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INTERVIEW: Hannah Richardson

Hi Hannah, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey! I’ve actually been doing great! Insanely busy, but that’s a good thing in my world.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Chasing Rainbows”?

Absolutely! Lyrically, “Chasing Rainbows” is a song that talks about this idea of constantly reaching for the unattainable. You know, a lot of my fans are these little girls, and they always seem to be unhappy because they haven’t hit this level of perfection they see plastered on every social media platform. I wanted to write a song telling them that it’s okay to accept that there are some impossible dreams that none of us human beings will achieve. And hey, I know that saying not all dreams come true to a little girl might sound taboo, but it’s an important message! A twelve year old girl going through puberty is just never going to look like a model who doesn’t even look like herself after Photoshop, but that’s totally okay! She’s beautiful exactly the way she is!

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Actually, yes. I always say that I write from life, and that’s true for every song on this album. This past year, school relationships were a bit of a struggle for me, and this song in particular was inspired by this feeling I had of always longing for a relationship that was never going to work out. Luckily however, that whole “doomed longing” feeling eventually morphed into something a bit more inspirational, and is now the title song of my album!

Any plans to release a music video for the single?

Yes! The plan is that the music video for “Chasing Rainbows” will be released the same day as the album (aka. September 18th). Currently, we’re in pre-production, but I’m really loving all of the concepts my team has come up with. Honestly, it’ll be amazing.

Why naming the album after this track in particular?

Well, I felt like “Chasing Rainbows” kind of had this double ironic meaning for myself as an artist. People often think the idea of trying to “make it” in the music industry is totally impossible…and sometimes even I succumb to agreeing with that. However, this album is living proof that no matter what, I’m going to keep chasing after my supposed rainbows, and am gonna try and prove that they’re actually not impossible.

How was the recording and writing process?

Oh, the recording process was so incredible. I had the honor and privilege of producing and recording with Jason Garner, a music professor at Belmont University. There’s very few people in this world I actually feel are on my wavelength (oh my gosh, I just made the best audio pun), but Jason is one of them. Throughout the entire process, we were constantly emailing, throwing out ideas for instruments, sending mp3s and roughs, and coming up with little do-dads and licks we never would’ve thought of alone. My second love besides singing/songwriting is definitely producing, so Jason knew I was going to be a big stickler on making sure all those Irishy instruments I love (mandolins, fiddles, etc) were included, and he did such a fabulous job getting into my brain and understanding what was going on up there. As for the writing, everything I wrote was a super cathartic process, so I’m just hoping that others find the album to be as good for their mental well-being as it was for me.

What role does Nashville play in the writing on this record?

I would say a rather big one. Nashville is a tight-knit community, and music is expected to follow a certain formula in terms of format. My struggle when I was younger was finding a way to keep my unique voice meanwhile following the “rules” in terms of length, instrumentation, etc that Nashville is always insisting upon. Even now, although people agree I’m in the country sphere, people always tell me, “Can you make it more mainstream?” Luckily, I’ve gotten it to the point where I’m really comfortable in my space, and have found that medium where the music is commercial enough to appease the Nashville Gods, but also maintains all the special tidbits that my fans love.

How has Florence Welch influence your music?

Oh my gosh, how did you guys know? I absolutely adore Florence Welch and love both her artistry and music. Florence has such a fantastic way of using instruments that have rarely been heard besides in film scores, and somehow turning her works into these huge commercial successes. She’s made that more accepted/respected in this industry, and is someone I can always throw out as a reference when people question the cellos I throw into a country song.

What aspect of empowerment did you get to explore on this record?

I think just focusing on living your life without worrying what other people think is a huge struggle for most. Especially me. This album was a way to channel a lot of my own personal conflicted emotions about not “fitting in” into this actual pro-being a square peg in a round hole. There’s this famous quote by Van Gogh that said something like “normality is a paved road; comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow”. Now, he ended up chopping off his ear so isn’t the best role model, but I think that a lot of people will take that philosophy of normal not always being best away from my songs and find it rather empowering.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

This world has so much inspiration. From my daily school life to watching Gilmore Girls, lyrics and lines just come to me all the time. As far as music goes, I am basically an audiophile and never stop listening to music. From classics by Joni Mitchell and the Heart sisters to modern day rockstars like Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and Florence Welch, I’m always pulling from ideas the greats produce, and morphing them into my own way creations.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes. I still go to public school (this will be my junior year), but within my first month of being back at school, my touring schedule is something like Durango, Co then Grand Rapids, MI, then Nashville and so on. Not all of the traveling is just for performances specifically, but I will say things are looking to be pretty major for 2018, and that’s in part due to these trips.

What else is happening next in Hannah Richardson’s world?

Giving my family a little time off! As of now, my Mom, Dad, and Brother have all had to deal with my constantly working on music, album art, production notes, music video creations, and touring, all the while carting me around across the country. Therefore, after November, we’re gonna take some time for me to focus on my AP classes, enjoy the holidays, and eat some good food… but of course, I’ll still be locally performing and writing for whatever my next big project is. After that, 2018 will be simply be my shooting for the stars.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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