She was born to make music. And although young, she's achieved some pretty major career highs. Singer/songwriter Hannah Rand writes from the heart and performs from the soul. She's so determined to make her music dreams a reality that she's majoring in songwriting at a college in Nashville, TN. Watching her performance below, I'm drawn by the angelic, beautiful, youthful face, the dress paired with tennis shoes and that VOICE, mature beyond her years, in stark contrast to her appearance. Hannah Rand is getting noticed....by me....by her peers....by the industry....and by the Grammy Foundation!
What is your name?
Describe your music style to our readers.
My music style is very different. I would probably describe it as alternative folky pop.
You're a singer/songwriter that received national acclaim last year after winning a songwriting contest sponsored by the Grammy Foundation. At the time, you were a high school senior. Tell us about this experience.
Wow. This was a doozy. I entered a contest my senior year after my driver's ed teacher pointed it out to me. It asked for a song about the problem of drugs and today's students. I wrote the song Start Over for this contest about a good friend of mine at school who does drugs and never really takes me seriously when I question that part of her. The incredible thing about this story is that I actually WON. Nationally. Granted, I got third place, but third place IN THE NATION. I'm still astounded to this day. Winning meant a trip to the Grammys. And that's where I found the validation I needed to keep songwriting and singing. At the Grammy rehearsal, I got to see Mumford and Sons, Kelly Clarkson, Fun., and Miranda Lambert, just to name a few people. And I got to tour backstage and see where everyone goes after they get their grammys and I also saw Rhianna's dressing room! It was the most incredible moment of my life.
Where do you find inspiration for your music?
I really write about my life experiences. When I started writing, I wrote trying to copy what I heard on the radio. But then I started using it as a tool to help reveal my emotions to others and to myself. I haven't found love, or dated a lot, so you won't find that type of song in my repertoire. But what you will find are songs about loss, and not giving up, and love in the world, and stuff that I think actually MEANS something.
What is your musical background?
My dad has a PhD in composition, and my mom is an excellent lyricist and writer. So I've had creativity and music in my life since I was born. I've grown up singing around the house and started taking piano lessons when I was 8 or 9. I started songwriting at age 12 when I heard my dad writing music to lyrics that my mom had written. I looked at those lyrics and thought that I could do a better job of putting music to them. So I did. And that went so well that I started writing my own songs, and never stopped.
If you could pick one musician (alive or dead) to perform with, who would it be?
Kelly Clarkson. She is the reason I started songwriting. I sang her song Breakaway around the house for MONTHS before I wrote my first song. And if you take a look back at the stuff I was writing when I first started out, it will sound almost exactly like Breakaway, but of course not nearly as good. So if I could perform with anyone, it would be her. Most definitely.
You're also a college student at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. What is your major and what do you plan to do when you graduate?
I'm majoring in Songwriting in the Mike Curb College of Entertainment Industries and Music Business. And I plan to do what I can to make this crazy music dream of mine work. I would love to be a touring (and money-making) singer/songwriter, and if that doesn't work out, I would love to work in a publishing house writing songs for a living.
What are 3 things most people don't know about you?
1. I'm an avid reader. If you can't find me, I am probably lounging somewhere reading the latest dystopian novel. In fact, if I ever have trouble getting homework done, or songwriting, it's most likely because I am too distracted from the latest book I've gotten from the bookstore. 2. I'm pretty emotional. I feel like I have this deep connection with the world and suffering that it's sometimes hard to control my feelings. I know that sounds a little insane, but I really struggle with how I display emotions and doing it in the right ways. Almost all my friends ask me how I'm feeling because I never talk about it. And I'm always feeling a lot but can't really express it. So I'm so thankful that songwriting has given me a great outlet for that. 3. I'm a sports fanatic. I'm from Chicago and I LOVE the Chicago White Sox, the Bulls, and the Bears. A huge problem about coming to college is that I haven't been able to watch my sports teams on TV with my dad every night.
What are your goals for the upcoming year?
1. Be less afraid of failure. 2. Be myself even when it seems like everyone doesn't like who that person is. 3. Record more songs. 4. Write more songs. 5. Be present in the moment. Lifetime goal: Become famous for the right reasons, and with the right mindset.
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by MRH, CMO