Few in the dance game are bigger than Hannah Wants, a top tier footballer turned world class DJ and an almost ever-present on lineups at the world’s biggest clubs and festivals. A house producer and selector of mass appeal, she’s a leading light in the coveted crossover area between underground and mainstream dance music, commanding an electric reception whenever she appears behind the decks.
Who better then, we thought, to interview for International Women’s Day than one of the leading ladies of UK house? Here’s what went down when we went in conversation with Hannah Wants.
For those that don’t know - your career as a professional footballer took a back seat when you discovered your love for dance music, was there a defining moment in which you made the conscious switch?
Yeah, I mean I still played football for a good few years whilst I was starting out DJing but it got to the point where I’d be getting in from the club at 7am on a Sunday morning and heading straight back out to travel the UK and play Women’s Premier League football. It’s fair to say the night before often took its toll on my performance on the pitch and I finished what was to be my last season at Leicester City and decided that I wouldn’t go back so that I could put 100% of my focus into DJing.
As a very much in demand DJ - who’s currently on tour - what do you do for down time?
I’ve always said the gym keeps me sane and I’ve recently started incorporating yoga into my weekly routine too - both good for my body and mind! I’ve also got a 5 month old staffy puppy called Ivor so I enjoy going on nice, chill walks with him - nature relaxes me! Orrrr if it’s been a particularly heavy week, a few hours chilling on the sofa is a rarity but definitely enjoyed!
What’s your favourite location to play in?
That’s an impossible question to answer as there are so many. You can’t beat a dingy, intimate sweaty club but at the same time it’s a mind blowing feeling playing to 10,000 people in a festival tent and then different countries also provide different vibes so yeah, I guess I have a lot of firm favourites!
You’re headed back to SW4 this year, what excites you most about the Clapham crowd?
I’m grateful to be heading back for my third consecutive year at SW4 this year. In 2017 I closed the tent after MK and it was amazing so I’m excited to get back! If the crowd is anything like last year we’re in for a messy one!
What are your favourite tracks to drop right now?
A few of my favourites at the moment have gotta be; Alexis Raphael - Eat Vegans, Sound Of The Bettest - Riva Starr & Tiger Stripes, Solardo - Today’s News aaaaand my next track to be released is called Bamboozle, I gotta say it’s my fave production to date!
International Women’s Day is today, what women are you celebrating?
I celebrate every independent woman out there in the world doing her own thing, working hard and dream chasing.
Who do you cite as your female inspirations within the music industry and why?
Sam Divine is a boss. I remember emailing her as a ‘no-one’ before I set off to Ibiza in 2010 for my first season with a dream to become a DJ. I asked for advice and she took the time to reply to me which I still appreciate to this day. On top of that she’s just an ultimate grafter, her passion for music oozes from her and she’s been in the game for a LONG time which isn’t an easy thing to do… Ultimate respect!
Who do you cite as your female inspirations outside of the music industry and why?
My mom. Standard. My mom was the person who taught me never to settle in life. To do what you gotta do and go after what makes you happy no matter what. She’s full of wisdom and instilled it in me from a young age and I’m gonna be forever grateful.
We always finish with a track, what’s your go-to female empowering tune?
Don’t quote me in saying that the lyrics are ‘empowering’ (I get lost in the music often over lyrics) but some classic go to tracks which make me feel some kinda way would have to be; Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill, The Cranberries - Zombie, Fleetwood Mac - Dreams.
And your go-to party track?
You can’t beat a garage banger at a party so I’m gonna say Colour Girl - Joyrider (Y Tribe Underground Mix).
Hannah Wants is one of the busiest DJs around at the moment, with gigs coming up in Newcastle, Edinburgh, Bristol and Leeds before Easter bank holiday is out. With those shows under her belt, attention will then be turned towards summer festivals, with appearances at South West Four, Leeds Festival and Croatia’s Hideout among others.
Photo courtesy of Hannah Wants
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