I love the raw, intimate, low ceiling feels. The brand reflects this ethos. The venue is key to creating a great rave. That along with DJ’s who can deliver make for a great night which is what it’s all about!
Has their been a particular “What Hannah Wants” showcase that you have been most proud or, or is particularly memorable?
I put on my first What Hannah Wants UK tour during February and March of this year, every event sold out weeks in advance. That was pretty special! The bar has been set high for the WHW events but I like that. It makes me work ridiculously hard which is imperative if you wanna stay at the top of your game.
Another aspect of your place within the industry, as well as your visibility, is your personal mixtapes that you release via your own Soundcloud page. This is a distinctly contemporary approach to building a fan base, as it is immediate and far reaching. Have you ever put yourself in the shoes of a DJ in, say, the early 90s, when such capabilities weren’t available? What would your strategy be in an era like that? Would it focus on relentless gigging or another approach entirely?
I can’t say I’ve ever put myself in the shoes of a DJ in the 90’s, I’m not quite sure what my strategy would be? I’d try to find some unique, innovative way to keep people in touch with me as a DJ. It would have been dope to have an actual mixtape series in the form of cassettes!
Finally, if you could indulge me for a moment, and speak on the nature of dance music journalism. In prepping for this interview I (obviously) read some others you have done recently (no names mentioned). With that, my impressions of dance music journalism being generally “lazy” have been further solidified. If I haven’t read questions like “What have you been up to recently” or “What’s coming up for you?” or “How has your (insert season name here) been?” over and over again, I swear, I don’t know if I’ve read anything. So, my question here is, do you ever get tired of answering the same questions over and over again or do you find it to be just part of the “job”? (Please feel free to criticize my own interview approach here as well) :)?
The more interviews I do the more I find myself answering the same questions. Most I generally have no problem with. Where I am and what I’m doing varies quite a lot and so that kinda generic question is cool. The one thing that does grind on me however is the “how do you find being a female in male dominated industry?” question. I’ve been asked it 8,867,647 times in my career so far and it gets old!
I have enjoyed your question though I must say! Thanks!