Interview with Hannah Schneider
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I come from a family of musicians, and I started playing music very early. It’s always been a huge drive for me to play music, especially since I started to write and produce music myself. It gives me such a kick to put something new into the world, that wasn’t there before! If I had not gotten into music, I would probably have done something else creative- like photography or maybe being a graphic designer.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I sew and knit and create all kinds of things with hands.. I am very much into photography - and then I read lots of books. Reading is such a great way to escape into another world, and I am totally out of reach when I dive into a really good book. I also use the stuff I read directly in my songwriting,. My upcoming album is inspired by a book called Havbrevene (The Sea Letters) by Danish author Siri Ranva Hjelm Jacobsen.
How long has your band been around?
I’ve been releasing music as a solo artist since 2010, but the last couple of years I’ve been focusing on my band AyOwA. My first solo album in 7 years is released on September 30th, and it feels great to be back as a solo artist!
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I’m from Copenhagen Denmark, and people say that my music has a very distinct nordic / scandinavian sound. I think there’s something about the nordic melancholy that affects many of us when creating music . Something about the many months of darkness, longing for heat and light that oozes through my music.
Tell me about your most memorable shows?
I’ve done a lot of concerts throughout the years, but a memorable one is surely when I played in a big club Warsaw with my band AyOwA. Our music is very electronic and our live set is based on machines. We play one song totally stripped down with an accordion, and this night, our machines broke down, and we played an entire set only with the accordion and vocals, and 500 people who thought they would hear electronic music suddenly where standing still listening to a concert of only accordion and my voice!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I love playing Roskilde Festival, and great big venues- but I also find that playing tiny intimate venues has a certain intensity that I really love.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I guess I’d have Erykah Badu as a back up singer, St. Vincent on the guitar and Kanye West producing my tracks- Olafur Arnalds would be playing some piano and James Blake would be on the keys… Weirdest set ever!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
I think it’s the good old song about being true to yourself. In the music industry there’s a lot of compromises to be made, in order to make your way- but I feel that those compromises can be so damning, that it is not really worth it anyway!
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Trust in yourself, and your true voice!
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I think the first song I released before this coming album- “We Will Be the Only Sound in the World” - it set the tone for a whole new way of creating music- letting myself make an absolutely minimalistic performance where the song and the lyrics shine through.
Which songs are your favourite to play and which get requested the most?
My song Raindrops from my first album is one of my most played songs on radio, and its a really fun song to play. I have a tiny drum machine that I play, co-relating to the lyrics that talks about the rain falling on your face, drumming like a drum machine.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I am very inspired by other art forms- Like goin to see art exhibits, or the movies. I think I create most of my music as if it’s a soundtrack for a painting or a movie!
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I would like to give people a space for contemplation, and a place where they can connect to themselves and their emotions. I hope my music creates pictures to spark the imagination!
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Releasing my album Ocean Letters September 30th is my main focus, and I’m very excited for it to see the light of day! Also- doing shows, creating more music and art under my own name and my performance project Philip I Schneider, with whom I just played Roskilde Festival…