Hailing from Birmingham, Hannah Smith AKA ‘Hannah Wants’ has had a rapid rise to fame as one of the UK’s most notable DJ’s. Dedicating a summer to Ibiza in 2010, Hannah travelled to the island to launch her career behind the decks, and from there never looked back. With an action packed 2014 ahead of her, we managed to have a quick chat with Hannah to discuss her rise to where she is now, and what the future holds.

Hey Hannah! How’s it going? I’m guessing things are super busy right now, as ever?
Hiiiii! It’s all going great thank you. Definitely super busy but that’s the way I like it.

You grew up in Birmingham. How did you find electronic music, and what was the first genre that you stumbled upon?
I’ve always been massively into music and I began listening to Bassline House, Speed Garage and UK Garage since about the age of thirteen. I remember listening religiously to all of DJ EZ’s Pure Garage albums growing up and then Bassline House and Speed Garage were massive in Birmingham at the time.

At what point did you decide you wanted to begin mixing?
Ever since I knew what a DJ was, I wanted to DJ. I’ll never forget walking into Kudos (as it was called at the time) in Birmingham and looking up at the DJ thinking “yeah that’s what I wanna do”. I was determined to be the person stood behind the decks making people dance and enjoy their night – I feel comfortable there.

“I was determined to be the person stood behind the decks making people dance and enjoy their night – I feel comfortable there.”

For every successful DJ, there comes a time when you realise you need to give yourself an actual stage name. Of course ‘Hannah’, being your first name, was included, but where did ‘Wants’ come from?
I was actually called ‘Hannah S’ for a while whilst I was DJ’ing locally but I was always aware that the name wasn’t ‘the one’. One day I decided to whip out the dictionary in the hunt for a second name, I skipped to the letter ‘W’ (I like how the letter ‘W’ looks – random I know) and wrote a few words down that began with ‘W’. ‘Wants’ was one of those words and I just put it next to ‘Hannah’… you know when you just know?

You made the choice to head out to Ibiza In 2010, to really solidify your career as a DJ. How beneficial do you think that was for your profile?
I’d just finished University and felt there was no better time to go and spend a summer on the White Isle. It was something I’d always wanted to do and I learnt a lot over the four months. I won a few competitions, met some great people and landed my first residency for when I returned to the UK. I’d say it kick started my DJ journey / career for sure.

Of course though, you don’t just DJ – you produce too. Do you find it’s sometimes refreshing to switch up what you’re doing, to go and work on producing a tune rather than being behind the decks 24/7?
DJ’ing without doubt is my passion and what I do first and foremost – I’m more than happy to be behind the decks 24/7! Through DJ’ing on the scene however I’ve been fortunate enough to know and become friends with some great producers who I’ve learnt a lot from. I’ve worked in the studio with Chris Lorenzo (I really rate this guy) for a good few years now and our collaborations allow me to put my own stamp on my DJ sets and make music that I’m really feeling.

You released ‘Dappy’ in 2013, which had an amazing response. How long had you worked on that? Did you expect it to be received as well as it was?
That track took one day to make and Chris and I had originally entered the studio that day to do an official remix for Dappy (from N-Dubz), hence the track name! The remix job really wasn’t working so we just ended up doing something totally different and ended up with that big bassline! I don’t think I had any expectations to be honest, we knew it was probably our best track to date because it was different to anything out at that time so we were really happy when it started getting supported by a lot of the big players in the scene.