Oli Hannaford back with “Locker” single with more to come [Interview]

Oli Hannaford is a young and rising pop artist from the UK. The 21-year old musician released his Free Things EP late last year, a project that propelled him up the music business, in the process inking a deal with Kobalt Music. He just released a new song “Locker” so we went knocking on his door to have him provide us some insight into how things were fairing. Luckily for us, he squeezed some time to grant us a short interview.

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Aipate: How did you venture into music, was there enough early support from family and friends? Is everything falling into plan, or you’ve had to rework your objectives?

Oli: When I was about 9 I saw someone in my family playing a guitar and thought it was kinda cool so I thought I’d have a crack. I guess the natural progression from there is to try and sing the songs you’re learning. After about 4 years of screeching James Blunt, I started getting the hang of it. Understandably, my parents weren’t exactly vibing from the day one screeches, but as I started to develop and play in pubs and such, they became very supportive and before I could drive my dad was driving me everywhere! Interestingly, I was learning and playing acoustic stuff pre Ed Sheeran so it was kinda cool and unique back then and my friends would come and watch me etc, but I guess I just faded away from that scene when I started becoming heavily interested in gadgets and such. So that was the first rework of objectives, where before I was all about mellow acoustic music, I turned my focus to production, and ultimately to a completely new sound which is where Free Things came into play. NOW my objectives are a little bigger… It’s still very early days for me, but everything is going exactly as planned.

Aipate: Your Free Things EP was received so well, how do you feel about its reception.

Oli: It blew me away, I feel like it put me on the right people’s radars and in the right way. I’m still getting love from it which is cool, BBC Introducing in Devon (big ups to you guys if you’re reading) are even still playing tracks from it! Although I’m very proud of the EP, I definitely feel I have a lot more to give. I’m basing that on the projects i’m currently working on…

Aipate: Interesting! Could you elaborate on the deal with Kobalt, how it came to be and how it has already impacted on your career.

AWAL (Kobalt) have been great to me. They’ve allowed me, a ‘small artist’, to have the experience of a ‘big artist’ through their connections with Spotify etc and I think they are kind of a breakthrough for new artists and new music.

Oli: Your new track “locker” just dropped what would you say was your state if mind during composition and recording. What’s the inspiration behind it?

I was feeling great I seem to remember, i think I just ate a coconut or something.

Locker is about encouraging someone that’s having a bad night (and maybe even bringing everyone else down) to step out of their comfort zone. It kind of says that everybody has the potential to go wild on a night out, they just may not know it yet. I wrote Locker last year but wanted to wait until I was a bit better behind the desk before I produced it, so I could give it the cleaner production I felt it deserved.

Aipate: UK music scene is buzzing right now with music brands like yours, do you already have a strategy of conquering the pop market? And what would your next target market be?

Oli: TELL ME ABOUT IT. I think it’s less about conquering the pop market for me, though. I’m more focussed on getting where I want musically and hoping people jump on the bandwagon along the way. I don’t sit in front of Logic at 3am thinking ‘gah i hope this conquers the pop market’, it’s more along the lines of ‘ah feck that’s a nice chord’. My next target market is, I suppose, the festival crowd.

Aipate: That would be huge! Well.. finally, what should your growing fan base expect from you, going forward? Any last concluding remarks?

Oli: Short term: expect the Locker EP, and expect shows this summer. Expect DJ sets (check out my Guest Mix for PressPLAY OKAY if you wanna know what kinda stuff would be in those sets)

Slightly longer term….I’m working on a bangin third EP and have all sorts of feelings about it

Concluding remark?Oh, does anybody want a cuddle hahaha.

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As we wrapped the interview, I couldn’t help but feel the imminent energy in this young man. He is one you should be watching out for.

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