Introducing: Sano Hill

Irish singer-songwriter Sano Hill has just released his latest single ‘Dancer’ and he was on hand to tell us all about the single, as well as talk about his musical background. Connect with Sano, below…

How long have you been performing music?

I’m a solo singer-songwriter – I’ve been gigging and performing for some time and released my first singles last year with a debut album on the way soon. Music has always been a part of my life and I’ve been writing songs as long as I can remember, but only really recording and releasing as a solo artist in the past few years.

What should people expect when they check your music out? How would you describe yourself?

I’m a singer-songwriter who writes melodic rock songs that are influenced by life, love, and loss – and my musical and literary influences. I try to bring integrity and emotional honesty to what I do both in composition and performance and hopefully it comes through in the songs.

How did you feel performing your first gig, and how was it?!

Some time ago now – I think nervous obviously, unsure, but I think once I started to sing and connect with the crowd, things fell into place. It’s not so much the performance as the anticipation that’s most challenging.

The new music scene is bursting at the seams at the minute with fresh talent, in what ways do you feel that a band has to stand out to build a name for themselves?

I believe that the songs I write speak to people – they have soul and depth and strong melodies that connect with listeners. When I write I try to bring integrity to what I do and say something meaningful in the songs that people hopefully can connect with and maybe sing along with – these are songs of hope ultimately, though they also chart pain and challenging circumstances, be it in relationships, life or the challenges we face as a species given how fucked up the world is right now socially and environmentally. But there is always hope and that’s what I try to communicate in my songs. The possibility that we can overcome.

What are you working on at the minute that people can check out?

So I just released a new single last week called ‘Dancer’ which you can listen to wherever you get music – and also a related music video on my YouTube channel (@sanohill4013) – all my singles to date are available to stream online – or via my Bandcamp site. I’m working on my debut album – ‘If Not Now, When?’ – which will be released later this year. It’s 11 tracks that chart the story of a relationship, but also much more.

In terms of a similar audience, which band out there at the minute do you feel you would be best suited to open for?

A lot of solo artists come to mind – Nick Cave, Elvis Costello, Damien Rice, David Gray, Hozier, – bandwise, I grew up a huge fan of U2 – and there is also Radiohead and more recently Coldplay – I believe my music shares sensibilities with all these artists and bands though not sure how soon I’ll be opening for any of them!

Excluding yourself, which new artist would you like to see break out and become a success?

I’m involved with an indie musicians support community called the New Artist Spotlight (NAS) and there are extraordinary talents there that I have encountered over the past 9 months of so – acts like Eleanor Collides, Dominic Delaney, Charles Connolly, Rich Allen, 2 Odd Dogs, Blues Trainer, SmoothSaylin and many many more – for those interested in discovering great new indie artists, I’d strongly recommend checking out the artists there: https://www.newartistspotlight.org/

What are your own first musical memories? And what was the lightbulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?

I come from an Irish musical family originally from Cavan (a small rural county in South Ulster) – my mother leads a traditional music group still there – so I was always surrounded by music growing up and have been writing my own songs as long as I can remember. I moved to Galway to go to University and have been here ever since and Galway has such a rich music and broader cultural scene – my music has grown out of that background. Though I wasn’t recording or performing for some time and when the pandemic arrived I went back into the studio and have put together my tracks for the forthcoming album. The light bulb moment as such was when I contributed to an indie album collection of local Galway artists – Origin: see the Light – and feedback from that was hugely encouraging, including some great write-ups in national music press.

What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?

It’s some time ago but probably John Spillane in Róisín Dubh in Galway – he’s a great contemporary Irish folk artist.

What current social issue are you particularly passionate about?

The environment – if we get that wrong, we’re all fucked.

The album that you have in your album collection/Spotify playlist that would surprise most people?

I don’t know if it would surprise people but the album that probably means more to me than any other is Van Morrison’s ‘Astral Weeks’ – a sublime work of art that was hugely influential for me at a critical point in my life.

There were some amazing albums released last year, what would be your album of 2022? And, what other new music have you been enjoying so far this year?

Really difficult question this – perhaps Arctic Monkeys ‘The Car’ – I love the feel and overall laid-back vibe of this album and the way Turner and co. are always reimagining their sound with each album and bringing us in new and unexpected directions. As mentioned previously, I’ve been hugely impressed with what I’ve been hearing from artists in the NAS community – there is formidable talents among the 1000+ artists there and I’d strongly encourage people to check them out. You won’t be disappointed.

What does 2023 hold for you?

The big ambition of 2023 is to get the album – ‘If Not Now, When?’ – out. It’s nearly there – final mixing and mastering is ongoing and I’m incredibly fortunate to be collaborating with a fantastic and hugely talented Irish producer Larry Hogan who has brought my songs in really unexpected but glorious directions. I’m also grateful to Braddon Williams (who has previously worked with a range of top artists, including Beyonce, Snoop Dogg, Mark Ronson, Il Divo, Wyclef Jean, Billy Joel, Kelly Clarkson, P Diddy, and The Script) and is currently contributing on the final mixing and mastering process.

How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?

I’m out there on most platforms (@sanohill on Twitter and TikTok; @sanohillsongs on Instagram and Facebook; @sanohill4013 on YouTube) and try to post regularly and you’ll find all my links at https://linktr.ee/SanoHill

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