Hannah Roxanne's sweet, delicate voice perfectly accents her vulnerable, heartfelt lyrics. It just makes you feel young, those deep heartaches, the yearning, she perfectly encapsulates that feeling. We talked to her about her new music, focusing on the "why's," and being present.
How did you get started in music?
Hannah: Growing up, my mom had me in dance for about 10 years, and that is where I was introduced to the power of music, then at 7, I started taking piano lessons and did that until I was 18. So, music has always been a part of my life, but the game changed when I was 14 and discovered who Taylor Swift was and how she wrote all of her own music, and I was like, “I’m gonna try doing that.” And that’s where I felt most powerful was when I was writing. There is something so beautiful and rewarding about the process of songwriting that I will never get tired of.
Tell me about your song, “December (I Still Want You.)” what’s the story behind it?
Hannah: Absolutely! December (I Still Want You) is a beautiful song I wrote reflecting on what it was like for me to be a young teenager wanting to call someone up because of some unfinished business, but either I was too scared to or knew that it was better just to leave it alone, fabricated with little details from some of my early twenties. It is meant to be a release that brings either closure to certain listeners or courage to them.
It is also intended to be more of a transition song in my discography. All my releases before December were songs I wrote when I was 16-19. I am 24 now and have so many more songs that I feel are more relevant to the woman I am today. Still, I felt it was important to release my old music to honor my younger self and her journey and to have tangible evidence in my discography that growth is beautiful. So, December (I still want you), for me, was the closure of a certain era in my teenage years and musicianship.
Who are some artists that inspire you?
Hannah: OMG, there are so many artists that inspire me.
Taylor Swift is who inspired me to start writing. She is so talented. Then, Lana Del Rey came around. She listened to a lot of the same artists I did. She took her pain and messy parts and turned them into beautiful art. Growing up, I listened to movie scores a lot so, I related to her dark cinematic sound more.
Other artists I love: Billie Holiday, Bryan Adams, Pheobe Bridgers, Stevie Nicks, Dusty Springfield, SZA, Charlotte OC, Novo Amor, Norah Jones, Amy Winehouse, Hozier, Ben Howard, Miley Cyrus, and so many more.
What has been one of the biggest challenges for you in music?
Hannah: One of my biggest challenges in music has been learning to pave my way by myself. No one in my family was into music. No close friends had a foot in the door or dove into the scene. There has been a void of mentorship, and I am learning marketing, the business, publishing, and distribution, what types of content to put out, how to make it happen on a low budget, and how to network during a pandemic all on my own. It is definitely challenging but rewarding.
How have you been staying motivated to create lately?
Hannah: That is a good question, and I feel like, over this pandemic, I have developed a unique take on motivation because I was struggling to find it. For me, the key is to forget about motivation. Instead, I focus on commitment and my “why’s” (I do it because it is empowering, it is a release, it’s fun and healthy for my brain). This way, my creativity is more productive because my focus is on commitment, which is action-based.
What else has been inspiring you lately?
Hannah: This past year, I lost two family members that I was very close with, and it was so devastating.
My cousin Nick was someone who I looked up to so much, and that was because of his ability to be present and say, “I love you.” and mean it. I just loved that about him.
I learned life isn’t promised. So I figured why not use up time by indulging in my interests (books, films, nature, school, conversation) and collect my favorite parts. Being present, now everything in my life has been inspiring. And some of my best pieces are on the way because of that. 😉
What is your best piece of advice for young women?
Hannah: Choosing just one piece of advice is hard, but I will keep it simple: As a young woman, people are going to expect you to bend for them… don’t do it.