UK Country artist Hannah Dorothy is about to release her debut single, and we’re delighted to introduce her for the first time here on Belles & Gals* ahead of its release on November 9th. ‘Never Again’ is a catchy country song with plenty of easy-listening vibes. Much like Vic Allen, behind the soft vocal tones of Hannah’s delivery lie an infectious blend of music and lyrics that mean ‘Never Again’ sticks in your head long after it’s finished. Here, she tells us the story behind the song, along with her links to Nashville, life in lockdown, and her rather unusual busking location in childhood.
Hi Hannah! Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers by telling us a bit about yourself and where you’re from?
Hi! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. I’m Hannah Dorothy, a singer/songwriter from Lincolnshire originally but now I live in North Devon.
When did you first become interested in music, and who were your musical influences growing up?
I always remember music being on in the house growing up. Apparently I used to have a plastic yellow guitar and my mum would take me to the local village shop and I would sit on the counter and just sing to customers for sweets…. I had no idea how to play at the time! I remember a lot of Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Johnny Cash growing up. My first concert was actually a Bon Jovi concert when I was 11 years old!
Could you tell us a bit about your journey as a musician so far?
I used to play drums when I was younger and actually played in a rock band. I liked drumming but I always wanted to play the guitar so I just taught myself and started writing songs. I never did anything with the songs or played them to anyone. I always liked trying to write in a story-telling, country style. A few years back, I started just playing to friends and everyone was really kind with their feedback so that’s when I decided to start pursuing song writing.
What is it about country music in particular that attracted you to the genre?
I just love it! I love the story telling and how they set the scene and say so much but in so few words. I grew up in a farming area and used to be a part of Young Farmers and it was actually through a friend that I met back in the day, that I really got immersed into the UK Country Scene. Five years ago, my sister and I did a month long trip through the southern states and visited Nashville and Memphis and ever since then, I just wanted to be writing country music. My sister actually managed to get a job transfer over there a couple of years ago and she now lives a few hours from Nashville. Luckily I get to go over and visit a lot!
You are about to release your debut single ‘Never Again’. How excited are you and could you tell us a bit about the story behind the song?
It’s so exciting (and also nerve wracking) to be releasing a song that you’ve written just by yourself. I always write songs with the idea of other people singing them but there was something about this song that I couldn’t part with. I wrote it in one afternoon, during lockdown, when the idea just sort of popped in my head. It tells the story of how you swore you would never get back with someone but there, you’re back in the same situation again, so now you know better than to “Ever Say Never Again”. It’s something I think that a lot of people can relate to!
What has life been like in lockdown? What opportunities and challenges have you faced as an independent musician in particular?
I was fortunate enough that throughout lockdown, I was able to write lots of songs and keep busy. Being an independent musician, I work a regular job to be able to put out music and write songs. It means my days can be quite long but I actually have had some fantastic co-writing opportunities this year with some well-established artists. It is a really difficult time for musicians at the moment but I’m trying to focus on the positives and just write as much as possible!
What are your hopes and dreams for the months ahead? Can we look forward to more music in the near future?
My dream is to have one of my songs cut by a big country artist! It’s a big goal to have but it’s all about working hard and taking the right steps to make it happen. I absolutely love playing my own music and will definitely be recording an EP shortly, to release next year. The hardest thing is deciding which songs to keep and which ones to pitch!
Finally, if you could pick one female country music artist to write a song with, who would it be and why?
I absolutely love Kelsea Ballerini’s writing style so I think it would have to be her!
Thank you so much for your time!
Thank you for chatting with me!
You can listen to Hannah’s debut single on Spotify here.
*Interview originally conducted for Belles & Gals on November 3rd 2020.
Featured Image (C) Hannah Dorothy