Getting to know – Hannah Slavin

Getting to know – Hannah Slavin

With XpoNorth taking place in Inverness this week we thought it would be a good time to get to know one of our highlights of the music showcase programme. Hannah Slavin will play The Tooth & Claw on Thursday 4 July.

Having recently released ‘I’m A Mess’ Hannah will also play King Tuts Summer Nights on 11 August with Tamzene, Riley & Cortne.

We caught up with Hannah to chat about the new track, XpoNorth & future plans.

A&A – Hi Hannah, for people who haven’t heard of you please tell us a little bit about yourself.   
Hannah Slavin – Hey! I’m Hannah Slavin, I’m a singer & songwriter from Glasgow and I write a lot of sassy pop songs about my life. 

A&A – You are originally from Glasgow but have relocated to Leeds. How do the 2 music scenes differ?
HS – The DIY scene in Leeds is huge. The majority of events and music nights that go on are put on by the musicians themselves. It’s a tight community and pretty much everyone knows one another, which I absolutely love. Leeds is also a lot smaller than Glasgow, so it’s easier to know what’s going on every night and get yourself involved. I’ve not been in Glasgow for a while, but the venues in Glasgow are iconic, I’m so excited to see more of the artists who are currently smashing it over there at the moment. I’m back a lot over the Summer, so I’m definitely looking forward to getting stuck into the Glasgow music scene again. I also love how supportive the Glasgow community is, I feel like whenever I come back I always feel at home and it’s like I’ve never left.

A&A – You have just released your new single ‘I’m A Mess’ tell us about the song
HS – I wrote this song with one of my favourite songwriters, Kieran Williams. We had a writing session and I turned up still pissed from the night before… He asked me how I was and I turned to him and said, ‘Kieran, I’m an absolute mess… but I fucking love it.’ and so ‘I Am A Mess’ was born. It’s a song about celebrating the parts of life that aren’t all flawless and perfect because most of the time they’re not. It’s about accepting yourself for who you are, enjoying yourself even when you don’t have it all figured out and you’re just living life for what it is. 

A&A – What was the recording process?
HS – We finished writing the song within one day and we took it to the most incredible producers, Benjamin Casey & Jamie Kelly at High Rise Studio. We put down the vocals and keys, and then we kept on building and building on top of it. They are miracle workers. We all had a very clear idea of what we wanted the song the sound like and it was just a lot of fun working with them and seeing it all come to life. The song just grew and grew beyond what I could ever imagine and they honestly couldn’t have done a better job.

A&A – Tell us your biggest musical influences? and what is your songwriting process?
HS – I have far too many and it changes on a daily basis, but I would say the biggest people at the moment who are influencing my style and music are Sigrid and Charlie Puth – they definitely had a lot of influence in the production of ‘I Am A Mess’. Whenever I write a song I can always hear a bit of their styles in my songs. 
I can only ever write songs when I have something to say or want to get something off my chest. You can always tell how I’m actually feeling from the songs I’m writing, it’s the only way I know how to process my feelings and emotions – I’ll always have something I want to get out. Almost always a melody and lyrics together and then chords and the rest come afterwards. 

A&A – You are returning north of the border to play at Xpo North are you looking forward to it and how do you find these industry showcase events?
HS – It’ll actually be my first time in Inverness, can you believe it? I’m so excited – It’ll also be my first time at Xpo North, so I’m just really looking forward to making the most of it and seeing all the Scottish artists that are playing this year. It’s going to be a fab couple of days. I really enjoy them actually, it’s a great feeling being surrounded by people who all have a real passion for music. I love seeing new talent, meeting new people and learning so much from the conferences. It’s going to be a busy couple of days, but I’m very much looking forward to it.

A&A – We met when you played at Sneaky Pete’s with A&A favs Eyre Llew, How did you meet the guys?
HS – We actually met in Leeds when we were both performing at Hyde Park Book Club. One of my friends was starting up her own record label ‘Sixteen Records’ and both me and Eyre Llew were featured on the Compilation Album, so we were both performing at the album launch and I instantly fell in love with their music, it’s pure magic. When I heard they were playing in Edinburgh, I jumped at the chance to join them. They are incredible. It’s been great to see them grow and do so well! 

A&A – As well as Xpo North you are playing King Tuts Summer Nights with Tamzene in August. Who are your favourite up and coming artists?
HS – I’ve been into a lot of electronic music recently and I’m really rating Tall Saint, Luna Pines, OK Buttons, Hyyts and Dan D’Lion at the moment. They’re all killing it right now.

A&A – What are the plans for the rest of 2019?
HS – I’ve got a few more shows to announce this Summer, which I am absolutely buzzin’ about. My main priority right now is finishing off my EP, it’s been a long time in the making and it’s so close to being finished, so I’m very excited to finally release it in 2020. But before then, there will be a few more singles coming out in 2019, so stay tuned!

A&A – If you could describe Hannah Slavin with one song, what would it be?
HS – Haha, do you even need to ask… ‘I Am A Mess’ for sure. Always will be.




Freelance Music Blogger/Journalist - Alive & Amplified & BBC. Head of Artist Liaison - Wide Days. Events Manager - Shout! Edinburgh