Hannah Holland doesn’t need any introduction really, you know who she is! She is a product of all the best bits of London club culture. She condenses all the most innovative and exciting parties, scenes, movements, subcultures and music into one frenetic curly haired whirlwind of DJ. DJing at a Mulletover after-hours session in Shoreditch in 2003, Hannah was spotted by high-octane east-end institution Trailer Trash’s head honcho Mikki Most. She was signed up instantly as a resident. Her star has been on the rise ever since, rocking dancefloors all over the world for hugely respected parties like Bugged Out, The Warehouse Project, Fabric, Ibiza’s Amnesia, Glastonbury, The Arches in Glasgow, Serbia’s notorious Exit Festival as well as Japan and Australia. She is currently working on her debut album set to be released in 2013.
We’ve caught up with Hannah in anticipation of DAF on 16 February at Shacklewell Arms to talk about her career so far and what’s in the pipeline for 2013 and beyond.
We are so thrilled to have you play (finally!) at Dick And Fanny. We have been wanting to have you grace our decks for as long as DAF’s been alive but we never managed to somehow until now. So thank you! We’ve been following you ever since the time you made us sweat at Trailer Trash when it was thrown at On The Rocks…
You started your own night, Bastard Batty Bass, after that, right? What were you looking to achieve with the night?
We started in 2006, BBB was a concept conceived by myself, Mama & Alex Noble. The DJ side was all about blending an eclectic mix of styles that I love and have grown up with, influenced by all the many different cultures, scenes and sounds, a very Londonccentric approach, all forms of bass-lead music into a special woven web. Mama bought the live side with her infectious powerful energy, which gave the night an electric element. Alex Noble gave the night its look with his artistic genius creating the BB world. We had all kinds of ideas, one being to have a Batty Bass supermarket art installation and Mama’s advice booth, but thats a long story! 7ish years later and we have a record label, home to a family of international artists, an amazing collection of DJs including Deboa, Josh Caffe & Smokin Jo and a whole heap of crazy parties under the belt.
You then moved to Berlin, is that right? What did you do there?
Yeah I moved to Berlin in 2009, I’d been going there for a good 8 years for visits, and fell in love with the place, the music and the clubs. It really inspired me. I was at a point where I really needed to move away from the town I grew up and had spent my whole life in.
Is that where and when you started to produce your own stuff and launched your own record label Batty Bass?
I started the label in 2008 and producing around that time too, when I was still in London, it was a natural progression from the club night.
Ah ok. Can you tell us more about Batty Bass?
Labelwise, we’re on our 16th release, with an act from New York called The Carry Nation, 2 of the best DJs I’ve heard in years. It’s part of a new NY Series on the label. We’re only doing a few events within the year, one being our legendary New Years Day party and our next one is on Easter Thursday, at our spiritual home, The Star.
What’s Native City?
Native City is a label myself and long time friend, musical brother and Batty Bass resident Deboa set up. It’s directed more towards our love of groove, stripped down house and techno, influenced from Berlin and London.
You’ve released a plethora of remixes as well as your own tracks such as the awesome Paris’ Acid Ball; we hear you are now working on your debut album, is that right?
Yes , cheers!
What were/are your inspirations for the album?
Many things from David Lynch to Ricardo Villalobos to DJ Koze to ESG! I have had the honor of working with some amazing vocalists including Shaun J Wright, Jahcoozi, Mama and Black Gold Buffalo. Recently we performed 3 tracks from the album, with a full band and 2 vocalists, I’m hoping to do more of this. It’s still a work in progress, watch this space.
Wow, we can’t wait! We <3 Shaun too, he’s recently released Face Love Anew with our bear friends Stereogamous on a Honey Soundsystem/Cocktail D’Amore label! There are awesome remixes too including from Kim Ann Foxman, Horsemeat Disco, Discodromo and The Carry Nation! Amaze!
Do you also produce for other artists? Is that something you’d consider for the future?
I’ve done small bits of production for other artists and it’s something I really would love to do more of in the future. I also play bass for Black Gold Buffalo a dreamy pop dub infused band, with an incredible front women, we’ve been writing tracks together which has been an amazing experience, outside of the club world.
That’s awesome, we didn’t know that.
You can play/produce a wide palette of sounds from dirty electro to deep house, do you have a favourite genre?
I like to blend them all, I find sounds in tracks from different sub genres that fit my style from acid to deep house to dark techno to jackin’. I have to say it really depends on what mood I’m in, what vibe of the night is, how a crowd is reacting. I think my favourite genre I have within my collection, saved under ‘goth bass wave’ is probably my most favourite to DJ, dark techno, cinematic, trippy and downright filthy, it’s quite rare I get to indulge that one, as it really takes a certain club/vibe/crowd/soundsystem to lead down that dark road!
Where do you find your new sounds?
Scouring the record shops, recommendations, I get sent lots of tunes too.
What are your favourite tracks at the moment?
It changes daily, but I love Jimmy Edgar, Marc Houle, the label Comeme are my current favourites, as well as the artists on Native City and Batty Bass!
What can our Dicks and Fannies expect to hear from your set at the party on the 16th of February?
You’ll have to wait and see!
We think it’s really great that so many female DJs are currently working on their own productions. Kim Ann Foxman, who’s also working on her first album, told us last month that the situation is actually improving for female artists in this male-dominated industry. Do you agree?
Yeah I guess if you look at the situation 20 years ago there were very little women involved. There are certainly a lot more now.
What’s your own experience about this?
My career built from a very inclusive East London scene so I was well nurtured before I started DJing into the very testosterone led world of DJing.
Kim Ann thinks that having confidence and believing in yourself is crucial to be successful in this industry. What would be your tips for the women out there, who find it difficult to be taken seriously?
Fully agree with Kim Ann. Hard work, dedication and believing in yourself and your sound is key, also presenting something unique, which goes for any artist or gender.
Finally, what are you looking forward to in 2013?
Lots of very exciting new music coming out on both Native City and Batty Bass. Traveling to Australia, Bulgaria, France, Portugal, Sweden soon for gigs. Continuing to work on the album. Black Gold Buffalo. More remixing. Generally non stop music!
That’s awesome, a great year ahead! Thank you so much for being so inspiring Hannah. We can’t wait to dance with you at Dick And Fanny.
In the meantime check out Hannah’s latest mix on Soundcloud, we dare you not to jiggle on it!
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