Hannah Faith is a 21 year old selector who has gained popularity over the past year for her eclectic mixes and DJ sets. Following her signing to LA based label Soulection, in just the short space of 12 months, Faith saw her mixes receive over 1 million plays on soundcloud and played sold out shows across Europe and the US. Aside from her music, Faith is known for her spirituality and the positive message she spreads through her imagery and words. We sat down with her last week to learn more about the woman behind the music. Enjoy below.
** Press play to listen to Hannah Faith's exclusive mix for COZY MAG while you read this interview! **
COZY MAG: Did music play large role in your life growing up?
Hannah Faith: Most definitely. Music has always been attached to me in some sort of way it’s something that has always separated me from the ‘real’ world. I feel that when growing up I have been taught the world moves in a certain order. We go to school, go to university then after get a job and that’s you set for the rest of your life. There is war, there is racism, a woman can’t love a woman. A man can’t love a man. If you dress a certain way you fit into a specific category. There is too much oppression and standards for living, when really and truly we are all just human beings and we are all equal. For some reason we have been shaped to believe in things that really doesn’t matter.
Life is beautiful, life is a blessing, but I feel I was brought up into a world full of hatred and disease, music puts me in a world where I feel love in its purest form, music unites people, it makes me feel like there is hope. It pulls me out of my dark thoughts when I start to feel negative about the world. Music has always been my healer.
CM: What is your earliest memory of music?
HF: My earliest memory of music has always been from my father. My father is the true definition of ‘not giving a fuck’! He never let society shape him or mould him, he was born here in the UK but later moved to Nigeria at the age of 5 before coming back to London at 16. He’s been through struggles but still stands tall as the strong man he is today, he would blast his music at top volume in the car the whole neighborhood would know he was around. Even at home on the weekends that stereo was turned up high.
He has a crazy CD collection with so many genres, I’m so blessed I had a father like him who truly appreciated good music. My earliest memory would be when he would play Stevie Wonder Happy Birthday every year (on my birthday of course) up until the age I moved out which was when I was 17. The artists I remember him playing from my early age was Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Earth wind & Fire, Aretha Franklyn, Pink Floyd, Sting, Phil Collins and so much more, he really has a good ear for music.
CM: Tell us something no one knows about you?
HF: Through life I have been through an immense amount of battles with myself with regards to my identity. I was very lost, at one point I honestly did not know what I wanted to gain from this life. I felt I had no real purpose in being here, and I was surrounded by all the wrong people who didn’t help with my growth. I can definitely say that through this musical journey it has helped me realise that it is so important to surround yourself with positive people.
Our energy runs on thoughts and love, you have to have friends that will motivate you for the better when you feel any ounce of doubt about yourself. I’ve learnt to love myself as I am & never compare myself to any one else because God created me like this for a reason, we are all unique and we need to challenge our inner demons and cast away that fear. Let love flourish into your life and all good things will come to you.
" M U S I C H A S A L W A Y S B E E N M Y H E A L E R "
CM: You’ve gained recognition not just from your music, but from the speed at which you achieved what you already have. Why do you think that is?
HF: I think it’s all about focus, if you focus your energy on something, you can do it. But people get lazy, they let life get on top of them- and people’s responsibilities get in the way of them having time for other things. But if you focus yourself 100% on something, you can be good at it. It’s just about finding the time, even if it’s little by little, you will shine.
CM: What made you decide you wanted to be a DJ?
HF: I finished school, I wasn’t working and didn’t have anything to do. I was listening to music one day, and it was as if something hit me.... Like, why don’t you try mixing music together? And so I just did it, I took the risk, and started just blending songs I liked, you know, what I really enjoyed.
Then I thought, I’ll just put it on soundcloud, I didn’t expect anything, I guess I just wanted to see what people thought. Until my friend Yinka (Fwdslxsh) gave me the confidence to keep going. I trusted him so I showed him my stuff, and after he listened to it, he was like “keep going, stick with this” I love him to bits for this.... He started to really push me, and he believed in me.. I’d go away, do a mix, bring it to him and he’d always give me an honest opinion. Sometimes it wasn’t good enough, but he was honest with me and told me that. The one thing I learnt from him was to be patient. I think if he didn’t push me to do this, I probably would have stopped.
CM: Do you think the people you surround yourself with is an important factor?
HF: Absolutely. I think it’s so important to be around people that inspire you and push you. You need the right people around you, think of your craft as the seed. Your friends are water, and sunlight... You need good nourishment to help you grow. If you have the right encouragement, you can do anything you put your mind to, don’t stop at being a plant, let yourself grow into a tree!!
CM: What about the online support you’ve recieved?
HF: I wouldn’t continue if I didn’t have the support of my friends and the people online who support me, messages, emails... Even on Instagram, or Twitter. It still amazes me. It gets more and more personal, like you know, when someone goes out of their way to contact me.
I swear, it’s one of the best feelings. I can’t thank them enough for having the courage it takes to actually go and get in contact with that person. A lot of people wouldn't, for fear that they might not get a reply or anything. It just comes from such a pure place, with the only intent being to uplift me. It’s a blessing.
" L E T L O V E F L O U R I S H A N D A L L G O O D
T H I N G S W I L L C O M E T O Y O U "
CM: How does it feel to be on the receiving end of support like that?
HF: It’s like little sprinkles of glitter! [Haha!] Falling onto your body... Every little interaction. All of it, in the end, you’re glowing! It keeps me going. Little bits of positive energy being put onto you, and its just like, the feeling it gives you, it’s immeasurable. I’m so grateful.
CM: What about the opposite? How do you deal with negativity?
HF: I feel like as long as I continue to stay true to myself, then I’m cool. Like, I can’t change who I am, this is me in my purest form. I can’t be someone I’m not. With me, I have to be as honest with myself as I can because thats the way I can be the best I can be. That’s how you attract other real people. You don’t want to be surrounded by fake faces. Because when you are feeling down, those are the people that wanna pull you down further. All that negativity isn’t necessary, I steer clear from it.
CM: Does anyone inspire you? Who?
HF: Kendrick Lamar is definitely a huge inspiration. He’s someone who really isn’t afraid, you know? I think especially with his latest album, it’s a huge fuck you to the system that’s in place right now. Especially with all the negativity people hold towards black people. He’s done something amazing, I can’t fault his music.
CM: How did the album “To Pimp A Butterfly” affect you?
HF: It’s really helped me realise I’m capable of everything I wanna do. I think that’s his message. Especially in America like, It’s drummed so hard in their ear that they’re worthless. Especially like, in the hood. There’s a lot of people there that feel like there’s no way out; But I think it takes one person at a time, in the hope that one person will inspire another. You can’t expect a plant to grow all at once, it takes time, and gradually people will understand, they don’t have to fight, resort to violence etc. We have to uplift one another, and that’s definitely something I took from the album. To Pimp A Butterfly comes from somewhere real and I can feel that.
" W E H A V E T O U P L I F T O N E A N O T H E R "
CM: Is there anything non-music related that you’d like to achieve?
HF: I’d really love to art direct campaigns. I study advertising at university, and I find it fascinating. I’d love to be an ambassador for a brand, or creative direct a campaign. You know, I think it’d be really cool to have brands approach me with something like, a product or whatever, and just let me run with it, the visuals, everything.
CM: How has being in the music industry changed your perspective on it?
HF: I’ve met a lot of cool new people, a lot of people that have made me feel good about myself, and sure about who I am. People that really believe in me. Now, I think it comes down to just seeing how things really are. Really getting to know myself, and understanding that I need to take it easy. I’ve definitely learnt that people lose themselves in this industry, you know, they become a slave to all this shit. I don’t wanna be that person. I know I have to stay real. Thats why I said to myself, whatever you do Hannah, just keep your style, keep what you like, and keep that in your heart because that’s what’s got you here.
" P E O P L E L O S E T H E M S E L V E S I N T H I S
I N D U S T R Y ... I K N O W I H A V E T O S T A Y R E A L "
CM: How else have you changed as a person since you started DJing?
HF: I’ve definitely gained a lot of confidence, which I didn’t really have before. Sometimes I still struggle, but when I finally found what it is I like and who it is that I was, it kind of felt like an affirmation. That “Yes” moment. Like, this feels right. I have crazy friends, we’re all having a lot of fun, they hold me down and I think people like that naturally. That’s what helped me realise who I am, my friends allow me to be my purest self.