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Rising Stars: Meet Hannah Laney

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

Hi Hannah, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I’ve always been a big fan of music and knew it was a part of my life that would never go away.

From singing along to Shania Twain in the car with my mom as a kid to being a hardcore Directioner, to now working for the top booking agency in the world, music has never steered me wrong. Nashville has been my favorite city for as long as I can remember.

There was no doubt in my mind that I would start my life and career here. Growing up, I would constantly visit for shows or simply to have a fun weekend. In 2019, I transferred to Middle Tennessee State University to study Music Business. The pandemic definitely put a hold on everyone’s plans in the music industry, but I feel confident that my journey is still on the path intended for my success.

That same year, I started my own online music publication, The Barricade Babes. It includes interviews, reviews, and my thoughts on everything I love in the world of music. Concert photography also became a passion of mine during that time and I continue learning more every day.

I had the wonderful experience of interning at Third Man Records for a couple of semesters and eventually began working for them in various positions. In May of this year, I was hired at CAA (Creative Artists Agency). It’s truly inspiring to work for a company that cares for its employees equally as much as its clients.

Nashville has brought so many amazing opportunities and people my way. I am continuously grateful and ready to receive all that is for me.

Alright, 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?
I think a lot of people who tell their families they have decided to go the creative route in terms of a career often receive some funny looks. In the end, your happiness is all that matters because that’s what creates true success, in my opinion.

My family has always known how obsessed with music I am, so it didn’t really come as much of a surprise. I am proud of myself for doing it on my own and proving to myself that I could. As I mentioned before, the pandemic obviously put a hold on live entertainment, which was a struggle for me both professionally and personally.

It seems like we’ve made it out on the other side and I’m so thankful to be attending shows again. I’m still learning who I want to be in my professional life and every moment brings new insight, but that’s what I love about the music industry.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
The main creative outlet I would say is my music publication, The Barricade Babes.

It allows me to combine two of my passions, writing, and photography, into one. “Find us at the show in the front row.” Because what’s better than being a fan? I feel like I have a lot of thoughts after leaving a show and want to be able to share that with whoever is willing to listen.

Conducting interviews is something I’ve been interested in doing for a while as well, especially involving musicians. Photography tells a story through the lens of the artist and is an art form I’ve always been inspired by. Linda McCartney, Mick Rock, Bob Gruen, Jim Marshall, and Anthony Pham are some of my favorite music photographers, just to name a few.

I absolutely love film photography and am very happy I had the chance to learn more about the process while at Third Man in their photo studio.

I’m most proud of going after what makes me feel alive and that’s music, through and through. I believe what sets me apart from others would be my willingness to engage in different areas when it comes to my life and having an outlet like The Barricade Babes to do so.

If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
Growing up, I feel like I was a lot like I am now. A little shy but outgoing at the same time. Since moving to Nashville and immersing myself in my element, I’ve noticed that I’m a lot more comfortable and open in different situations.

My first major obsessions were Nirvana, Lana Del Rey, and One Direction. I can say that my music taste has not changed all that much. One of the great parts about Nashville is the constant access to awesome live shows, so my palette is growing every day. Another interest of mine is movies and learning more about the directors. I had a strange fascination with the Titanic as a kid and became obsessed with James Cameron’s film.

Another favorite is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, a classic. John Hughes is a fantastic storyteller. I had a film class in community college and wrote a paper on him. The class even gave me the assignment of casting and directing my own short film, which was super fun. I am definitely interested in learning how to shoot music videos at some point.

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