Anna Hawkins faces fears and inspires fans
The journey to write and record her own songs has been a difficult one for Anna Hawkins, replete with fearful and vulnerable moments. Yet her ability to face those fears head-on has not only resulted in beautiful new songs but equally brave stories to share with her fans. We recently asked Anna about her classical training and the theme of bravery in the songs she writes.
Your passion for music comes through in every recording and performance. How did you become so passionate about music?
In every culture and tongue, we respond to music and create our own sound and song which has always fascinated me. So I think a passion has always been there in some shape or form. Singing has always felt like an extension of myself and I was definitely one of those children who loved to sing and dance their way around the house. I also have Irish ancestry, so I feel a special affinity for folk music with fond memories of jamming out Irish songs till the wee hours of the morning with my Uncle and his friend in the family home.
You were classically trained, right?
Yes, I was classically trained, I started singing lessons when I was 11, and this certainly grew my appreciation and passion for music while giving me a fantastic foundation upon which to build. However, before that, my experience of the stage began at the local country and western club. I’d actually performed a whole lot in this arena at various competitions and events before I entered the classical world and began performing alongside orchestras. I was very adamant when I began lessons that I wanted to sing more than one style, and I suppose I’ve stuck to this.
Your musical career has taken many different forms, weaving in between performing in front of an orchestra to musical theatre, and now you’re recording more of a contemporary folk album. Do you have an affection for one of these worlds more than the others? Or do you enjoy finding new outlets?
Yes it has and I’m very thankful. I would say I’m drawn to songs and I’m driven by what moves me over and above a specific genre of music. So for me its hard to choose one over the other. I believe often what we enjoy also reflects what we’ve been exposed to and allowed to grow an appreciation for. This translates in to what I’ve performed over the years and now what I create in my recordings. However, I would say I definitely enjoy finding new outlets and with songwriting a growing passion my own songs have, in a way, taken me in to new territory musically.
This new album is half originals and half covers. How do you go about choosing which cover songs you record?
Once again I’m drawn to songs that first move me and I’m driven by what is pulling me at the time and most importantly of course aligning those songs with the overall theme and flow of the album.
How did you make the transition from performing others’ music to releasing your own originals. Was that scary at all?
Completely scary. I’ve primarily identified myself as a singer and entertainer having performed on stage since I was seven. It’s also what people know me as, so the transition into writing, recording and performing my own material came with many questions as well as hidden blocks. An influential person in my life once told me . . . . READ MORE