Bright Young Thing
PUBLISHED: 14:24 12 November 2009 | UPDATED: 16:20 20 February 2013
Hannah Sanders explains how she has transformed from cigar girl to singing sensation since moving to West Essex from up North
What is your name and how old are you?
My name is Hannah Sanders and I am 29.
What do you do?
Im a singer and I have my first pop single, Surrender, out this month. Im also working on an album at the moment and I still sing jazz at places like The Living Room and Ronnie Scotts as well as writing songs for other artists. I love the writing and production elements as much as performing.
When did you first start singing?
I wasnt ever a stage school girl; I did English at university. I hadnt even sung in front of my parents when my boyfriend at the time heard me sing and pushed me to go to an audition through The Stage and I got my first management deal.
Tell us about your family
My brother Jake plays bass in the Dilettantes in Manchester, my mum is a teacher in Birmingham and my dad is a psychologist in Wales, but spends most of his time at the bottom of the garden in his vegetable patch. We are so scattered about but still close. Bonfire night is always celebrated together.
Where do you live and what do you like about it?
I live in Loughton, but Im from up North originally. I thought that moving down here would mean unfriendly people, but my neighbours are lovely and there are lots of cute coffee places so I love it here.
What is the most exciting thing that has happened
to you over the past year?
Filming the video to Surrender, which was a fun weekend.
Who are your musical influences?
Eva Cassidy was a beautiful vocalist you cant not be moved by her music. I also love country and folk and really like Stevie Nicks voice from Fleetwood Mac.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
One thing Ive learned over the last year is that you never know where life will take you, but if Im touring around Europe with pop or sat on a piano top in Ronnies Ill be happy as long as I am still involved in music.
What are your hobbies?
Ive turned into a marathon geek recently as Im training for New York, but my housemates and I have got really into lovefilm.com we are so sad and get really excited when our disks arrive. Watching Recue Me or Flight of the Concords in our PJs on a Friday night is pretty close to heaven.
How do you relax?
What makes you smile?
Pink French Fancies and sunny days. Even if its freezing cold, as long as the suns out, Im all good.
What is your worst habit?
Tidying and cleaning when I should just chill. Its sort of therapeutic and sort of annoying at the same time.
What is your favourite song or piece of music and why?
Massive Attacks Unfinished Sympathy. The lyrics are strong and sad with a beautiful orchestral production. Deleriums Silence is also amazing.
Do you have a claim to fame?
I sold Andy Williams a Cohiba when I first moved to London and was a cigar girl. He called me doll and was pretty charming for a 70 year old.