Northampton singer-songwriter Hana Brooks is back with her impressive new single ‘Used To Be’. Having toured the Sofar Sounds circuit in London during the summer Brooks released ‘Leave It’ last November, gaining her much radio and streaming plays. It has lead to a tasty residency at West London’s The Troubadour venue [where ‘Used To be’ will have it’s launch party on February 28th]. Mixed by Nick Bennett [London Grammar, etc.] ‘Used To Be’ comes with a blend of subtle beats & bass anchored to that Californian blend of synths and guitars – and of course her distinctive vocal talents. This special song should propel her into the heart of the industry – if it knows what’s good for it.
New Boots spoke to Brooks about the song and the path that led her to here. You can watch the video below too
When and why did you decide to start performing?
I have always wanted to perform, it’s something I have always felt is right and feels like what I am meant to be doing! I love it. I feel more comfortable on a stage in front of 500 people than I would in a living room with two people.
Did you ever play covers? What were your favourites?
Yes, with friends in local bars. My favourites would be Moloko ‘Sing it Back’, The Specials ‘Monkey Man’. Always so much fun. Basically just jamming through any 90’s dance banger was always a laugh.
Who is on your playlist right now?
The Neighbourhood; also loving Pale Waves at the moment and a bit of Portugal .The Man
Has your musical taste changed much from when you were growing up?
It has always been diverse. As a kid my older cousin gave me Nirvana Nevermind and the Spice Girls album on the same cassette! I grew up listening to a lot of Motown, hip-hop and Frank Sinatra. I would say my music taste hasn’t changed a bit, as I’ve always just listened to just about EVERYTHING.
Do you remember the first gig you performed?
At 11 years old I formed a band with a couple of lad’s in my class, playing songs that I wrote! They were very Oasis/BritPop kind of tracks. I actually don’t remember feeling nervous, just super excited to be playing on a big stage. I seem to remember having the most horrendous haircut and was going through a very grungy stage at the time.
Can you talk about what inspired ‘Used To Be’? It’s a very emotional track.
I wrote the track whilst in California, its about a “friend” that I had. At the time we had been on and off. It’s basically about wanting things to be like how they were; that it could be more simple – and how distance from somebody makes you want them more.
What was the musical process like?
This track started like many of my songs do. I had a riff that I had been noodling around with on the guitar and then I built the rest of production around that in Logic with a really pumping drum beat – almost a bit like Drake. I got the demo down at home and then brought it into the studio where everyone instantly got it. From there we built up the synths and added new sections here and there. It was a really natural process with free flowing ideas. The way I like to work is: no limitations and splicing genres.
Did you have much say in how the song was produced?
100%!! As a multi-instrumentalist I like to get as much of the original idea of what is in my head down to a demo at home before I work with other producers to take it to the next level and bring in new ideas.
How was it working with Nick Bennett?
Fantastic! Nick is a very good friend of mine so working together is always sound.
Did you have fun filming the video and visiting the States?
I have a lot of love for California and the States. Getting to film a video in my favourite place on earth with my amazing team…we had a ridiculous amount of fun!
What are you working on next? What can we expect next?
I’ve started work with another amazing producer, alongside releasing more new material over the next couple of months and will be heading across the pond again. Watch this space!
Used To Be is out to download/stream on Monday February 12th