Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Scotland’s Lauren Hannah. Together we discussed their relationship with music, music within Scotland culture, their song “Paper House”, their upcoming single “Cigarette”, and so much more!
1. Mustard is grateful to have you join them at Music Shelf. How are you doing today?
I’m doing great thanks! Thanks for having me!
2. Mustard wonders what was your relationship with music growing up. Do you have any fond memories?
Music was a huge part of my childhood, I have a very musical family and I started piano lessons at the age of 5. I’ve always loved listening to music and playing music myself and with friends. One memory I have is winning the Young Composer of the Year competition in school a few years ago with one of the first songs I ever wrote, that was pretty cool. Another amazing memory I’ll never forget is when Ed Sheeran reposted a TikTok duet I did with his song on his Instagram story a few years ago. I couldn’t believe it!
3. Is there a song or album that you have a special connection with?
It’s so hard to pick a specific song or album but any of the old Take That songs remind me of going on holidays when I was young. I had an old iPod with all my dad’s music on it when I was a child and I’d just listen to Take That on repeat in the car haha.
4. How does music play a role in Scotland’s culture?
I think the fact that in school we’re taught a lot about traditional Scottish music and ceilidh dancing and stuff means that we’re introduced to music at quite a young age. It’s really cool to hear traditional Scottish music played at weddings and other important events.
5. What is your songwriting process?
I don’t really have a specific songwriting process, I find that when I take time to try and write a song I never really have the inspiration and it feels forced. I just have hundreds of voice memos recorded on my phone of little random ideas and chord progressions saved for later or sometimes I just end up writing a full song out of the blue. I will usually have a specific idea of something that I want to write about but the lyrics usually come after the chords and melody.
6. Who (or what) influences you?
Over the years I’ve been inspired by lots of different artists. I would say when I was younger my biggest inspiration was definitely Ed Sheeran because I just loved his acoustic vibe. At the moment I love the style of Maisie Peters and Lizzy McAlpine, both their songwriting and music, but I am also inspired by artists like Freya Ridings, Novo Amor, Sleeping At Last and Reunion.
7. What was the inspiration behind your 2019 single “Everything’s Going to Be Ok?” Do you still feel this way?
Haha, I was 15 when I wrote that song and recorded it in my bedroom with a tiny microphone. I started writing songs when I was about 13 and I was writing a lot of sad songs so decided I wanted to try and write a more uplifting and happy one. I released it at the start of summer in 2019 so it reminds me of the summer holidays that year!
It’s definitely good to be reminded that everything’s going to be ok especially if you’re going through a hard time.
8. “If they come to the paper house / I won’t let them in.” Could you elaborate more on this lyric? How can humans overcome feeling like a paper house?
So the idea behind ‘The Paper House’ is that to other people you may seem strong and indestructible, but really nobody knows how you’re actually feeling on the inside. It’s about overcoming that feeling and realizing that you are strong and amazing even if other people try to bring you down.
9. You get the chance to spend a million years with someone. What are some human activities you would like to do with them?
Hmm, I wrote my song ‘A Million Years With You’ about meeting someone and wishing you had forever to spend with them. And even though you have years and years with each other you just wish you had endless, infinite time with them. I guess I haven’t really thought about what I would specifically want to do but just knowing time was never going to run out with that person would be a great feeling haha.
10.What can fans expect from your upcoming single “Cigarette?”
My new song ‘Cigarette’ (out on the 27th January!) is an acoustic pop song about heartbreak and the process of creating it has been quite different to my other songs. It was recorded by my cousin at his college and he produced it all as well. I have recorded all my previous songs in my bedroom myself so seeing the recording process in a studio and getting to hear the song at different stages of the mixing process was really cool. The song kinda tells a story and I’m excited for it to be released!
11. Is your single “Cigarette” sponsored by Big Tobacco companies? Or a commentary on these companies?
Haha, so basically the song just uses the metaphor of a cigarette. It’s about someone being your ‘cigarette’ and doing something they know is going to hurt you in the end. It’s about you becoming addicted to someone that is no longer there and still wishing they were.
12. What is next for Lauren Hannah?
Hopefully lots more writing and recording! I released my first album in September 2021 so would like to work on releasing a second one sometime in the future!
13. Where can readers listen to your music?
- I have a link where you can find all my music: https://linktr.ee/laurenhannahmusic
Or you can search ‘Lauren Hannah’ on any streaming platform and find my songs.