Hannah Wants’ rise over the past few years has been nothing short of meteoric. Having cut her teeth on the infamously hard-to-crack San An circuit, the Birmingham native followed up her auspicious start with a string of competition wins which ultimately propelled her into the limelight. Hannah has hardly had a minute to look back since — so much so that she now has her own show on BBC Radio 1 and a burgeoning DJ career. With a string of island dates in the pipeline this summer, we thought it a good time to check in with one of the scene’s most current and in-demand new faces…
You came here as clubber before you came as a DJ.
What do you think you learned about yourself during those times?
“I spent the summers of 2010 and 2011 in Ibiza with a dream of becoming a successful and professional DJ. Whilst I did my fair share of clubbing, my main focus was to gain as much DJ experience as possible. I learned about myself as a person, while my knowledge of music and the industry expanded and I also improved as a DJ. Spending two summers in Ibiza was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
There seems to be a certain snobbery about San An these days. What do you make of that?
“I absolutely love San An! I’ve spent many months living there so it genuinely feels like home whenever I return. I’m actually searching for a luxury apartment to rent this summer — but I don’t think I can part ways with my San An penthouse that I’ve rented for the past two years!
“But yeah, I’m aware of a little snobbery about San An, but it’ll always be a special place for me. I love going back to Viva, I love visiting my shopkeeper friend and there’s nothing more innately ‘Ibiza’ than watching the beautiful sunset at Mambo’s.”
Do you still get nervous before gigs? What do you do in those situations?
“I think a little nerves are a good thing; it shows you care and aren’t overly confident — which makes you work for every set. No gig is ever the same; the venue, the crowd, the country, you never quite know what you’re gonna get so it’s important to be as prepared as possible.
“I always like to get to the venue about an hour before my set time. This gives me a little time to check out the venue, the set-up and the crowd. I can also gauge the DJ’s set before mine so I can decide where I want to take the dancefloor. That (and a nice vodka lemonade!) gears me up to get behind the decks.”
Some see you as a house DJ, while others insist your style is bass. How do you define your own style?
“I’d have to say I’m a house DJ. I love and play most sub-genres of house music. If it fits in my mixtapes, live sets or radio shows, I’ll play it. Variation is key, and I don’t define myself to one strict sound. Yes, the music I play is often heavily bass-influenced, but I’ve been a lover of bass since my speed garage days!”
How do you chill out when you’re in Ibiza, any recommendations?
“I can’t answer this question without mentioning Mambo’s. For me, there’s no better place to chill and watch the sunset with cocktails and friends. Something I want to do this year is get on a yacht (it’ll probably be a rubber dinghy) and spend a day over at Formentera. I’ve heard amazing things about that island and I can’t wait to visit.”
Tell us about your What Hannah Wants residencies this summer and what you’ve got planned on the island this season…
“What Hannah Wants is a brand I’ve started this year that basically aims to throw amazing parties with the best handpicked DJs, who really know how to provide a rave. What Hannah Wants has already hosted one in July at Ibiza Rocks, and there’ll be another on 18th September too. Some real cool DJs will be joining me, guys like Monki, My Nu Leng, Mele, Redlight, DJ Barely Legal and Steffie Timanti…it’s gonna be big!
“I also have a monthly residency at Amnesia for Together on Tuesdays on the terrace for Defected, and there are a few other gigs in the pipeline which haven’t been announced just yet. I’ll be shouting about them and posting details as soon as possible, so watch out!”
Hannah Wants plays at Together at Amnesia and at Ibiza Rocks this summer