BN1 Chats with HANA LILI ahead of The Great Escape

What inspired you to pursue a career in music and how did you get started?

Growing up in Wales, I began performing by competing in the Eisteddfod which is a traditional festival held there every year for centuries. I learned about the tradition of telling stories through song. That’s definitely the point whereby I fell in love with music.

I’ve always struggled to convey my emotions in conversation, music and songwriting became this outlet for me to understand my emotions and thoughts. It was more a need than a want.

Can you share a memorable experience from a previous live performance that has stayed with you?

I suppose those early days of performing in small venues to a handful of people is very special, then fast forward a few years, and supporting Coldplay in the Principality Stadium was awesome, both memories motivate me to keep at it… Seeing someone in the crowd sing the words to Basement for the first time. It made me emotional! When writing songs you’re in such a bubble, and I always write about experiences in my life, which songs provide this silver lining to any situation, so to see someone in the crowd singing the words was an incredible moment! I think also anytime I play live with the band and me and Theo do a silly move (I decided it would be a good idea for us to go back to back) and Jack (the guitarist) is looking over to check we haven’t fallen over haha! Being on stage is so freeing, I think it’s the only place I truly feel comfortable! 

How does the music scene in Brighton influence your creativity and style?

I’m reallllly excited to go to The Great Escape this year and watch bands such as Ugly, Mary in the Junk Yard, Picture Parlour and Wunderhorse. It’s so inspiring seeing other bands play live, it’s such an exciting scene at the moment!
What message or emotions do you aim to convey through your music to your audience?

Performing live is definitely my happy place! You can connect with an audience and share songs that capture parts of your life that are very introspective. So it naturally leads to leaving my raw emotions and experiences with the audience. So I try to convey the whole rainbow of feelings that motivated me to write the songs in the first place. Vulnerability, honesty and rawness. I want people to feel like they can get to know me from my music!
Who are some of your musical influences and how have they shaped your sound?

Growing up, I would steal my parents CD’s which had bands such as The Cardigans, Nirvana and the pixies. I fell in love with this era of music, the live aspect of the guitars, drums and vocals. Maybe it’s a nostalgic thing? I’m massively influenced by Radiohead, No Doubt, The Cardigans and Nirvana. I remember finding all of my Dad’s old CD’s when I was younger, and I feel like that music has stuck with me when I approach the sonical side of the record.

How has your music evolved since you first started creating and performing?

Playing live has had the biggest impact on my music, being able to connect to audiences and try new songs, you get instant feedback, playing with a live band influences how you write songs, as it’s not just me in my bedroom anymore, I need to translate ideas for a performance that has energy. 

What do you hope the audience takes away from your performance?

It’s hard to know, but maybe it’s different things for different people, some of my songs are high energy and of course some are more melancholy, but I suppose it’s that connection to a specific song or lyric

How do you stay motivated and inspired to create music, especially during challenging times?

Writing songs has always been a way for me to understand my emotions, maybe similar to someone who might write a journal. If the listener relates in some way, I hope it brings them a comfort in knowing that they’re not alone in that emotion. 

If you could collaborate with any musician, living or deceased, who would it be and why?

I’d love to make a song with The Beaches, Chappel Roan, Sabrina Carpenter and Deftones at the moment.

Lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring artists looking to break into the music industry?

Be yourself! Write songs about things that you resonate with! Experiment with producing and don’t worry about being “right” or “perfect”, just be authentic to you!

Tickets: https://greatescapefestival.com/

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