Pop newcomer Hannah Jane Lewis on Lady Gaga, David Harbour, The Notebook and new single Love Letters

On new single 'Love Letters': "I basically saw a meme that said, ‘If Noah can write Ali a letter for every day of the year, then he can text you back.'"

Tell us about your new single 'Love Letters' and the nod to Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams‘ rom-com 'The Notebook'?

I basically saw a meme that said, ‘If Noah can write Ali a letter for every day of the year, then he can text you back', which sparked the whole idea.

I think sometimes we can all lose sense of what we deserve and make excuses for people where we shouldn’t - I’ve done that before and I’ve had a million friends who’ve done the same.

This was written for a friend, just as a reminder that she deserves the most, like all of us! 

Previous single 'Lemonade' had such a great reaction. Did you know you were onto something special with that one?

When I wrote it I did think it was special.

It was just really fun and easy to write and I wrote it with two of my favourite collaborators: Gil Lewis and Joel Gunnarsson. Its definitely one of my favourites I've ever written, so I was really glad it had a good response.

What did you learn from supporting Shawn Mendes and would you like to collaborate with him one day?

Well he put on a perfect show from top to bottom, so to see that level of showmanship was really inspiring.

He’s such a talented musician.

I unfortunately didn’t get to meet him, he was stowed away somewhere, but of course it would be a dream to collaborate with him.

Who were your musical heroes growing up?

I always loved the big pop girls - like The Spice Girls, Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift.

My Mum also loved Fleetwood Mac and my Dad loved Bowie - so those were my heroes too. I grew up in a household that listened to every style of music which has made my favourites quite eclectic. 

When did you realise you had a talent for singing?

I started loving to sing from a really young age. I used to copy the Disney princess' and as I got older I’d record myself, and make up music videos with my sister.

It was in me from the very beginning.

I think I realised I might be good at it when I started taking lessons, and being given solos at school.

You graduated from NYU Tisch School Of The Arts, where Lady Gaga and Timothee Chalamet studied.

How did it help with getting into the industry and was Gaga used as an example in lectures?

Yes, they used to use her as an example all the time.

They always said they found it hard to fit her into the musical theatre boxes, which makes sense now as she’s such a chameleon - she can do so many different styles.

More than anything I think industry-wise, being at Tisch toughened me up.

Was it always music you wanted to get into or did you ever consider acting?

I definitely thought about going into acting.

I was studying musical theatre while at NYU so at the time I was gunning for Broadway.

I’d still one day would love to get back into acting and musical theatre but, in general, music and writing has always been my number one.

Have you ever got star-struck when you’ve met someone famous?

I don’t usually get too star-struck but randomly I met Hopper (David Harbour) from 'Stranger Things' and found that one really hard to digest. I couldn’t talk to him. No idea why.

"A lot of my inspiration lyrically comes from country music."

How much has America influenced your sound? 

A lot!

I lived there for eight years starting in my teens - which I think is a really influential time, it really shaped my character and influences and likes and dislikes.

I don’t know if I would have found some of the music I love now if I hadn’t of moved there, like country for example - a lot of my inspiration lyrically comes from country music. 

If you could write a song for any pop star who would you pick? 


If she ever cut one of my songs I just don’t know what I’d do, it would be the biggest dream come true ever. Lets put it out into the universe.

You got to perform on CBBC. What was that like? 

Ah - it was so much fun!

I was super-nervous because I had never done live television before but ended up having the best time.

The fact that is was live made it so exciting, the stakes are really high because there's no room for mistake, but ’Saturday Mash Up’ is such a high-energy fun show.

When it was over I wanted to do it all again. 

How far away are we from your debut album?

I think I’m a few EP’s away from that, but I’m ALWAYS thinking about it and hopefully it won’t be too long! 

Finally, Do you plan to do any live-streams or anything for fans during the pandemic?

Yes, 100 percent.

I’ll be doing some live acoustic sets around this release for sure. 

I may try and do some live-stream collabs and in general want to get as creative with it as I can.

There’s obviously so many people at home right now, and also so much anxiety and stress out there so I think any fun we can all have online is great.

I’m personally loving seeing my favourite artists put on shows and just having a chat, it makes everyone feel a little less alone in this.

'Love Letters' is out now.