Songwriting and the Truth About Saying Yes–Hannah Holbrook
Hannah Holbrook is a solo artist and member of the sibling quartet SHEL. She and her sisters are considered virtuosos, and their collective tastes create an exciting and eclectic sound that the band calls alternative pop. This episode is a conversation about SHEL, their relationship with a noteworthy Nashville label, and why they went independent. We also get into questions about how SHEL self-produces their music videos, establishing a presence in Nashville, business management of SHEL, film projects, Hannah’s solo career, relationships, photographers, songwriting, and more.
Here are some particularly important takeaways from our conversation.
On writing good songs
Hannah confessed that she’s writing 10 songs for every one that has potential for the next SHEL album. This brings to mind a quote I paraphrased during our chat. It goes something like, “Writers have to write a lot of bad pages before one good one emerges.” Hannah and I agreed that if she’s getting one good candidate for every 10 songs she writes, she’s doing really well.
On saying yes
I asked Hannah about relationships, as I gathered that she’d somewhat recently seen one come to an end. She commented on the many new friends she’s made in Nashville, using words like “community” and “life giving.” In listening to our recorded conversation I hear an indirect and perhaps unintentional commentary on the life of a music artist. For those who create art and actually find success, there are choices that don’t always come easy. Choices about saying yes to one thing, and no to another. These same choices are intertwined with those we make to create our circle of influence or those that determine how and where to spend our time. The time I spent speaking with Hannah? In a single word? Gratitude.