Hannah Wants is a DJ who needs absolutely no introduction. One of the biggest names in the Bass House game right now, with recent releases on Food Music and Dirty Bird. Daily Beat got the chance to have a little chat with her, and find about how she first got into the Bass Scene, and what we can expect from her in the future. Catch her at this years Parklife Festival in Manchester, and Hideout Festival in Croatia, which Daily Beat will be covering for you this summer!
Finn Lurcott: How did you first get into electronic music?
Hannah Wants: I’ve loved electronic music since I can first remember. Growing up I used to listen to all of the dance music compilation albums. EZ’s Pure Garage compilations were my favourite! I can't believe his first Pure Garage album was released 14 years ago and he’s still going stronger than ever!
FL: How old were you when you first began DJing?
HW: I first started DJ’ing when I was 16. I got given a pair of Numark belt drive decks for my birthday, bought my first set of vinyls, locked the bedroom door, taught myself and majorly fell in love with the art of DJ'ing.
FL: What was it like growing up in Birmingham around the rapidly forming
Jackin' House Scene?
HW: I don’t like to call the scene Jackin’ House. There have been so many terms and genres flying about with regards to the sound that has been emerging from the Midlands over the last few years but I’ve never understood the whole ‘Jackin’ thing. If anything I’d say the scene suits the umbrella term ‘House & Bass’.
When I was growing up the music prevalent in Birmingham was Speed Garage, Bassline House and UK Garage and now I guess it’s kinda evolved into House & Bass. The sounds are from then and now are actually both very similar, the music is now just played 10bpm slower!
FL: How important was your time in Ibiza in getting your name out there as a DJ?
HW: I definitely think it helped in terms of confidence and learning my trade as a DJ. As an up-and-coming DJ I dreamed of playing the big clubs and events in Ibiza and surrounding yourself in the world’s house music capital for months at a time was really inspiring.
FL: Did you find it a challenge to transition into being a producer as well
as a DJ?
HW: I actually luckily fell into the whole producing thing knowing Chris Lorenzo through the music scene in Birmingham a few years ago. At first I didn’t take it seriously at all, it was more a bit of fun and I don’t think anyone imagined our collaborations would gain the success they did so rapidly. Since then I’ve learnt a lot and whilst I’ll always class myself as a DJ first and foremost, I will continue to build my knowledge and skills in the world of production.
FL: Do you reckon your producing partnership with Chris Lorenzo will continue into the future?
HW: I think the time has come where we both want to focus more on other projects. I don’t want my name to be pigeon-holed with Chris’ and whilst we have made some great music together, I’m looking forward to working other artists, delving into new sounds and seeing what the future holds.
My main priorities this summer will be my BBC Radio 1Xtra 'Sixty Minutes’ residency and DJ'ing - my tour schedule spans the world and is super crazy but after the summer I’ve got collaborations with a couple of great artists in the pipe-line and then I’m aiming to release solo projects next year which is exciting.
FL: How do you find it being a female DJ in an industry which is largely dominated by men?
HW: It’s genuinely not something I take any notice to. I’m aware that there are much fewer females in the industry when compared with males however it doesn’t affect anything that I do.
FL: How did you come up with the name Hannah Wants?
HW: My name is Hannah Alicia Smith and I was DJ’ing locally at the time under the name ‘Hannah S’… I’d always wanted to find a better name and so one day I very randomly just opened the dictionary to the letter ‘W’ (I like the letter ‘W’, I like the way it looks, is that strange?). I wrote a few words down next to Hannah that began with ‘W’ and as soon as I saw ‘Hannah Wants’ I just had a gut feeling about it. I like the open-endedness of the name / meaning and in terms of my career and from life in general, I do actually want a lot so it fits well.
FL: Do you have any big plans for the future?
HW: I do indeed! I think it’s really important to set plans and have goals as it keeps you focused, I’ve got enough to keep me working hard for a life time!
FL: Where has been your favourite venue to play?
HW: I couldn't give a definitive answer on that question as I love many different venues for varying reasons… One place that will always be a major favourite though is The Rainbow Warehouse in Birmingham. In my opinion it’s one of the best venues in the country and as it’s my hometown it’s always amazing to get back there and play.
Catch Hannah Wants July 4th at Ibiza Rocks Hotel for W.A.R! Click HERE for more information...