Exclusive: Hannah Wants talks new music and label developments, delivers lush, hour-long mix
Birmingham-born Hannah Wants (real name Hannah Alicia Smith) has proven herself a formidable force on more fields than one. A former professional soccer player on the English national team, Smith traded in her cleats for CDJs after a happenstantial run of showings in Ibiza nearly a decade ago. She soon began racking up eminent breakout DJ awards just a handful of years after.
Known worldwide for her SoundCloud mixtape series, Smith has made her meticulously crafted mark via the bassline-predicated, garage-y house strain that Brits are so ubiquitously known for. This style has caused her to continuously collide in her come up with the likes of fellow house habitue, Chris Lorenzo, who assisted in Smith’s hallmark club cuts, “What I Want” the Daft Punk “Technologic”-sampled “Rhymes,” as well as a length of others.
Smith recently took the next natural step in her ever-expanding career, establishing her own label, Etiquette, largely focused on housing her own most momentous releases. Dancing Astronaut recently got a chance to touch base with Hannah Wants, to find out about both her long-term and more acute vision for the Etiquette imprint, the genesis of her latest single, “Love Somebody,” as well as how she harnesses motivation from staying physically active, transferring her organic flow of endorphins the best way she knows how: into music production. Want-ing more? Open wide, because she’s also curated an hour-long, tech and bass-brimming mix specifically for the occasion.
What made you decide you were ready to start your own label?
Running a label was always something I wanted to do, but I’m a big believer in things rolling out at the right time. If you’re gonna do something, you’ve gotta do it properly and there’s actually a lot of background work to put in before you start. So I guess Etiquette had been a plan in motion since 2017.
Having my own productions at a level that I was finally happy with was also a big part of the label birth. “Bamboozle” was the opening track for the label and it was the first solo production I was 100% proud of and played in my sets.
Where did the inspiration for “Love Somebody” come from?
You know what, it was a super sunny day and I was listening to “Good Love” in my car and the vocal hook got stuck in my head for days. So, I wanted to translate the vocal and some good vibes into a track for my sets.
Any short-term developments on the Etiquette front?
I guess just that I’m super proud of the opening nine months of the label. We managed to sign one of my favorite producers in the game in that of Kevin Knapp, it was a proud moment to welcome him to the Etiquette family, and I’m hoping it won’t be the last we hear of him on the label. We’re consistently and heavily featured in the Beatport Hype charts which is a great look and we’ve got so much fire in the pipeline. It’s exciting times.
What’s the long-term goal with Etiquette?
To be a familiar main base for what I believe to be by far my strongest productions to date and to represent and push both up-and-coming producers as well as already established names in the game. Our music policy is bass-influenced music across a wide and varied house genre.
What’s been your proudest moment in your professional career thus far?
This is a very difficult question to answer as I’ve had many proud and happy moments over the past decade. In general, I’m just extremely proud on a daily basis to be doing what I love for a living. I’ve been in the game professionally for nine years now and it still feels like I’m just getting started, I got lots more I’m striving for in the next five to nine years.
Who or what has been your biggest non-electronic influence lately and why?
This might be an unusual answer, but am I allowed to say the gym? It’s not a person, but hitting the gym daily or as regularly as possible contributes massively to my mood and motivation. When my brain has clarity, my avenues for influence and creativity are better, fresher, and wider. The stepping machine I’m currently on while doing this interview may have been an influence for this answer, also.