Glaze It Over: An Interview with Hannah Stewart

Hannah Stewart has been surrounded by music since she was born.

Whether it was her sister and her holding mock American Idol competitions for their Barbies, piano lessons or choir performances, she was heavily immersed in all things music. It wasn’t until much later in life, as she was stuck at a desk job, that she realized she wasn’t going to feel fulfilled until she pursued music as a career.

“With that ultimatum, I was forced to try to address why I had put this path off for so long,” she said. “The first hurdle was writing my own songs, then equipment to record with, then learning to produce, then learning to market myself. Now I'm at the point where I realize the only thing limiting me is myself, which is awesome 90% of the time and paralyzing about 10% of the time, and I'm working on that ratio.”

At the same time, she was also committing to a road trip to visit national parks that she had never been to growing up despite living relatively close to Yosemite National Park.She started pairing these two bucket list items together, deciding it would be a long, inspiring trip to make the transition.

The trip taught her a lot about the nature of creativity, and that it cannot and should not be forced.

“Even though it's frustrating to have days where nothing good comes out, it was also interesting to notice consistencies in my writing develop organically,” she said.

Once the trip ended, Stewart spent two weeks on Garageband working on different tracks and ideas. At the end of the two weeks she had six tracks, five of which became the Hsmd EP. The second EP was released as her other project, Inanna, and comprised of songs solely written on her road trip.

“For me, the magic of art is the intentionality of it, and I hope people continue to discover meaning in my releases every time they listen,” she said. “[The first EP] had a definite theme I wanted to convey, wrote some lyrics and it was relatively open and shut. [For the second EP] I knew there was some common theme to them, as I had been in the same headspace when I wrote them all, but we needed to think of the title that would unify them. We figured it out, and I love the release.”

Hannah Stewart has been surrounded by music since she was born, and she doesn’t plan on changing that any time soon.