Upcoming country-pop singer-songwriter Hannah May has just released the brand new stunning single “Lay Me Down”, & has kindly taken the time to speak with Fierce & Fabulous Revolution about her latest release, along with getting to know more about the artist behind the music.
Hey Hannah, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. Can you start by telling the readers a little bit about yourself?
Hannah: Of course! i’m a kiwi born country pop singer songwriter currently living in Brisbane. I moved here over a year ago from a city called Hamilton in New Zealand. I moved countries to step out of my comfort zone and to learn more about the music industry, which has been incredibly amazing and also challenging. Prior to being a solo artist, I was part of country pop duo Mae Valley for a few years. We were signed to a label and placed 7th in The X Factor NZ 2015. In 2017 After a lot of deliberation and with good intent, I stepped away from the duo and began my solo career. I started again without a label or management and started working towards being the artist I wanted to be. The last couple years have been about learning and growing as an artist as a person and as I continue to grow, I am finding what my music is all about and where I want it to go. Since being in Australia, I have released 2 singles ‘Passenger Seat’ and ‘Pretty Girl’, been a Toyota starker grand finalist and played close to 100 live gigs. I’m proud of what I have achieved so far and am excited for the year ahead.
When did you first discover your passion for music & knew that it was a career that you wanted to pursue?
Hannah: I always loved to sing and perform which was evident from a very young age (6) but it wasn’t until later in life that I felt that it was a true passion and what I wanted to do in life. I think that being on the X factor NZ opened me up to the possibility of music being a career. However, I think The glitz and glam of it all paints a false picture of how the industry really is. I was filled with a lot of doubt after leaving Mae Valley and it wasn’t until I decided to move to Australia that the fire was lit and I started to really grind. It’s a tough industry that requires a lot of willpower but I know one day it’ll be worth it.
What was the first song that you performed in front of a live audience & do you still keep it in your setlist?
Hannah: Oh man! The first song I ever sang on stage from what I can remember was ‘Whole Again’ by atomic kitten! I was 6 years old and even did the talking part haha. It was actually a big stage with a lot of people. I have not sang that song to this day but maybe I should chuck it in the setlist!
How would you describe your musical style to someone unfamiliar with your music?
Hannah: I would describe my style as country pop but leaning more towards pop and also ever changing. I listen to a lot of different genres and artists such as Haim, Leon, Vance Joy, Fleetwood Mac and country artists such as Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini, Keith Urban, Ingrid Andress. My songwriting style changes a lot and I would actually like to experiment with electronic pop or 80’s pop in the future. My songs are generally storytelling with meanings behind them. I like writing songs with catchy hooks and a good vibey beat.
You have just released your brand new single “Lay Me Down”. How did the idea to create this song come together?
Hannah: I started writing this song just as I arrived in Australia over a year ago. I was living in an apartment in Brisbane city at the time which was all new and exciting. It was pretty inspiring and I remember wanting to just let loose and write something that was different and a bit more risqué which is how this somewhat suggestive idea came about! The melody came pretty easy and most of the lyrics but I did do a lot of tweaking when it came close to recording time.
What would you consider to be the main inspiration behind this song?
Hannah: I really wanted to step out of my comfort zone and away from the typical country song ideas. ‘Lay Me Down’ is based around the excitement of a passionate romantic relationship between two people. I wanted to create a sensual kind of atmosphere but make it fun and something that people can dance to and get lost in. I think it’s the kind of love that people fantasise about.
What does the song personally mean to you?
Hannah: For me, it’s more about the creativity of it all and being able to step out of the modest bubble I’ve been in and write something a little suggestive and mature. This year has been all about stepping out of my comfort zone and I feel like releasing this song is a big step in the right direction for my music.
If listeners could take away anything from this song, what would you like it to be?
Hannah: There’s no crazy deep meaning behind this song, so all I want is for people to really enjoy it in the moment. It’s a multi purpose track whether for working out, dancing, drinking, setting the mood 😉
How have your family & friends reacted to your upcoming single?
Hannah: I played it to my parents for the first time and their faces were priceless. We’re not an overly concervative family, but it’s not a topic they expected their daughter to sing about. Aside from some awkwardness, they really like it and are super proud of me.
What advice would you offer to someone looking to pursue a career within the music industry?
Hannah: Go for it but grow a thick skin. It’s a tough industry to crack and I still face adversity everyday but if you so strongly believe in yourself and your craft, nothing else matters. Also, you’re allowed to have a back up plan. It doesn’t take anything away from your passion and drive to be successful. It’s just a smart idea as being a muso comes at a cost!
Finally, is there anything you would like to say to the readers of Fierce & Fabulous Revolution?
Hannah: Thank you so much to the readers Fierce & Fabulous for supporting musicians. It’s a difficult time at the moment but your support gets us through.
You can check out “Lay Me Down” on Spotify below.