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Meet Hannah Ferber

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hannah Ferber.

Hannah, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve been interested in music since I was a little kid. I’m told that when I was about 4 or 5, I used to gather my family around and sing made up songs about princesses and witches, and weave long-winded stories in order to avoid bedtime. Then, of course, I’d ask them all to clap when I was done. Typical musician.

I guess I got started by being exposed to music at a young age since my dad is a guitarist, my grandpa was a pianist and my grandma was a singer and upright bass player. I started taking lessons around the age of 10 and began performing around the age of 12. I got more serious about it when I was accepted to Berklee College of Music.

Shortly after graduating with my Bachelor of Music, full of knowledge but completely broke, I moved home to the Bay Area. With the help of my dad, I began recording an EP of original music. While finishing up one of the tunes, we ended up traveling to a studio in Chatsworth to record the wonderful and talented pianist Alan Steinberger. During the session, the studio owner took an interest in my voice. He happened to need “youthful” sounding singers at that time and offered me some session work should I move to LA. So I immediately took him up on the offer and moved to LA. That’s how I got my first professional gig in the industry.

Since then, I’ve worked really hard to become a full time musician. I have recorded and released a full-length album, Paper Wings, worked as a voice and piano teacher, and began composing for Megatrax production music library. Most recently my indie electro-pop group, Hannah & the Engineers was signed to A-List Records, and we are due to release an EP this summer.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not been a smooth road. I think choosing music as your career path automatically points you toward the road with the most potholes. Along the way I’ve had to work many terrible and low paying day jobs to stay afloat – the worst probably being the time I worked as a receptionist for a hearing aid company. Just let that sink in for a second.

Mostly it’s been a challenge learning how to network, how to stay focused and how to maintain ambition while facing rejection. During these times it’s been important to stay active in pursuit of opportunity and to keep working on new material and honing my craft to be prepared for when that opportunity comes. I’ve also been very fortunate to have the support of my friends and family along the way which has been a huge help!

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
At the moment, I am focused on Hannah & the Engineers. H&E is an indie electro pop group comprised of myself, and two excellent producer/engineer/musicians: Lucas Fackler, and Steve Wilk. I’m really proud of the music we’ve created and can’t wait to share it with the world! We’ve written some super catchy melodies with interesting production, including some sound design. One of the songs even includes a sample of a particularly squeaky stair from our home studio. I would say our sound is a bit like Billy Eilish with some of the organic sound of Maggie Rogers, and a touch of Future Islands.

I’m also really pleased that we were able to finish our EP even though Steve had to leave the country midway through production. Steve is from Australia, and one day over lunch he casually told Lucas and I that his lawyer had made a mistake on his visa application which meant he would have to return to Australia! So we relied heavily on Skype, Whatsapp, and Google Drive to be able to collaborate with one another.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Resilience has been of utmost importance. It can be difficult to maintain morale when you have to face so many rejections and roadblocks on the path to your career goals. Resilience is key! I think it’s also important to have some personal mantras to keep your confidence and drive, and to help you focus on the things you love about your profession.

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Image Credit:
Main photo by Kevin Donnelly

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