Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I care about emotional healing and social change. I grew up in a conservative religious environment in Pacific Northwest Washington, and my adult life has been a lot about coming out of that repression and identifying my own authentic relationship with myself and the world. In my work, I hope to inspire others to break through barriers of fear to create happier lives for themselves and a better world for all.
How did you get your start in music?
I started writing songs when I was a child; it’s always been my sacred means of emotional expression. I wrote about my absent father, about the unfathomable nature of life, about profound tenderness and idealism stemming from my romantic obsessions. I thought that my songs – much like my true inner self – would make people sad, and I hid both from the world.
When I was eighteen I moved 3,000 miles away from a fundamentalist Christian family, fell in love with my now ex-wife, and went through a period of coming out and utterly restructuring my understanding of the world. When my ex divorced me in the winter of 2017, I felt that I was truly losing everything outside of myself. This sparked a profound reconnection to my musicality as the epicenter of my own individual existence.
During the year and a half following that, my creative work burgeoned into my first release Wild Hum, which is an external expression of my internal resolve to develop a vulnerable, intimate relationship with myself, my loved ones, and the world at large.
How do you describe your musical style?
I tell my inner story with bare, poetic, cohesive lyricism and dynamic vocals reminiscent of Janis Joplin, Lana Del Rey, and Florence + the Machine. Genre-wise, it depends on the song, but I tend to call it Americana-soul or dream-pop or cinematic-rock.
You’re releasing a new single, “Never Say Much (Louder)” on March 19th, What can you tell us about this song?
Never Say Much is an energetic pop ballad about opening to love. It’s my highest-quality release to date, produced by Grammy-nominated producer Christian Davis of Slydoggie Productions, Interscope Records mix engineer Kyle VandeKerkhoff, and mastering specialist Joe Bozzi of Bernie Grundman Mastering Studios.
You’ve been doing fundraising concerts for anti-racism efforts every other month. How did this idea come about and how successful has it been in creating more education and awareness?
I had this idea around the time that resistance around the George Floyd case was erupting. I’d been doing online shows since the pandemic had started, and I thought this would be a good way to bring musicians together around a really important cause and contribute resources to anti-racist organizations like Critical Resistance.
In terms of how successful it’s been in creating more education and awareness – that’s hard to measure, but I would say that at least 200 people have attended the events over time, and hopefully, the messages we’ve shared have touched everyone in one way or another. In terms of resources, we’ve contributed about $9000 to anti-racist work. I hope that I and the other artists involved can build on this precedent and make a bigger impact in the future.
What’s next for your career?
I’m focused on building my Patreon platform for the time being. I want to connect more closely with people who appreciate my music, understand what they want from me, and provide more of a service to people who listen to my work. If you’re into what I’m doing, please check out my page at patreon.com/hannahroothmusic
What advice would you have for aspiring music artists?
I’m not sure I consider myself in a position to give people advice haha. But since you asked, I’d just say be true to yourself, express yourself authentically, and make what you really believe in central to everything you do. Believe in yourself, follow your pleasure, take advice but stay true to what you know of yourself.
What’s your life like outside of music?
Well, I like to cuddle a lot. I value my relationships extremely highly- my romantic partner, my friendships, and my family. I like drinking and partying and meeting people and I’m a little bit wild. I love to explore the world, travel, and learn about systemic injustices and how I can play a part in reversing them. I love watching the Office. I love sex, pizza, therapy, and being naked outside. I’m learning to take care of myself in the ways I wasn’t cared for as a child.