The leading lady of UK house gave us an exclusive look at the dance floor heaters in her 2022 setlist, whilst also sitting for a quick chat, discussing what fans can expect from her throughout the remainder of the year
Date published: 24th May 2022
For more than a decade, we've sat back, watched and admired the impressive rise and continual development of our next Beats Per Minute participant, Birmingham-born house music legend - Hannah Wants.
The thirty-five-year-old DJ and producer is now regarded as something of a veteran of dance and a respected one at that, having first set out spinning records twelve years ago. Since her formative break-out years she's basically stormed the scene, amassing swathes of loyal fans across Europe and the states, delivering world class performances alongside acclaimed acts in clubbing meccas across the globe. And she's still far from reaching her peak.
Following the months of uncomfortable silence brought about by the recent pandemic, she's finally back out on the road doing what she does best. With an arsenal of new dance floor filling records, some of which she's proclaimed her finest work to date, she's been witnessed commanding audiences in heady clubs and venues UK-wide.
Graciously, after some persuasion, Hannah agreed to give Skiddle an exclusive look at said records. In the playlist below, you'll find fifteen tracks set to feature heavily in her live sets throughout the remainder of the year. Scroll a little further and you'll also find an interview with the accomplished selector in which she discusses touring, the upcoming festival season and her ambitions for the years to come.
Hey Hannah, how’s it going? What’s your current situation? Where do you find yourself chatting to us from and what’s on your agenda for the day?
"Hola Skiddle! I’m doing really good thank you! It’s 7.36 am and I’m sat on a flight from Santa Barbara to San Francisco, currently in the middle of my second US tour of the year."
"I stay on UK time when I’m out here so I’ve been up since 11 pm last night. I’ll get to my hotel, hit the gym, work, eat, sleep and then get up ahead of tonights gig at Audio. I’m playing 12 am - 2 am and then it’ll be straight back to the airport for an early morning flight to Albuquerque."
We’ve been watching your socials closely since the turn of the year, getting a flavour of what your ‘What Hannah Wants’ events are all about, as you tear up dance floors in cities across the UK. How’s the reception been? And has there been a standout date?
"My What Hannah Wants tour dates are always an annual highlight for me. It’s where I can be in control of pretty much everything; the venue, the production, the lighting, the line up. I’m a DJ through and through and whilst a huge cap festival tent will offer something different to a boat party for example, for me personally, nothing will beat an intimate event. Low ceilings, dark, moody, banging sound system, sweat dripping off the walls… you know, those kinda vibes."
"I also get to play extended sets at my tour events so I’m able to go on much more of a journey musically than I do in a usual peak time set. It’s a rarity, and all of this makes my What Hannah Wants tour dates stand out special."
"As for the reception, it’s been amazing. It always is. We’ve sold out every event I’ve ever put on and What Hannah Wants tours started in 2015! Oh, a stand out… if I’ve gotta pick just one I’ve gotta say the first tour date in my hometown of Birmingham just about topped it. My hometown is always special but I got to play 3 hours in an unreal room and the vibe was popping. I then headed straight to the AFTA DARK after party and played a b2b with my good friend and one of the first ever promoters to ever believe in me and start booking me, Tom Shorterz. It was a great night!"
On top of your own parties, you’ll be performing at a couple of BIG music festivals over the summer and the first unrestricted festival season since 2019 - the likes of Electric Woodland, Land Beyond Festival and the debut edition of Cinch presents Creamfields South. Is there an event you’re particularly looking to? And if so, why?
"ALL OF THEM! As you said, this is the first unrestricted festival season since 2019 and DJ’ing to groups of 6 people caged in pig pens last year was absolutely brutal and hurt my soul to be honest with you. It was painful. It’s not how music should be enjoyed or raved to. But yeah, WE’RE BACK and I’m gonna enjoy every single festival (and every single gig) I’m blessed enough to play moving forward."
Where else, other than the aforementioned, can dance fans expect to see you performing live this year?
"Although we are back in business and events are being programmed, things aren’t quite as they were pre COVID madness and so some things are generally getting booked a little later than usual and so the best place to go for all of the up to date gigs will always be my instagram page (I post bi-monthly gig artwork) and www.hannahwants.com - I have all of my gigs listed there along with ticket and all other info."
"I’m gonna be in North and Central America a lot more this year. I’m also gonna be hitting Austria, Italy, Mexico, Corfu, Mallorca to name just a few plus I have ten dates in my favourite place in the world, Ibiza. It’s gonna be a busy one and I’m so happy to be back on the road!"
Describe what a Hannah Wants festival set looks, feels and sounds like for all those aiming to catch you in the fields this summer...
"You’re just gonna have to come and find out for yourself... each festival is different depending on location, stage, crowd etc. I always come ready to adapt my set and play whatever I need to play to ensure I play a memorable set. It is always my goal to keep the vibe high and to make people have the best time getting lost in my music. I wanna play one of the sets people come away from the festival talking about!"
Regarding your current set, is there a particular track in your collection right now that you always look forward to dropping? An end-of-night anthem or an early pearler to blow out the cobwebs perhaps?
"For the first time in my 10+ year career I am now playing between 5 and 7 of my own productions in my sets and I’m super proud of that."
"I have two collaborations with Leonardo Gonnelli, ‘Let Us Pray’ (which is out now) and ‘To The What’ which is dropping in July that are straight up dance floor weapons and I’ve gotta take this time to name drop my favourite production to date called ‘Cure My Desire’ featuring an incredible vocal from Clementine. Whenever I play ‘Cure My Desire‘ and post a clip of it, my inbox goes CRAZY! It’s my most anticipated release yet. Just wait…"
"Aside from my own work, I have pulled PAWSA’s Event Horizon back out and into my set. It’s from 2015 and it’s such a banger, it works so well on the dance floor."
Looking over and listening to your back catalogue, it's clear that you’re a pretty prolific force when it comes to producing. You’ve already unleashed two club-ready weapons this year, ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ and ‘So High’, which will undoubtedly feature in many sets in clubs across the world this summer. Is there more Hannah Wants music to look forward to in the immediate future?
"I was one step ahead it seems haha. Aside, from the three key releases I’ve just mentioned above I have collaborations with Illyus & Barrientos, Eskuche, Dateless, more collaborations with Leonardo Gonnelli and a shit load of solo stuff too. It’s all in the pipeline, it’s just not getting rushed and pushed out. Everything will be worked with strategy and purpose from now on (a promise I made to myself at the start of the year) but yeah, I’m excited for the future music wise, let's just say that."
"The two years off with no touring sucked but my production definitely levelled up. Every cloud and all that. Keep an ear out."
When it comes to producing music, whose sound and ideas influence you the most? Are there any artists you remember growing up listening to that have continued to impact how you produce music today?
"My inspiration can come from so many different places. I grew up listening to The Cranberries, Fleetwood Mac, R.E.M, DJ EZ’s Pure Garage CD’s and much much more… my musical taste is vast and I think that definitely helps in the right moment."
"I’ve started listening to what I call ‘Spiritual Bangers’ (I have a playlist on Spotify if you wanna know what I’m talking about) and those kinda vibes have been influencing me a lot. I reached out to a vocalist that featured on one of my favourite tracks in the playlist and we now have something interesting in progress!"
As mentioned previously, you’re heading to some huge events in the summer. Considering some of the many other names appearing at festival's you’re performing on, is there anyone that you're particularly eager to see and if so why?
"I love seeing people win and lots of people are smashing it right now. Sam Divine, Miane, Jess Bays, Late Replies, Micheal Bibi, PAWSA, Ramin Rezaie... the list could go on. But yeah, big up everyone doing their thing right now."
"I’m really loving what SOSA is doing right now too, I’m yet to see him DJ but his productions are unique and work so well on the dance floor. I see a huge future for him and I’m hoping I can catch a set of his sometime this summer!"
Looking forward to the rest of the year and beyond, what are your ambitions? What’s still left to achieve on your list? What big things have you got coming in 2022?
"It’s mad because I’ve been in the game professionally for over a decade now but I’m just getting started in so many ways. The music that I’m releasing now and that’s forthcoming is by far the strongest I’ve ever released and I have so much more that I want to achieve as a DJ too."
"South America is going to get conquered, I want to level up a lot in North America now that I’m back touring there again, and the same goes for Europe and Australia. Let’s just say I’m motivated, I’m working hard and I look forward to what the future holds."
To find more information about Hannah Wants, to track her upcoming events or to buy tickets to see her performing live and in the flesh this year, head over to her artist profile by clicking or tapping - HERE.
Tickets for Electric Woodlands Festival 2022 can be purchased at the bottom of this page.
Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.
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