Rising Star Hannyta On The Five Things You Need To Shine In The Music Industry
An Interview With Edward Sylvan
Where to learn technical skills to produce music and where to find help. It is very hard to find help for good quality music production that is not out of one’s league so getting the right information early on can be very cost-effective.
As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Hannyta.
Hannyta is a young musician, singer, songwriter still in High School and she is currently based in the UK. She has recently started her YouTube Channel where she has published a number of cover songs and also two original singles. She studies singing, dancing, playing the piano and loves experimenting with all aspects of music production. She is very excited… as quite amazingly, she can now work together with an experienced music producer. Her original debut single, Wildflower, has reached #5 on the iTunes Pop Songs Chart in South Africa!
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Sure. I think I am very lucky to grow up in a big family, grannies, uncles, nephews and nieces all living literally 5 minutes from each other. It was in a rural setting very close to a big town so we socialized a lot within the community. A place where everybody knows everybody and there is always someone over at your house. When I was 5 everything changed though because we moved to the Scottish Highlands where life was exactly the opposite. To get to my high school I took an hour-long bus ride twice a day. Despite the vast distances and the limitations of the small town where we settled down, I had a lot of fun, joy, opportunity and most of all artistic input. I joined the local artistic roller skating club, a drama group, learned ballet and modern dance, played the flute and started singing and piano lessons with a very highly trained musician, teacher, singer and vocal coach.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
It was my strong desire and determination to pursue what I loved the most, music, singing and writing songs. My flute teacher suggested I continue to college level but I was not so much inspired with the classical side of music to make such a lifelong commitment so I switched to an electric keyboard and later to electric piano. I love all aspects of music production and tend to experiment with a lot of things like styles, new instruments and genres, my main genre being pop at the moment.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I was preparing for an audition for a live performance show over a Zoom meeting where I had to perform one song with adequate technology. The interviewer was very strict; she emailed me a warning not to waste her time by turning up unprepared or with bad tech. I prepared everything so well for the interview, set up the broadcast software with the best microphone, camera and it all worked. When you know you have to do your best and you feel all that excitement! The meeting started and I think you can guess… the poor woman was there for at least 10 minutes seeing or hearing nothing. In my panic, I pulled out all the wires to switch to the laptop sound and camera but it still didn’t work. I was looking at her staring at me in total disbelief! As a last resort, I restarted the laptop and hoped she would still be there. She was and she just said this “OK then, we have one minute left. Sing something”. I sang a few lines and to my great surprise, I got an email that I passed!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I was doing a live show through a streaming platform with about 50 people listening. A chat facility was running where they could send remarks, donations, funny icons, gifs etc and someone sent me a cute moving gif of a squirrel. At that very moment a new guest appeared in the chat and announced that ``Hi guys, I`m Alvin!``…you know, Alvin and the Chipmunks! I started to laugh and then everyone made remarks like …wow, the timing! I should have greeted the poor guy but I couldn’t stop laughing. Alvin finally figured out what we were laughing about but he still felt awkward and left. I started singing again but I couldn’t finish the show. The audience kept making me laugh on purpose and I just couldn’t stop. I learned that I lacked professionalism as a performer! I knew I needed to improve.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
A few days ago a lovely lady left me a message on my Facebook Artist Page and we started to chat a bit. She told me she was a country singer and songwriter from the Nashville area and she gave me a song as a gift. When I first listened to the song I was literally shocked to find out how good it was. I can hardly wait to work on the recording and production. I have always wanted to try singing country songs! Apart from that, I am also working on two original songs that I would like to put on an Album that is in progress.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
For one I can say that being Eastern European growing up in the UK I also belong to a minority group here and I am afraid I have been treated differently to locals on several occasions in various settings. It doesn’t matter where you come from or how you may be different. I think we all experience some prejudice, bad attitude or even just a strange sense of curiosity at times that may make us feel down. The world has changed so much just in the last few decades with international travel, migration, a true cultural revolution taking place so our surroundings have become diverse! We must embrace and appreciate this difference in our culture, upbringing, outward appearance, characteristics and all this must definitely be expressed in art, especially in television and the film industry. They are the most influential form of media without a doubt. A picture is worth a thousand words! We are very visual and so is art. Lastly, I believe that very positive changes are being felt all across the world and these changes are being welcomed by the large majority of people. Art has a huge role to play in creating a fair, tolerant, inclusive and loving society!
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Number 1, Where to learn music and how to educate yourself as a musician. Although there are a lot of resources online, a good teacher can significantly shorten the learning curve! I had several music teachers before I found the right one for the appropriate levels I was at.
- Number 2, What equipment to use. As always there is a lot of choices when you buy your music equipment, from instruments to recording and also the visuals like lighting and video. It helps a lot to find the right advice.
- Number 3, Where to learn technical skills to produce music and where to find help. It is very hard to find help for good quality music production that is not out of one’s league so getting the right information early on can be very cost-effective.
- Number 4, The whole process of music production. I started out by recording my songs on my mobile phone both music, vocals and video. You can find a few examples on my YouTube Channel but I warn you… the quality is very poor.
- Number 5, How to earn money as a musician. It seems almost impossible but there is hope even for the very beginners. It is good to have some income at least to cover the huge initial expenses.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Always give yourself time to enjoy any artistic performance, including yours as well as others.` It’s so important! Just to relax, to enjoy and be immersed in something beautiful. Only when you thoroughly enjoy what you are doing while you perform can you say you have arrived. Until then, loads of practice!
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
My movement would be “Express your heart through art.” I love all forms of art, and actively engage in many, including drawing, graphic design, drama, dancing, sports and of course music!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Yes, it is my producer. We met quite accidentally. It all started with me creating a YouTube channel, posting a few cover songs that I recorded on my phone and of course my original piano medley Highland Girl that attracted a massive following of five people and 35 views. I just turned sixteen at the time and I had this burning desire in my heart to put something really cool on my channel so mom and dad got a birthday wish and eventually, they agreed to a budget-friendly solution for the recordings if I were to find one. I was searching for months but all music and video production services were far too expensive. Anyway, if you think it is easy to impress a producer with 30 years of TV and radio experience at an audition you kind of hijacked to take a sixteen-year-old girl seriously you are wrong. I think it was my relentless optimism, enthusiasm and the “I got nothin` to lose” boldness that melted his heart to offer me the production of two covers free of charge. In a nutshell, this is how it all started and led to the birth of my artistry. For a year now I have been taking music very seriously, learning the piano, singing, songwriting, mixing and mastering in PreSonus Studio One and the whole music production process with my newly found mentor.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Before the performance comes the practice! Never mind me, it is relevant to everybody. I practiced a lot, especially singing. I have been very lucky to be able to work with some very experienced musicians early on. My piano teacher who also taught me singing was a very highly trained singer and vocal coach. He gave me the initial inspiration to become an artist, from singing Disney songs and musicals we slowly ventured into pop music and country music as I grew older.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)
How can our readers follow you online?
I have a website hannyta.com where you can find all my social links. I also have a YouTube channel called Hannyta and most of my social handles are hannyta.music.
Shall I share the links here?
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!