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Interview of the week

Sunflower Bean
  • Amy Heather


Updated: Dec 10, 2018

I’m currently curled up on an oversized

cream armchair, wearing thick, fluffy socks and cradling my laptop with, ‘A Lover Like You’ on repeat. It’s about 11pm here in Connecticut, and I didn’t realise the low lighting of the living room with a view of a calm sea needed a soundtrack until I began listening to this song. Hannah’s smooth, sultry voice lingers line after line in seemingly deep conversation with the accompanying saxophone, and I am transported to a smoky jazz club. The song is both old-school and modern, with obvious retro jazz elements combined with contemporary hip-hop details. The low velvet vocals glide through the instrumentation with relaxed ease, and lead to high notes that almost remind me of Eliza Doolittle’s bell-like voice. I caught up with Hannah Rodriguez herself to gain more insight into her musical mind:

How did you begin writing this single?

I began the single by making up the jazz chord progression with my Fender, then once I had the guitar part sorted, I wrote the lyrics and melody on top. It took me ages because I really wanted this song to be perfect so was really careful with how I phrased things.

This song is lighter than your other tracks, are you enjoying writing a more minimalistic type of music?

Yeah I guess it is lighter, I think with this track it was always gonna be less in your face than some of my others because the subject is pretty deep and emotional. I'm really happy with how it's turned out though, and I think lyrically it's probably my best tune so far.

You’ve already had a gig at the infamous Ronnie Scott’s, where else would you like to perform?

I'd love to perform at the Royal Albert Hall, I went to see Rodriguez there a bit ago and the building was so nice, I love fancy lookin’ places like that. Also the Barbican because I used to go and see the jazz festival there with my fam and I was always jealous of the singers…

Do you prefer writing music or gigging?

I prefer writing music at the moment because it's exciting seeing where ideas end up going. I like performing live too, but I haven't done that many gigs yet. Especially now that I can produce my own music, it's fun experimenting with that.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

At the moment I'm listening to a lot of The Isley Brothers, Biig Piig and [ K S R ].

What was the first single you bought and why?

I don't think I've ever bought a single...but I reckon the first album I bought was probs one by Arctic Monkeys or Jamie T…can't remember to be honest. I'm more of a Spotify playlist gal, I just add bare songs by so many different artists and get obsessed with individual songs, but never remember the names of the artists.

What is the most influential album in your life?

I think the most influential albums for me were probs Amy Winehouse’s ‘Frank’, and Kali Uchis' ‘Drunken Babble’ mixtape. Both are golden.

If you could only sing one song on karaoke, what would you sing?

Probably one of my own tunes! I don't really like singing covers much because I feel like my voice is really badly behaved. Like it's hard to find covers that I can actually sing well, so I just sing my own songs!

If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?

For a collaboration I’d probs have to saaaay… Boadi or Kiko Bun. I feel like mine and their voices would be sexaaaaay…

Do you have more new music lined up for release?

I'm working on a few tracks, but they're not quite ready. I'm hopefully going to bring out another EP next year.

Hannah Rodriguez is bridging the gaps between retro jazz, contemporary hip-hop and sultry soul music to create a smooth modern sound that I can only describe as deluxe neo-jazz. Listen to her latest track ‘A Lover Like You’ here (I'm a huge fan) and keep up to date with her on her socials:




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