Hanne Leland is a Norwegian born singer and songwriter in the electro-pop genre.
She started writing country-pop music in Nashville and released her debut album “Honest” in 2014. She crossed over to electro-pop the following year, and have released several singles since then.
Today, Hanne released her new single “Underdogs”, an ode to all the underdogs and outsiders out there. We caught up with Hanne and spoke to her about “Underdogs” and her songwriting process.
Valarie – Hey Hanne! Welcome to T.H.E – Music Essentials.
Hanne Leland – Hello and thank you very much 🙂
Valarie – How did you get into song-writing and which artists inspired you at the time?
Hanne Leland – I started journaling when I was eight or nine, and as soon as I learned a little bit of English, I started to write lyrics (reeeaaaally simple ones). I wrote about school, boys and all the other stuff that comes with being a kid. The writing was really therapeutic for me growing up. When I was really young I would listen to Spice Girls, Britney, and Christina Aguilera. Later on, I discovered Alanis Morisette, Tori Amos, and Toni Braxton, and I was blown away by their incredible gift of writing. They inspired me to write more raw and vulnerable songs.
Valarie – How has growing up in Norway helped to develop your talents?
Hanne Leland – I grew up on a farm, far out on the country-side where there was literally nothing to do. I think that really helped me develop my creativity. I had to entertain myself a lot of the time, and that got me into writing and singing. I would bring my guitar up to the forest near my childhood home, and sing and play for the cows and birds, haha. Norway has the most incredible nature, and I think that has definitely inspired me as a songwriter.
Valarie – You have a smashing new song coming out November 2nd, called “Underdogs”. Your inspiration behind the single is that you have always felt like an outsider. Could you elaborate on that?
Hanne Leland – I have always felt like a bit of an outsider, and I wrote the song after I felt like I was being underestimated by some people. I think there are so many people out there who feel like aliens in this world, and I wanted to reach out to them. I hope the song can make them feel a little less alone.
Valarie – How long has the song been in the works, and what made you decide to release a single which relates to people who feel like ‘Outsiders’?
Hanne Leland – I wrote the song early this spring, so the song is still quite new to me. After that, I brought it to my collaborators in London, and we started working on it together. I just knew the moment I heard the demo that I wanted to release the song. The song is my story, my truth. The lyrics are super close to my heart. It’s also very catchy and punchy, which made me think of how fun it would be to perform live.
Valarie – As a songwriter, your talent is only growing at the moment. Could you help us understand a typical songwriting process that you follow, that ensures that you deliver the best work?
Hanne Leland – I usually start the writing process at home at the piano. A lot of my songs starts out as piano ballads. Sometimes I also write melodies «in my head» while I write lyrics. As I’m writing down the lyrics, I hear the melody to it in my head, and I just know that the melody and lyrics belong together. I guess that’s intuition or my subconscious mind? I don’t know, but it’s quite magical. A lot of the times I’m not really aware of how I feel about a certain situation or person before I write about it. I learn so much about myself when writing songs. It’s an incredible experience.
Valarie – You’ve worked with some of the best pop producers around, for your single? Do we ever expect to see you work with producers that might be from other genres besides pop?
Hanne Leland – I love hip-hop and country and would love to work with producers from those genres at some point. I feel like they would have a different approach to a lot of things, and I would probably learn a lot from it. Artists do genre cross-overs all the time these days, and I feel like we can do anything we want. So the answer is definitely yes.
Valarie – What are your plans going into the New Year? Any news you can share with us? A tour perhaps or an album?
Hanne Leland – I have so much new music coming out. A lot of singles. I’m doing some gigs around Norway in the new year, and I have some really exciting international tour dates soon to be announced. Follow me on Instagram for updates: @hanneleland.
Valarie – Thank you so very much, Hanne Leland, for taking time out to talk to us here at T.H.E – Music Essentials. It’s been an absolute pleasure! Best of luck!
Hanne Leland – Thank YOU! Lovely talking to you!