Born on the same day as Barbra Streisand, raised on Soul classics and a highly illustrious music career, Ms. Hanna Hais is not your average DJ. Whilst her music has previously been on a commercial tip, this time around she churns out some delectable peaktime club House music crossing over subgenres with ease yet still maintaining a hugely sexy vibe. Hais’s groove and equally polished vocals put her squarely in the beach, poolside, pre and after party dance category. The intrepid Mary Honeychild took time to hit up some questions when Hanna was here in South Africa a few weeks back…
Describe the different energies; when making music or performing music – does it differ?
Before I go onstage I prefer to be alone to concentrate. As soon as I come onstage however I forget everything; people give me incredible energy – not tired or anything just ready to give 100 percent. My life is being onstage and I love it.
Which producers or industry people do you credit your success to i.e. have helped you shape your sound and why?
I worked with Larry Heard on my first single ‘il parlait pas francais’. It was the first – and I believe the only time – he worked with a French female singer. He’s a genius.
He practically invented Deep House. I met him because I was on French label Distance, which had many albums released by him.
Then came ‘Jazz Samba’ and the Ian Carey remix, which was a big hit for me. Also the Jamie Lewis remix ‘Ta Reine’ that came out on Defected recorded and produced in Athens, Greece by Mikael Delta.
In actual fact there has never been any plan as to which producer I work with. Basically it’s just by accident. Sergio for example I met at Midem. I was almost totally out of my voice, but I sang him the melody in the street – he liked it.
We went to Vienna in Austria and recorded two tracks for my first album. Basically it’s just a question of feeling (connection). If I have a good feeling with someone I will work with him/her.
When you think back, has there ever been a ‘wow’ moment, say, for example, when you first began to DJ?
I was doing shows with a French female DJ called Roussia, I was looking at her, and suddenly I said to myself if she can do it I can.
In all the compilations, features or remixes has there been a particular project that ‘stole your heart’?
I was on more than 100 compilations but I enjoyed being on the Defected in the House – Ibiza. I was on 2 of these compilations and also Defected in the House – Miami.
The Soul Heaven compilation mixed by Masters At Work. The Cirque du Soleil compilation was a great one too. I was on more than 100 compilations .
What has been your most memorable night at a gig?
My most memorable DJ Gig was at a festival last year (2010) in Taïwan. I started DJ’ing at 5pm and the place was not full but people started to come attracted by the music I was playing – 15 minutes later the place was full. It was sundown and all the people looked at the disappearing sun, and looking at me and dancing and screaming, it was fantastic. There’s something really great in Asia. People are really into my songs- even if they have no idea what I’m singing, they sing my songs!
So far I’m part of the French house scene, DJ Gregory among other French producers. I would like to do live shows, with musicians and to have my own band. I also see myself more and more producing my own tracks, which I already do partly. My new single ‘Ka Donké’ was co – produced by Boddhi Satva and I.
How far does your music describe you as a person?
In my songs I speak of a lot about things that are personal, so I can say that my music describes me very much.
We also have a special podcast from Ms Hanna Hais. Click here to listen