Barn on the Farm Preview: Interview – Hannah Grace

Hannah Grace
It is now less than a month away until the barn doors swing open at the annual independent music festival Barn on the Farm. With a line-up boasting masses of emerging talent, singer-songwriter and regular BOTF performer Hannah Grace gave us her time to tell us all about her upcoming performance at the festival this year and her new, exciting project, the Farm Band.

Q: Hi Hannah! How are you feeling about playing Barn on the Farm this year?
A: I am so excited! I have been going to Barn on The Farm almost every year and it is by far my favourite festival.

Q: This will be the third time you’ve played at the festival. What have your previous experiences at the farm been like?
A: Really special. It’s honestly just a big happy family. I’ve never been to a festival that is more about the music. When I first started going it was a lot smaller than it is now! The thing I love about Barn on The Farm is that you discover some amazing artists each year and make a load of new friends.

Q: This year, not only are you playing as a solo artist but you are also part of the newly formed Farm Band. Tell us a bit about how the band came about?
A: I’m lucky enough to have lots of musical friends including the Hudson Taylor lads, Joe from Amber Run, and of course Gabrielle Aplin, and for years now we have always played and sung together formally and informally. When we get together we always end up playing music for hours and we have played gigs together in the UK and Ireland over the years just so we can play together and collaborate. Barn on the Farm was always a place we would collaborate in each other’s sets anyway! People would hop up and down the stage and join in spontaneously. Josh, the organiser of the festival, really loved this aspect of our group and wanted to give us a chance to make the most of it and create something special at this years festival – I can’t wait!

Q: How does a live performance from the Farm Band differ to when you perform as a solo artist?
A: My own set will be a real mix of old songs and new! I can’t wait to share my new material from my upcoming EP. Whereas with the Farm band, I’ll be singing with the other guys and maybe even collaborating on a few covers. The Farm band set will be pretty unique, I think.

Q: What can we expect from the Farm Band’s debut performance at BOTF this year?
A: It’s going to be a lot of fun! We will be singing our own songs, old and new, and singing and playing on each others songs too – making them our own and basically just having fun.

Q: Do you think it is important that there are festivals like BOTF that help support emerging artists?
A: It is hugely important! BOTF has really helped me as an artist – each year I come back with new songs and a years more experience – it’s another chance to play to a loyal audience. People are so enthusiastic and keen to support new music so it is a perfect festival for people starting out.

Q: Your voice is very mature and well-crafted for such a young singer-songwriter. Where do you think your experienced sound comes from? Do you think studying Jazz Vocals at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama has helped influence your sound and style?
A: I have been singing for as long as I can remember and have always listened to such a wide range of music and different singers. Studying at the Royal Welsh College has helped massively towards training my voice as well as giving me lots of opportunities to perform. I am graduating this July and I am really sad to be leaving but at the same time I cannot wait to dedicate all of my time to my music.

Q: What artists do you take influence from?
A: I love Hozier – his songs are all so good and I love the production on his album! I’ve been lucky enough to meet him and see him live and he’s such a nice guy – he’s clearly in it for the music. I also love Paolo Nutini – each album of his has moved in a new direction and I love them all.

Q: Your EP Meant To Be Kind came out about two years ago. Have you got any plans in the pipeline for another EP or an album?
A: I’ve been working on a new EP since – I can’t believe it’s been 2 years since Meant to Be Kind! My new EP will be out before Barn on The Farm so I am super excited to share and play my new material live.

Q: Will you be playing any new tracks during your solo set on the farm?
A: Definitely – I’m excited to share new music and see what people think!

Q: What advice would you give to young singer songwriters who are trying to make it in this industry?
A: I know it sounds corny but stay true to yourself. So many people will tell you all the ways in which you can be a success, but I really think that unless that it is truly you, it won’t work. Always do what makes you happy first and foremost – and do it for the music, not the fame.

Quick-fire Questions:
1) Favourite song at the moment?
Queen of Peace – Florence and The Machine

2) Most famous person you’ve met?
John Mayer

3) Top three people you’d invite to a dinner party?
David Attenborough, Beyoncé, and Leonardo DiCaprio

4) Dream duet?
Paolo Nutini

5) The act you’re most looking forward to seeing at BOTF this year?
Gavin James

See Hannah Grace at Barn on the Farm Festival from  1st – 3rd July. For more information, visit the festival’s website here.

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