There's something so mesmerizing about watching musical talents evolve from young, up-and-coming performers to bonafide superstars. From artists like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift to H.E.R and Demi Lovato, we've seen several amazing women rise to the top and establish themselves as powerful forces to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry. These days are no different, especially considering the new wave of musicians coming out of Nashville that are putting their own spin on the ever-evolving, popular genre.
Meet singer-songwriter Hannah May Allison, a San Francisco Bay Area-native who moved to the country music capital to pursue her dreams and has been making fans ever since. Throughout her budding career, she's had the opportunity to collaborate with some of Nashville's best writers and play at top venues like the world-famous Bluebird Cafe, the Listening Room, the Basement, and the Local to only name a few. We recently had the chance to talk to Hannah about her musical roots and how she still makes time for fitness despite having a busy schedule. Ahead, read on to find out more — including insight into the inspiration behind her latest single "Stand Corrected," tips for navigating the business, and the workouts she loves.
1. As a fresh face in country and pop music, what do you hope to add to the genre through your artistry?
I grew up in California listening to a lot of mainstream pop, but my parents are originally from Oklahoma, so I was listening to a ton of country music as well. I have always loved the songwriting aspect of country music and the hooky melodies of pop. I love blending those two worlds and writing songs that are catchy but also meaningful! Right now, there is a huge lack of female country artists on the radio and so much talent that isn't getting recognized in the industry. It's a huge issue that is being talked about, and I know that it's only a matter of time until it changes. I hope to be a part of that change and to represent more women on country radio!
2. You just released your new single "Stand Corrected!" What's your music-writing process like? Where do you find inspiration for your songs?
I find inspiration everywhere! Songwriting is a crazy thing, because I feel like my mind doesn't ever have an off switch. I'll be in a conversation, at a movie, or even in line at the DMV and someone will say something interesting, and my mind goes, “Ohh! I gotta write that down!” I keep all my ideas in my notes app on my iPhone. I'll usually go into a co-writing session with a few ideas in mind and we'll all brainstorm. It's an interesting process, and I feel like no song of mine has ever been written the same exact way. Sometimes I or my co-writer will bring in a melody and we'll go from there, and sometimes we'll have a chorus, and we work off of that. It all just depends on the song.
3. Who are your musical influences, and why?
My influences range from Patsy Cline to Katy Perry! I love all genres of music. I've been listening to a lot of pop and rap right now, [so I] find a lot of influence in listening to genres outside of country.
4. Performing and singing is such a demanding task. What workout routine do you follow to prepare for high-power performances?
I love running outside before a big show, and Nashville has some pretty nearby parks and lakes to run at. One of my vocal instructors once told me that [running's] one of the best things you can do to build up your endurance onstage and to help with breath control. I also find running outside helps me de-stress before a big night.
5. What are some of your favorite gyms/fitness studios to workout at in Nashville? Why?
I think being a city in the south and the capital of hot chicken, Nashville was a little slower to catch on to the health and fitness movement. But over the past six years since I've lived here, there has been so much growth in Nashville's health and fitness scene — and lots more focus on wellness. There are now so many great fitness boutiques that I love, but I think my top two would be KrankFIT and Studio Novo! KrankFIT, which is a cycle studio, [also has] group strength-training classes. I love their 30/30 classes, which [include] 30 minutes of cycling and 30 minutes of strength [training]. It's the best full-body workout! Studio Novo is what I like to call "pilates on crack." The workout is done on a Megaformer, which kind of resembles a traditional pilates bed. But the workout is definitely quite different from a pilates workout, [since it] combines strength training, cardio, balance, and flexibility all in one. The first time I took one of these classes, every muscle in my body was sore for a week.
6. PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT is all about making fitness fun! What are some ways you keep your workouts exciting and high energy?
I get really bored of doing the same workouts over and over again, so I'm always trying new things to switch it up! There's a Zumba/Hip-Hop class called b.fab.fitness that takes place at one of our local recreation centers in Nashville. It's a drop-in class for only $3 dollars and so much fun! I also workout at home a lot and have gotten really into all of these amazing workout classes you can find on YouTube. It's the best solution for whenever my schedule gets jammed packed.
7. What songs are currently on your workout playlist?
"Xoxo" by 4th Ave, "Love You For That" by Tiera, (co-written with me and another Nashville writer), and "There's No Way” by Lauv and Julia Michaels are on the top of my list! Also ANYTHING from Post Malone's new album. I can listen to that album over and over again.
8. If we took a look in your gym bag, what are a few essentials we might find?
Lip balm, Beats by Dre headphones, ponytail elastics, and probably a guitar pick! My guitar picks randomly show up in every bag I have.
9. Breaking a sweat is important, but so is eating healthy. What nutritious snacks or meals do you like to eat before and after a workout to stay full and focused?
I’ve been obsessed with Perfect Bar protein bars! The mini-sized ones are perfect on the go and taste so good!
10. What career milestones do you want to achieve within the next five years?
I’m signed with a songwriting company in town called Dan Hodges Music and have been fortunate to write with some amazing artists. I love writing for other people and always will, but this past year I took some time to really focus on who I wanted to be as an artist. I have been writing like crazy with that goal in mind, and [I] feel like I have found songs that I can say are 100% me. I'm so excited about my new single "Stand Corrected," and I look forward to releasing more of my music! I have also been working on connecting with my fans more on Instagram and developing a relationship with them. I have already gotten such positive feedback on this song already, and it makes me so excited for the future. In the next five years, I hope to have a lot more music out and to be playing shows all over the country.
11. Can you share the three major lessons you've learned since entering the music business?
1. Surround yourself with a network of people who support and believe in you.
2. Great work ethic and patience is everything.
3. Don't forget to celebrate all of your mini victories and to give yourself credit for all you have already accomplished.
12. What does PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT mean to you?
Strong women who set goals for themselves and work hard to meet them!