Monday, September 21, 2020

DJ Interviews: Hannah Ciotkowski

Hello one & all its your old pal DJ Dizzy & I had say down with a singer who answers to   Hannah Ciotkowski who had so much to say on her musical beginnings.

How'd you get started in music?

I was lucky enough to have been born into a musical family, not in a formal or classical sense but my mum, dad, brothers and sister are quite eclectic in their musical tastes and that gave me a really wide exposure to different musical styles. Our house was full of soul, funk, folk, punk, heavy rock, pop, classical, the lot; even the Beatles, Sinatra and Edif Piaf. It must have rubbed off, as I love the variety of the music I’ve worked on and always want to take it in new directions with new fusions. My mum and dad would take us all to festivals and I went to my first Glastonbury when I was ten….and WOW! I LOVED IT! Even as a ten year old I could sense the fantastic vibe.

From then, I’ve always known that the music and entertainment industry was for me. I started writing my own songs really young, not sure how my parents coped with a show every other day! I was probably about thirteen when I was in my first band, a rock band the 'Flaming Blazers’, with me as the singer and writing original songs. We even got to the final of ‘Battle of the Bands, which was quite an achievement considering how young we were. I actually remember someone from the audience, throwing their pants at me!

When I was about fifteen, I joined a new band called 'The Walkaways,' an indie/alternative band really. We played a load of gigs and even a festival which was super fun.

Despite being in bands and working with other people, I've always written for myself too, more as a hobby, until recently where I realised people liked my sound, lyrics and melodies and I thought I could share my feelings, express myself and make something more out of this!

Who are your inspirations or influences?

Having grown up listening to such an eclectic mix of genres, I get my inspiration from artists across the industry. I saw Amy Winehouse at Glastonbury in 2008, and her effortless soul and tone of voice has always been one of my favourites, that care-free persona I've always admired, making music for yourself rather than to please other people. The likes of Kate Bush and David Bowie have always been artists I've looked up to. The utterly unique sounds and images they both portray has always intrigued me. How Bowie could reinvent himself with each album but maintain his iconic image has always amazed me. Now, I'd be lying if I didn't say Taylor Swift too... probably take most of my inspiration from Taylor. Her emotive, story-telling lyrics never cease to impress me. To pour so much of yourself, and your stories into a song has been a trait I've always admired. I love honest, open lyrics, as I love songs I can relate to.

 What advice would offer aspiring performers?

 I'm a massive dreamer, but dreaming probably isn't enough, put your dreams into practice. We're so lucky to have a network on our fingertips (phones), if you like what someone does, tell them! Make the most of every opportunity. I'm now writing an album with someone I met in a coffee shop just because I overheard them say they were struggling to write lyrics! I've always hated being pushy, but actually, if you don't ask, you won't get!

My best songs come from the heart, and if someone else likes them, then that's a bonus. Most likely, you won't become an international sensation overnight but try pick yourself up after every knock back. Write and make music for yourself, not to fit other people, you’ll be amazed that those happy... and sad moments and thoughts, that you think only you feel, are shared in young people across the world. If I can help anyone to make sense of them, then that’s great. If not, then forget it all and just dance!

How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?

 I don’t really, I try to be true to me. When I was in the rock band, it was quite unusual to have a girl as ‘the front man’ but we hadn’t planned it. We were just mates having fun and writing some good songs. Now on my own as Hannah Koski, I haven’t created any gimmicks or a different image to market myself. I’m not signed to a label, so I am just myself. I hope that my songs and lyrics can mean something to people and I use my voice to express them and hope people like it.

Any new gigs or albums in the future?

With the current situation massively impacting on gigs, I've spent this lockdown connecting with producers across the world (via social media), writing melodies, lyrics and singing over people's beats. I am really excited now, as I'm actually in the midst of writing my first album, true to my own vibe…. and I’m loving it!! - So keep your eyes peeled for release this year. I hope you like it too

Special thanks to them for doing this interview & I wish them lots of luck in her music So until then I'll catch you on The Flipside! Stay awesome & rock n roll

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