BBC Love Festivals talk to Hannah Lou Clark


Last year Hannah Lou Clark’s solo debut EP Silent Type introduced her to a whole new audience. 2015 has seen her on tour promoting the new sound and honing her showmanship. She played at Green Man in the Walled Garden while the sun was shining and we caught up with her on a rare break. She shared her thoughts with us on …

 … how she started: I wrote my first song at about 13, I think it was about nature or something very, I don’t know, naïve maybe? I started a band in school when I was 14 or 15 and then started playing some shows.

… performing: Funnily enough I’ve only really started enjoying performing in the last year; I used to find it really nerve wracking. I’ve done a few solo tours this year and I find it really empowering. I think that’s the main thing just being able to play solidly every night for a month you get into it. I’m embracing the fact I am up there on my own, I just have to get on with it.

… festivals: I think with festival shows I feel quite a bit more exposed, maybe that’s the simple fact it is in daylight. I feel less pressure especially here at Green Man; everyone is just kind of chilling out and here to have a nice time and maybe there’s not as much expectation compared to if I was playing in London.

… her playlist: At the moment Mark Lanegan, Beck and Beth Gibbons; I’ve also been listening to a lot of Queens of the Stone Age.

… being a woman in the industry: I think it’s really important to help other women and inspire them by playing music. I think maybe a lot of girls are kind of scared to get involved; it is intimidating. I was on a major label with my last project and there was a lot of male opinion involved and I felt very claustrophobic and didn’t have my own voice. Since breaking away from that and doing things how I want to in my own way has been a breath of fresh air. I’m just trying to encourage women to be confident with their own opinions and voices, but it’s all quite new for me.

… the future for women in music: I played a night in London recently called ‘Finding the Female Headliners’ it’s a new night put on by Amazing Radio and Robomagic. It’s all female musicians just to highlight that there’s great female talent and they invite people like industry along and hopefully get the performers shows at festivals and gigs. It was great and so nice having a London crowd that were enjoying it and being supportive. It was a total mix in the crowd and there was a lot of love in the room, it was really chilled out.

… social media: I’m into sharing playlists and things like that; putting up links to stuff I’m listening to. A guy the other day on Twitter replied to a video I put up saying ‘you might like this band’, Timber Timbre, and I checked them out and loved it and got their album. So that’s really cool sharing music and if there was something I really wanted to say and felt passionate about I would use (social media) to get my voice out there.

 … advice she would give her younger self: I think I would tell myself to be more headstrong and trust my own opinion as that’s definitely something it has taken me a long time to do musically; trust my own instincts more.

… what’s next: I’ve got another EP coming out at the end of the year, just trying to get everything sorted for that. Hopefully some more tours, I want to play as much as possible and see the world. I’ve got an album half written so hopefully that will surface some point next year.

Interview by Katy Vans

This interview first appeared on BBC Love Festivals

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