I think it’s fair to say that it’s been a good year for Hannah Georgas. She released her debut album, This Is Good. She got great reviews. She played a lot of shows. She’ll play a few more shows still at NXNE this week, and we talked to her about that and a whole bunch of other stuff, too.
1. What bands are you looking forward to catching at NXNE?
I would love to be able to catch Buck 65, By Divine Right, Library Voices, and The Besnard Lakes.
2. Do you have any good music festival stories?
A couple of years ago, I played CMW in Toronto and had 3 showcases to play in one day. The last show we played was at a hotel bar and our set time was really late. The audience members clearly wanted to just shoot the shit, be drunk and chat. After the second song into my set a gentleman from the crowd took my mic and conducted this speech to the crowd about how they should shut up and listen. He went into detail about how I was an artist pouring my heart out to them and deserved some respect. I’ll never forget his little rampage…ha!
3. Your music defies categorization into a single genre—in some moments it is pop in others a little more folk etc. How do you describe your music?
I hate to label myself into any single category of music because I’m influenced by a lot of different styles and sounds. I strive to make music that is honest and exciting to play and listen to. There are a lot of sides to who I am and I’m really wanting to explore it and continue to grow and mature as an artist.
4. Your music has appeared on television, including in a Walmart commercial, how did that come to be? Has it opened up new opportunities?
I played a gig in New York last summer and was approached by a music supervisor afterwards. He asked if I would be interested in writing a song for the 2009 Back to School Walmart campaign. I went back to Vancouver and I asked my producer Ryan Guldemond if he would be into writing the jingle with me and he accepted. At the time we were heavily into making my record and so we decided to take an evening and write this tune. We wrote a 30 second jingle and the song became part of this commercial that was aired for 8 weeks across North America. The commercial had a lot of viewers inquiring about the song and artist and that’s when we eventually decided to go back in and make the 30 second jingle a full length song. I think it was great opportunity for people to find my music and has allowed me to reach a wider audience.
5. Part of the proceeds from The Beat Stuff went to support juvenile diabetes—can you tell us a bit about that? Do you have future plans to use your music to help others?
I wanted to support a cause that is close to my heart and I came across the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. JDRF is a charitable organization that’s dedicated to improving the lives of people who suffer from diabetes. My father struggled for many years from the disease and passed away a year ago because of it. I want to continue being involved with JDRF. Down the road I would love to find other ways of giving back and contributing to my community.
6. You released an album, This is Good in April—tell us a little bit about it?
This Is Good is my first LP. I recorded it last summer in Vancouver, BC. I had the opportunity to work with producers Ryan Guldemond and Howard Redekopp. I worked with other amazing musicians from Vancouver and recorded eleven songs of mine. It was an amazing experience for me and I’m really happy that it’s out in the world for people to listen to!
7. You have toured across Canada. What is the most interesting part of the country you have encountered? The most beautiful?
There are quite a few beautiful places in Canada. My last tour we had a couple of days off in Canmore, Alberta and had a chance to explore. My band mates and I set up our instruments right in front of this picturesque view of the mountains and shot a rather amateur music video using one of our cameras. It was a lot of fun and I hope it turns out! Canmore is a very relaxing and friendly place and has an amazing place to eat breakfast called, The Summit – we ate there 3 days in a row. I highly recommend that you go!
8. I see that you post a song of the day on facebook. Where do you get your inspiration?
I wanted to share music with friends and fans that I get really excited about and that inspires me. Other artists inspire me all the time. I tend to analyze and be in my own head a lot of the time, and music serves as an outlet for me to release all those feelings.
9. Are you looking forward to playing Lilith Fair? Is there anyone in particular that you are looking forward to playing with?
I went to Lilith Fair in my early teens and was so inspired by the festival and all of the talented female artists that were involved. I feel thrilled and honoured to have the opportunity to be part of it this year. I can’t wait to see Erykah Badu perform and hopefully get the chance to say hello…aaaa!
10. Do you feel closely connected to the music community in Vancouver?
There are a great deal of lovely and talented Vancouver musicians and I feel lucky that I’ve been able to connect with a bunch of them and also befriend them. CBC radio has been so unbelievably supportive and has helped me grow as an artist in Vancouver and across Canada. In my opinion, they play a huge role in making Vancouver music feel like family.
Hannah Georgas plays NXNE on Saturday June 19 at the Horseshoe Tavern.
Photo courtesy of Freshly Pressed PR