With a new Radio 1 residency, a mammoth forthcoming UK tour and the release of the hugely anticipated Rhymes, Hannah Wants is the busiest lady in bass right now.
She’s developed a reputation as one of the finest DJs around thanks to her incendiary sets, in which she traverses between garage, house and everything in between with consummate ease.
Despite the fact she’s a DJ first and foremost, and still only at the start of her production journey, she’s still capable of rustling up some serious dancefloor bangers… As her latest release with long time collaborator Chris Lorenzo proves.
To be honest I wasn’t sure how Rhymes would be recieved on a wider scale but it made it onto the BBC Radio 1 ‘A’ play list and it’s already up to number eight in the charts which is amazing
“To be honest I wasn’t sure how Rhymes would be recieved on a wider scale but it made it onto the BBC Radio 1 ‘A’ play list and it’s already up to number eight in the charts which is amazing,” she grins. “It was made for the dancefloor but I guess it’s one of those crossover tracks that can be played out on radio as well as in clubs.”
“We actually made the track in March last year but decided to sit on it over summer and only gave it to a few select DJs to play out. Once Annie Mac got on board with it and Daft Punk cleared the sample it all took off from there. It’s been getting an amazing reception in my sets since I first started playing it.”
Chart domination aside, DJ’ing in clubs around the world is what Hannah Wants loves doing most, and indeed what she does best.
That’s why the start of her tour, which kicks off in Bristol on February 13, can’t come soon enough.
“I can’t wait for it to begin. We’re playing at some of my favourite venues and every night is completely sold out so it’s going to be insane” she says excitedly. “There are some great support acts coming along and the venues are perfect for that ravey vibe, so there’s definitely going to be some wicked parties.”
“I can’t pick out one night in particular I’m looking forward to more than the others but obviously as Birmingham is my hometown that one should be extra special. It always is.”
One of those aforementioned support acts will be the winner of a recent competition, in which she welcomed entries from aspiring DJs across the UK in a bid to find someone who’s got what it takes to be a boss behind the decks.
“I’ve literally spent days listening to all of the DJ’s mixes. I started going through the applications whilst on holiday in Cancun and I’ve only recently completed the task, more than 500 people entered! It was really hard to decide only eight DJ’s but I think I’ve found some great DJ talent and potential. I’m excited to see what this opportunity brings to the tour and the concept is something I’d love to build on”.
“It’s nice being in a position to give young DJs a chance because I remember how hard it was for me as a DJ trying to get gigs and generally trying to get recognised,” she recalls. “In fact, my first ever festival gig came from winning a Mixmag competition. I was so grateful for the opportunity they gave me back then, so hopefully I can give someone a similar opportunity now.”
Since learning the art of DJing, Hannah’s rise to fame has been pretty astronomical. From winning a competition which allowed her to play at Creamfields to running a competition of her own which will give someone else the opportunity to support her on a major UK tour has happened in the blink of an eye.
Inevitably, this relatively rapid rise to stardom is, at times, somewhat overwhelming.
“I take it all in my stride, you have to, but it can be a bit strange being recognised by people in out and about and stuff like that. A few days ago someone said if they could meet anyone famous on Twitter it’d be me and it really shocked me because I don’t see myself as famous at all!” she exclaims. “It’s something that comes with the job and I think as long as it doesn’t affect your ego then recognition can be used in a good and positive way.”
“You don’t notice the changes on a daily basis, it’s only when you think back to two or three years ago that you’re like ‘wow’ and you realise how much has changed. I’m just happy that I’m in this position doing something I love.”
Never one to rest on her laurels and always one to challenge herself, Birmingham’s chief bass export has plenty lined up for the year ahead.
“In terms of production I’ve just worked on a VIP remix with Tough Love of their upcoming single So Freakin’ Tight. I’ll also be collaborating soon with a couple of my favourite artists as well as working on some solo material to be released later this year. Other than that my main focus is of course on my live DJ sets, bi-monthly mixtapes and my BBC Radio 1 Residency show.”
Hannah Wants is proof that hard work, determination and an unquenchable passion for music does pay off. If you haven’t checked our Radar episode on her yet, here it is…