Interview with Oli Hannaford

Oli Hannaford is a young aspiring artist from London. His sounds are a real delight for lovers of electronic pop with funky influences. With his unique style, he brings us sounds from somewhere in the future. Oli spared some time to talk with us, reveal a bit more about himself and his influences.

Q: Where did you grow up and how did your upbringing affect your music?

Devon. Everyone plays a guitar in Devon… Haha no seriously. That stereotype of a countryside teenager playing an acoustic guitar and singing sad songs is relatively accurate, that was definitely me for a few years.

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@tanglewooduk @jackwills @danesfield_house

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Q: Which artists influenced your style?

Wowee this could take me a while. I think Paolo Nutini was one of the first artists I really enjoyed whilst I was starting out, his track ‘rewind’ was actually the first song I learnt to play. I did really like Adele’s first album too, and funnily enough Ed Sheeran’s No. 5 Collaborations Project. So I kinda liked pop, but then started getting more and more interested in funkier soulful acts. I distinctly remember being fascinated by a Norwegian musician called Berhoft (check out his live performances like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQd4go1ESvM), and that’s when it started to trickle into my own performances. I moved to London a few years ago and that’s when my eyes were kinda opened up to a whole new world – the UK RnB / Jazz scene here (and like, everywhere) is mad. Some unbelievable artists and producers around that you may be able to hear influence from: Daniel Caesar, Jordan Rakei, James Blake, Joe Hertz, Mahalia, Lebeaux, Mac Ayres, Tom Misch, Sg Lewis. Then there are also the producers around that influence me like Sam Gellaitry, Lone, PYRMDPLAZA, Kaytranada, Ta-Ku, Sango, ESTA. Although they may be less obvious for what’s being released by me this year. Stay tuned (wink).

Q: What can be heard playing on your earphones lately?

All the above plus:

Masego, Monte Booker new album, Vulfpeck, Snarky Puppy, Kaytranada X Robert Glasper project, DKPVZ, J. Robb, Kaidi Tatham new album, Smino album, Col3trane new EP, man I listen to music every day I’d keep going but how about you just follow my playlists on Spotify.

Q: Are you currently working on a new single/EP/album?

I certainly am, I have an EP out at the end of the year. My latest singles, Considering Both Sides (ft. Marna), and Clarity are from that EP.

The EP takes a very sad situation and finds positives in it. Whether those positives are expressed with instruments or lyrics chops and changes. It’s about being mistreated, but also about how sometimes we cover up suspicion and create a kind of faux-happiness for a while, we paint over the cracks. But during painting up the cracks, we sort of let go of our own identities and are taken to places that we don’t want to go (emotionally). For example Clarity explained the stage where you know somethings wrong, but you’re unsure of how bad, so you search for clarity. I can’t wait for people to hear the whole thing, as a project it means the absolute world to me.

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Got a release date for my next single. Soon.

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Q: What are the things you like and dislike the most about working in music industry?

I love everything apart from the money (the ugly) side of things. It feels very restrictive when you don’t have enough money to allow yourself the time to do what you want to musically. That can also be a positive too though, as you get some sort of release from your day job which you wouldn’t be able to get if music money was great for artists at my stage.

Q: What was the last book/series/movie you read/saw that inspired you in some way?

Fear and loathing in Las Vegas. I’m going to Vegas in a couple of weeks so will have to take a couple leaves out of Hunter’s book.

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(📸 by the talented @jaketb)

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Q: Which of your travels left the most impression on you and why?

Indonesia, hands down. Went with my best friend on a trip to see the Komodo dragons. Have you f*ckin’ seen them? F*ck. We had to sleep on the deck of a finisi for a few days to get there, but there was some crazy storm as it was monsoon season, we almost died like 3 times.

Q: What is the most important thing you’ve learnt in life, until now at least?

To stop comparing yourself to other people, sounds well cliché and crap but honestly, once I stopped caring about how I compared to other people (musically and personally) things just became much more positive.