Spotlight – meets Hannah Strumner (August 2022)

Great to have a new country music interview in my Spotlight section right at the beginning of August 2022! The artist I feature this time is Hannah Strumner, an Idaho-based artist. Hannah has just released her debut album – Hannah Strumner is available since 16th July. However, her key career success so far are her live stream concerts. 195k people follow her on Instagram – and it is really a lovely experience to listen to her shows there. The more, I feel gifted to get a closer look at Hannah Strumner – hope you enjoy our chat. meets Hannah Strumner

FLYC: Hannah, thanks for joining for an interview. It’s just a few weeks ago until you released your self-titled debut album. Are you happy with the feedback you received so far?
Hannah: I have loved the feedback received so far. For me, the best feedback is when someone uses your song to help them get through difficult situations, so you know that your music was there to help someone else who went through a similar or even different hardship or experience.

FLYC: Nowadays, music is globally connected. People worldwide can listen to Hannah Strumner easily. What has been the most beautiful or special reaction you received about the eight song release?
Hannah: My most favorite reaction about my song was when someone told me that they listened to it after they had a heartbreak and it really helped them feel better and recover a lot more from it.

FLYC: The leading single has been Are You Ready to Let Go, which you recorded with Sam Henry and released in late June 2022. What is that song about – and how was it like to write and record it?
Hannah: The song is about that part in a relationship where it has been some time since the breakup, but now one person is moving on completely by dating again, and they are letting go of the old upsetments and emotions that they had so they can continue on with their life. They are asking that ex, if they are also ready to move on from the past.

FLYC: Is there maybe another song on your album, which people reacted a lot on?
Hannah: A lot of people liked the tune of Hit and Run and the story behind Fool School. Fool School has helped people who have dealt with being bullied as I was bullied as well and kind-of tell a story about “what happens to the cool kids after high school, if they continue their ways.”

FLYC: As I said, the album comes with eight songs. Is it something you do as an artist to guess, which song people might like most. Or, vice versa, are there maybe songs you have been more nervous about than others?
Hannah: You know it is pretty hard to guess what song people would like the most, I surely thought everyone would go for Five Mile Road but I was wrong and everyone really loved Brown Eyes the most!

FLYC: Stats can be damn cruel: while over 190k people love and follow your Instagram account, Spotify showed some 2k streams for Are You Ready to Let Go at the time of having this interview. Is that something you compare to each other?
Hannah: Never ever. I find comparison is something that is not good or healthy to do as an artist. I usually go live so frequently in the day, that is how people found my music, and some people prefer to listen to my music on Instagram live, rather than hearing it play on Spotify, which I always take in as a compliment.

FLYC: The album has been recorded in Idaho. You are actually from Boise, the capital of the State of Idaho. How much of your home is in the album Hannah Strumner?
Hannah: When driving all the way out to Boise, I wrote a song after a street there called Five Mile Road as I wanted to include a big part of Idaho in the album!

FLYC: Especially as an emerging artist, the last three years have been cruel. Covid-19 took away the opportunity to be on stage and present yourself to potential listeners. In addition, you wrote me about other physical issues you have or have suffered from. How much did that influence the last years of your career?
Hannah: I got into livestreaming a lot when it came to COVID-19, which truly got me to where I am today. I always believe in turning really difficult and hard situations into something that is good because if one doesn’t it will always be something that is bad. I was also influenced to write music after my diagnosis with Type One Diabetes, and was inspired to write one of my songs called Old Phone Line.

FLYC: You told me that you have a lot of pain due to your physical situation. However, I read that you have been very active in live stream concerts in the past. How is that like to you? How much harder is it when you cannot see your audience in a live stream?
Hannah: Going live on streams is something I am so thankful for and truly blessed to be able to do. Even with my physical situation, I always think how awesome it is to have such a flexible situation that I am in to go live from home and share my music like one would do on stage, I find that amazing

FLYC: When did you finally decide that you want to pursue a career as a musician – and especially during the last years, have there been times where you struggled with it?
Hannah: Oh yes, I have found lots of struggles with music. One wonders if they are good enough to enter such a world, but I have realized over the last few years it doesn’t matter what one thinks, it matters how you feel when you are writing a song and how it helps you personally.
I told myself I wanted to do music as I only live once and want to do this as a professional career as I have a great opportunity to do so!

FLYC: Your debut EP has been released before the Covid-19 restrictions, in very late 2019. What is your favorite song of that recording, Cause I Miss You?
Hannah: My favorite song on the EP is Cause I Miss You because of missing so many people with COVID-19, and not being able to see them. I also had lost my dog around that time, so it really helped me get through it as well.

FLYC: Looking forward, what are your plans for the next months? Will you be able to tour and present your songs for example?
Hannah: My plans are to get back into the studio, maybe play a few shows, and share my music with as many people as I can!

FLYC: Last, but not least, two non-music related questions. What is your favorite way to relax and cool down after hard days? I, for example, saw your dogs on your Instagram account…
Hannah: My favorite way to cool down is having the AC on and watching a movie with my dogs on the television! Hanging out with my dogs makes everything better!

FLYC: Finally: honestly, when I think of Idaho, the only thing which comes into my mind are potatoes. I am sorry. When people are in your town Boise, what should they do and why?
Hannah: Haha, that is okay! You can remember Idaho as the birthplace of television! One should visit Twin Falls Idaho as it is such a beautiful place to be, and a great place to go when wanting to take a vacation near a place with water!


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