Listen to this episode of “Last Call” online!
Before journalism, before acting, before anything, my first love was music. I remember growing up in Upper Saint Clair, falling asleep to Mozart, Beethoven and Bach, while also being exposed to genres including German house music, ’60s pop, disco, hard rock — you name it.
It was these musical experiences that got me through the toughest of times. Music has changed my life. As I got older, my taste expanded, and I learned about some of the greatest musicians to ever play; some are scarcely talked about, but all deserve a spot in history. And then, there are the artists who are up-and-coming, ones who write their own history and have the potential to forever change the game. To me, Hannah Krupa was an intersection of the two and, in a way, someone similar in their musical upbringing to myself.
Like me, Hannah grew up with a wide range of artists, including Elvis Presley, Annie Lennox, Sade, Eva Cassidy and Amy Winehouse.
These artists, combined with her early days as a singer in her grandfather’s Methodist church and her worldwide travels, created the style and persona seen today on stages such as the MilkBoy club and the HOT-BED gallery.
Hannah is a fantastic singer and songwriter, her deep and sultry voice acting like a fabled siren, lulling you in with sweet and dulcet tones. Aside from her own talent, she is also a bridge to the past.
You see, one of Hannah’s ancestors is music legend Gene Krupa, the man who, through his work with Benny Goodman on “Sing, Sing, Sing,” and battles with fellow drummer Buddy Rich, elevated the drum kit from the background to the main attraction. He would pave the way for personalities such as The Who’s Keith Moon, Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham and Rush’s Neil Peart.
And so, from the moment I woke up to the moment I ushered her to a rehearsal post-interview, I was thoroughly excited, ready to absorb all the stories that form this extraordinary artist. And, boy, it did not disappoint.
We discussed her mother’s horse farm in Central New Jersey, how her travels to places like London, Kyoto and Hong Kong influenced her work, her single “Andalusian Mares,” how her style has continuously evolved and how, even now, she’s trying to differentiate herself as a solo artist. The richness and vastness of the material was enough for me to continue with the conversation indefinitely. I almost wished that time could keep going.
I believe it was Billie Holliday who once said, “If I’m going to sing like someone else, then I don’t need to sing at all.” It’s clear that Hannah Krupa is her own voice, her own style, and her own person.