Radiate Coaching is excited to launch a new dialogue with women, starting with this mystical Melbourne based songwriter.
#somethingtosay is a chance to have an honest conversation and get into the minds of women who are passionate about what they do. They all, perhaps not surprisingly, have something to say.
1st up. Hannah Campbell. Singer and songwriter. She’s just released her new single Run Like Wolves across all online music platforms and premiered on Triple J’s program Roots ‘n All with Nkechi Anele, who said:
“Her voice is just one of those old timey voices that could be from any generation. It’s just got this magic to it — similar to Didirri and Angie McMahon… that’s why I really really love that song.”
Hannah’s take on femininity orbits strength in vulnerability, weighing joy with grief in equal measures, and centres on empowerment. This single is an inspiring and exciting three and a half minute experience. Hannah Campbell’s vocals are as equally powerful as old souls Gretta Ray and Angie McMahon, with a storytelling finesse similar to artists such as Didirri and Alexander Biggs. Run Like Wolves is high energy and joyful, with moody production and powerful lyrics.
Last week I had a chance to speak with this warm and discerning storyteller.
PATRICIA What does being a woman in 2018 mean for you?
HANNAH In 2018 there are infinite ways to experience womanhood and femininity, depending on your culture, your heritage, your race, your health, and sexuality. To me, being a woman in 2018 is such a diverse experience, there are opportunities for women that haven’t been known before, but there is an immense amount of work yet to be done before we know true equality. Navigating gendered violence, the pay gap, day to day sexism, and the intersectionality of all these things can make you feel powerless. But in 2018 there is also opportunity to celebrate our differences, and the powerful experiences that we all have in common, in being stronger-than-we-realise, independent, fierce, connected, proud, and woman.
PATRICIA You’ve taken the inspiration for your latest song ‘Run Like Wolves’ from Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ seminal feminist work ‘Women Who Run with the Wolves’. When I first read this book and its rich collection of stories it changed my understanding of what it means to be a woman. In its pages the wildness of women is unapologetically celebrated. You channel the essence of the book beautifully in your song. What drew you to the book and what was your biggest takeaway?
HANNAH The book Women who Run with the Wolves, was given to me by a close friend, she swore by it as a bible for the soul. One of the most profound parts of the book for me is the introduction. I can read it over and over and find new ideas leaping out of the pages. What I take from it time and time again is a reinvigorated sense of autonomy, freedom, and control. Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes manages to verbalise the ways I have felt my creativity, sexuality, and ability to love (both myself and others), be oppressed. Then she finds a way to guide me to the place in myself where I can step out of those cages and into a fuller experience of my life.
PATRICIA There are so many female archetypes to draw inspiration from. Are there any unique features of the female psyche and our collective consciousness that you draw strength from? Are there any women whose work or mission inspires you?
HANNAH I think that something amazing about being a woman is how we naturally gravitate towards, and create, communities of support around ourselves of other women. It’s the nurturer in us that gives us the ability to support and empower each other, even when faced with our own personal challenges.
I definitely think that it can be hard to find the space to be a nurturer in a society that teaches you to be selfish, and judgemental — which is no one’s fault — but when you’re able to find the space to connect with that part of yourself, there is so much freedom and love.
I believe in women who are finding ways to empower themselves and others at the same time. I am inspired by so many women in my life who do this every day. I am completely in love with the way the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinta Arden, leads with so much integrity. She calmly shuts down all doubt in her ability to be a mother, and a leader of a country at the same time. Who better to lead a country than a nurturer?
PATRICIA Why is storytelling through music just as important in 2018 as it was 200 or 2000 years ago?
HANNAH There are ways that music moves the soul that spoken word simply cannot do. I think music is a way of accessing and communicating with a more primitive and instinctual part of ourselves. The part that wants to dance naked, to feel the touch of other bodies, the warmth of a fire, and the feeling of a smile stretching across your face without warning. Humans will always need music and the stories it carries to help us unpack our lives, feel things unashamedly, and communicate when words are not available.
PATRICIA Women have so many ways to become empowered. Has singing and creating your music given you more freedom to express yourself? Why have you chosen to channel your thoughts and feelings through your voice?
HANNAH Music and poetry have always been the primary ways that I unpack my thoughts, ideas, and emotions. I feel like I never say the right thing when I’m put on the spot! But music gives me the time to distill what I’m thinking and take back a bit of control.
PATRICIA If you chose to sing about 1 social or environmental issue what would you lend your voice to? Is there a cause that you’d like to raise awareness about?
HANNAH I talk a lot about my experiences of being a woman in my music, but lately I’ve been talking more about men’s violence against women. In my live shows I perform a song I wrote called ‘Walking’, which is about the feeling of fear I get when I’m walking around the streets along at night. Which is a feeling I know many women feel.
PATRICIA What’s the best advice you can give other women about pursuing their passion?
HANNAH My Granddad used to say ‘Kick down doors’, which I think means — don’t wait to be invited. If you want to do something, find a way to do it on your own, you’ll discover people who want to help you along the way.
PATRICIA What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome as a singer songwriter and how did you deal with this?
HANNAH The most difficult thing to overcome for me was a crippling anxiety about my worth as a performer. I used to be so concerned about whether or not I was doing the right thing, the cool thing, the thing that would make people like me and my music. Now that I’ve overcome that anxiety (after a lot of unpacking, songwriting, and genuine hard work) I’ve realised that I’m so much happier when I’m writing and performing what’s true to me. The space and love that I’ve given myself is so much more valuable than whatever imagined success I thought I had been aiming for previously.
PATRICIA Hannah Campbell the Singer/Songwriter/Musician. Is this how you see yourself? What about in ten years? Is growing a business part of the equation for you?
HANNAH I love music, and the music industry, and I want to be a part of it forever. So I’ll be working my butt off to be able to keep playing music and working with other artists. Collaboration is the best! I’m also a sound engineer, so when I’m not doing my own personal music projects, I’m often working with other artists on their music.
PATRICIA You’re based in Melbourne. Any plans to tour in Sydney and how can we stay in the loop?
HANNAH I’m aiming to tour my debut album on the East Coast of Australia next year, including Sydney! If you’d like to keep in the loop for these shows you can follow my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/musicofhc
or jump onto my mailing list on my website at www.musicofhc.com/contact
Run Like Wolves is out now.
Art by Bron Peddington-Webb
*The single launch event is on July 21st at Wesley Anne, 250 High St Northcote, VIC 3070. RSVP + get tickets
#somethingtosay with Patricia Kaziro