In Conversation with: Hannah Diamond. 

The English singer, songwriter, photographer and visual artist Hannah Diamond creates music and visual art according to her own exaggerated bubble gum vision of what a pop star should sound and look like nowadays. By using topics such as idolization and identity and turning them into songs, Hannah became a kind of internet sensation - an alternative underground version of Britney Spears. With Copypaste the singer discussed challanges, loneliness and coming up with new ways to connect with fans during times of crisis. (Photo by Hannah Diamond)

Are you affected by the current lockdown? How does it affect your everyday life and what changed since we are forced to stay at our homes? 

On a personal level, I miss all my friends a lot I haven't had a hug for over a month :'( and I miss my family and my dog who is with my mum and am worried about them a lot. Having crazy dreams and nightmares and my OCD about cleaning is really off the charts but I'm going with it for now since its a useful problem to have atm. I feel like I'm living way more of my life online at the moment to stay connected with people and not feel so lonely. Work stuff is weird, both jobs I do - being a photographer and a music artist have been put on hold. Working for my self for the past 5/6 years has prepared me pretty well for isolation. I usually work from home most Monday to Fridays on my own or with an assistant, so I've had practice at creating my own timetable and routines to stay busy and motivated. I'm finishing up a shoot I already shot, and I'm doing what I can to keep working on music and doing a lot of research and things I don't normally have time to get really deep into when I'm busy juggling doing both things. I guess I'm putting in work to speculatively potentially have an income again when this is over? Being self-employed makes it a bit stressful I don't get paid for being off sick / or not being able to work because I pay my self, so I have a lot to work out - but I know I am incredibly fortunate that what I do means I am able to stay at home and be safe and semi carry on with what I had started before the lockdown.

What changed for you as an artist? What are the biggest challenges for artists like you at the moment? And did you find any new ways of connecting with your listeners and fans such as via live streaming "gigs" from your home on social media?

I'm connecting with a lot of people I've not had the chance to work with before. I feel like before this especially working on music stuff felt like you had to be in the same room/country even to be able to do a session with someone. The conversations would go "hit me up next time ur in...."  But I guess everyone being all in the same situation and spending a lot more time online has made the world feel smaller. I've been doing online sessions with people in LA and I feel more connected rn with my friends who live all over the world than I usually do. I played Club Quarantine a couple of weeks ago - that was really fun, used a weird mixture of photography equipment and limited music equipment I have at my place to set up a little green screen rig and I played all my favorite hardcore tracks. I played pink and blue at the end that was my fave moment was so cute being able to see everyone dancing in their rooms to it. I'm chatting to lots of my fans on Dm atm too on Instagram, and having some super interesting conversations and sharing stuff to listen to and watch that feels really good and inspiring.

In your song " invisible" you sing about being alone: "I’m scared of what I’ll see so I’ll stay home tonight". Does being alone feel reassuring sometimes? What are the positive and negative aspects of isolation and loneliness for you and for your work as an artist?

I feel like I'm good at being on my own. I don't always like it but I need to be on my own sometimes to think and process stuff. I feel the freest to make stuff and put all my ideas down when I'm on my own because I have space to try things and make mistakes without feeling judged.

If you were forced to spend the lockdown with 3 people from the music industry, who would it be and why?

SOPHIE, Guy Sigsworth and AG cook. Sophie, because I love her so so much. Being around her is super calming and wholesome feels like being with family. A G cos I know we would watch some crazy films and probs laugh a lot and Guy because I've been working with him lots lately and I learn so much every time we work together, he's super interesting and he just knows so much he has a really similar approach to making music as me and AG! I think we would all have some super intense inspiring conversations and it would be potentially nuts but we would make some insanely good music.

If you were forced to listen to the same 5 songs during the lockdown, which ones would it be?

DJ Sammy - Heaven, Janet Jackson - Every time, Britney - Unusual You, Robyn - Call your Girl Friend, Troye Sivan - Plum

Did you work on any new projects during the lockdown?

I'm working on a few different things at the moment, that I'm really excited about. But I don't want to say what because it instantly puts a tonne of pressure on things. I'm enjoying the pause in the rat race at the moment. It's helping me to feel inspired and creative.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Just that I hope everyone's doing ok and that I'm super thankful to everyone who is still working doing essential jobs and especially those working in healthcare who are risking their lives to look after everyone.