Hannah V: producer, artist, pianist who wants you to use poetry as self-care
We met Hannah V, producer, songwriter and pianist, to talk about poetry, working with Rihanna, and really good coffee
Born in Germany to South Indian parents, Hannah grew up in Berlin before relocating to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music, where she dreamed of playing her beloved piano in smoky jazz clubs. Fast forward some years, and Hannah was performing alongside superstars at sold out, international gigs. She's played in Wembley, she's played in Madison Square Gardens (although so exhausted she can only remember the washing machines backstage), and now she's putting down roots in London's urban jungle to support its up and coming talent.
Having traded in her glittering (but gruelling) international lifestyle to chase her dream of becoming a record producer, Hannah loves London, and especially the sound of her city. 'I've never been in a more multicultural place. It's a crazy melting pot where you can fuse all genres of music to create an amalgamation of so many different styles'.
We met Hannah early one morning at Forge & Co, and as we sipped delicious coffee, she told us about the links between song-writing and poetry, the creative process of writing prose, and the techniques she has implemented to spark creativity with her talent over the years.
'I get creative by being inspired by the arts all around me.. Reading poetry, listening to music, sitting down by myself and having a cup of coffee, or just listening to people talk.’
'Every singer is different, and they have to be comfortable before they can be honest', she muses as she explains that her studio space doubles up as a therapy den. 'It's a fragile and precious process'.
Hannah plays us excerpts from her soulful heroes, a bit of Joni Mitchell here, a little Kendrick Lamar here. As the music plays, her fingers dance and twist, as if itching to make contact with a keyboard.
She speaks of the dangers of the #nosleepgang mentality, the social media generation, and how internal and external pressures can stunt creativity if not addressed. Poetry, Hannah and the Julius Meinl team believe, can help bring people together and 'lift each other up'.
And, with life a little more relaxed these days, she's on a mission to connect people by way of poetry this World Coffee Day (on 1 October) through her role as ambassador of Julius Meinl coffee roasters.
This World Coffee Day, those who take their friendship offline and meet in coffee houses can claim a 2-for-1 coffee at Julius Meinl locations – all in exchange for co-writing a story or poem explaining how they met. What's more, Consumers are invited to share a photo of their poem on social media to be in with the chance of having their poem turned into a song.
Follow Hannah on Instagram here
To find out how you can take part, click here. Follow the social conversations using #MeetWithAPoem and #PoetryForChange.