Thursday, November 9th, amidst a wintry chill, the glorious Hannah Grace delivered an enchanting sold-out performance at Oporto in Leeds. Supported by the incredibly talented Maria Naffah, the venue swiftly embraced an atmosphere of attentive warmth, which was only set to deepen throughout the night. Hannah then gracefully made her way through the audience, heightening the anticipation before she claimed her place on stage. From start to finish, the crowd were captivated with a mesmerising vocal showcase that held the room spellbound throughout the entirety of the evening.
Prior to the live performance, I was fortunate to sit down with Hannah and ask her a few questions…
Firstly, I think a good place to start would be by asking about how the tour is going so far?
“Tour is going really well so far, I’m having an amazing time! I was worried about getting ill and all the kinds of normal things you worry about for a tour, I had all of those worries but when you’re in it, it just kind of flows. The people I’m with – we’ve all had such wholesome car journeys and we’ve been listening to music. Also the weather has been great, it’s been bright autumnal sunshine so when we’re driving down the Country everything looks so beautiful. It’s been really great, everything has aligned perfectly to make it a really nice experience!”
Your recent EP – Devoted came out in July, could you share a bit of information on how it all came to be?
“Definitely! So I released my album in 2020 (Remedy) and when I came out of that, it was such a big deal releasing my first album but it also happened to be when there was a global pandemic. All these songs on the EP were written throughout lockdown so they’re very mellow, reflective and hopeful, all kind of written from that perspective. Then when I recorded them and released them I was out of that bubble so it’s been a whole journey, probably more than any of my other releases in terms of who I was in the beginning and who I was when they came out.”
Over the last few months you’ve had some really cool things pop up. I just wanted to mention the Women’s World Cup final and your cover of Praise You that featured on the closing credits. What was it like to hear yourself in such an iconic moment of television?”
“ITV asked me beforehand and it felt so nice to be asked. It was also the context of things as Praise You has been used on sport programmes before but it was the context of it being the women’s world cup and they also wanted to use a clip of me so it went between me and the squad and I’ve never really seen any artists have that. I think they really wanted to focus on the women powerful thing and it just felt really good to be part of that.”
A couple of months ago you had the incredible opportunity to perform with Jools Holland, how did the experience come to be?
“These things in music sometimes are so random, it was in a club in London and the organisers of music events there had this residency with Jools Holland, so every month he plays music and showcases a new artist and it was the organisers of the event who reached out to me. It was surreal because Jools Holland has always been someone I look up to. He was chatting to me about my music and what songs he should listen to. It was a really wholesome experience. I feel when you admire someone you really want it to go well and it just kind of exceeded my expectations.”
You’ve recently been to Nashville and I know you had such a good time there, would you say the experience has influenced your way of making music at all?
“So my good friend Jessica Sharman lives in Nashville and we co-write a lot of songs together. There’s so many of my songs I’ve co-written with her so I was going to see her and see what she’s up to. It’s just such a musical place, I went to see so many gigs and was inspired by all the different genres of music. I came back home with such a different perspective to what I wanted to write, what I wanted to sound like and loads of new songs will come from it, for sure!”
Lastly, 2024 is upon us, what can we expect from Hannah Grace in the future?
“Very, very vague plans at the moment. I’ve been writing loads of songs and I’ve finished writing my second album, which is really exciting! 2024 is basically going to be me figuring out how and when and who I want to record it with, which is very much a fun process for me but it’s all kind of behind-the-scenes. I do want to do a few more shows around the year, so I’m ready to do loads of shows when the new music is out. Other than that, I may release the odd cover, nothing’s set in stone yet but we’re looking at the end of next year/2025 when there’s fruits of new music.”
Words by Emily Leonard