A JesusWired Exclusive Interview With Hannah Schaefer; Includes Exclusive Details About New EP
Hannah Schaefer is an up and coming 19 year old pop artist based in Columbia City, IN who is already starting to make waves on the Christian scene. Seemingly heading towards a career on the musical stage, God suddenly intervened and Hannah quickly realized God was calling her into the Christian music industry. She took a leap of faith, started following God’s new calling on her life, picked up a guitar and started to hone in on commercial and contemporary pop styles of singing and songwriting. The rest, as they say, is history.
Three singles into her music career, and having already won the Gospel Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest with her debut single “All the Way,” Hannah Schaefer is on the verge of releasing her debut EP and officially stamping her name on the Christian pop scene as the “next big thing.” I recently had the chance to connect with Hannah and get to know all about her, the music she’s released so far and about her upcoming EP. The interview can be seen below, and be sure to read carefully as it includes details about the new EP that haven’t been released yet!
[JW] Hey there Hannah, firstly thank you for taking the time to chat with us!
[HS] Thank you so much for interviewing me!
[JW] For those of our readers out there who haven’t heard of you before, could you briefly introduce yourself, tell us how and when you became a Christian and a little bit about your personal testimony?
[HS] Well, I grew up in the small town of Columbia City, Indiana. My childhood memories consisted of catching frogs on warm summer nights at my grandparents’ lake house and, in the wintertime, pretending to be a professional snow boarder down the hill in my backyard. I’ve loved growing up in a flyover state where Jesus is frequently the center of it all. In high school, I was heavily involved in anything musical. I was apart of many things, but my main focus was show choir and youth activities at my church. I would sing and lead the congregation at church, loving every bit of it. I don’t really remember a time I didn’t believe in Jesus growing up. Christianity was just a part of who I was and who I always had been.
[JW] Now, you had quite a dramatic change of direction to get to the path you are on now didn’t you? Tell us all about where your life was heading and when you knew it wasn’t what God had planned for your life.
[HS] After high school, I had originally planned on attending Indiana University with a scholarship to study Vocal Performance. Even though I had been working toward that goal for years, I could just feel the Lord calling me to take a different path. About two weeks after my high school graduation party, it really hit me that God was calling me to become a Christian artist. I just knew that was what I was supposed to do. So, I took a leap of faith and told my parents I wanted to decline my scholarship and pursue this dream. I am so blessed that the Lord gave me the courage to follow Him, and I can truly say this decision is the best one I have ever made!
[JW] What was the process like adjusting your focus to the new direction for your life? And what was the biggest challenge you had to overcome in beginning this new path for your life?
[HS] I would say that there has been a wonderful challenge of balancing downtime and work time. I have such a desire to become a great artist that sometimes I forget to feed my soul and relax. I am challenged to grow spiritually as well as skillfully. The scales tip both ways every now and then, but with every challenge, I grow stronger in Him and continue my journey.
[JW] If there was just one message you wanted listeners to take away from your music, what would it be?
[HS] If there is one thing I want them to take away from my music it is to trust the Lord with all your heart. Find comfort in Him. I have done this and I have unexplainable joy and peace. I want my music to inspire others and give them a sensation of faith, hope and love! I want to be a vessel for the Lord and change lives.
[JW] Are there any artists out there who you’re desperate to collaborate with on a song in the future?
[HS] There are so many talented artist/bands in this industry, but if I had to choose one…I would want to collaborate with the band Tenth Avenue North. I would love to collab with them because so many of their songs got me through tough times in my life. I want to be a part of creating more music that will impact others the same way their music impacted and inspired me.
[JW] Now let’s get on to talking about the important stuff, the actual music! It’s now almost a whole year since you released your first single “All The Way!” Could you share what that song is all about?
[HS] All the Way came to life when I was trying to decide on a college to attend. I wasn’t sure where God was trying to lead me and all I wanted was to follow His will. As I casually expressed my feelings of confusion and frustration with my co-writer, he quickly reminded me how important it is to trust in the Lord with all your heart. I had gotten so caught up in the world that I had forgotten to relax and just trust my God. Within the next few minutes the first verse of All the Way was born and we were able to encompass my moment of revelation. “You’re with me all the way, all the way, all the way”. No matter what I was going through God would never abandon me, nor anyone else. I hope that this song gives listeners a peace of mind and enlightens their hearts knowing that they need not worry about whatever situation they are in because our God will be with them all the way!
[JW] Were you nervous about releasing your first single to the world?
[HS] Not really. I was so ready to share my story with anybody who would listen. I knew that the song was written for a reason and couldn’t wait to release it.
[JW] Speaking of “All The Way,” you filmed a music video for that single! What was that like? And how did that all come together?
[HS] It was an incredible experience filming in Nashville. The team knew just what to do to really bring the song to life. It was a blast.
[JW] Your second single, “Go,” would seem to be about you putting all your faith in God as you set off on becoming a Christian recording artist and pursuing God’s true calling for your life. Am I on the right track with that or wildly off course?
[HS] You are exactly correct. I was ready to put the past behind me and leap into the unknown. I was tired of being afraid of the future, and I was ready to trust God. I was ready to walk upon waters I had never been on before and GO. “Go” was written as my anthem song, but it was also written for anybody who is afraid to follow what the Lord is calling him or her to do. It was written with the intention of encouraging everyone to not be afraid of the unknown, and it was meant to inspire him or her to have faith!
[JW] Now, you’ve just released your third single “Eyes Open” in the last couple of weeks. Could you tell everyone what the song’s about and what inspired the song?
[HS] “Eyes Open” is special in the sense that it is the first song on the EP that wasn’t inspired by a personal experience of my own, but of a close friend of mine. I was able to witness this person find the Lord after many years of darkness and help them fall in love with Him. It was amazing to see their whole life begin to change in wonderful ways. Joy replaced sorrow and healing began to replace the hurt. It was just so moving. This experience was something I couldn’t ignore and I knew I just had to write my next song about it. The concept of “Eyes Open” is not really meant to be taken literally, but spiritually. You know the feeling you get when you realize who God really is? It’s meant to encompass that feeling of security, hope and realization. It’s meant to symbolize an awakening. “Eyes Open” is for the lost who find their way back home. Which, in reality, is all of our stories at some point in life.
[JW] What’s the feedback on the 3 singles you’ve released been like so far?
[HS] The feedback I receive is so uplifting. I am reminded by every comment just how blessed I am to be able to do this and I can’t wait to see what people think of the EP as a whole.
[JW] Out of the 3 singles, which was your favorite song to write? And which single is your favorite to perform live?
[HS] Wow, well I would have to say “Eyes Open” was my favorite to write because it is lyrically much different than the others. The focus is not on my own experiences, but of others. It was just a special experience. Performing live? I would have to say “Go” just really brings the Holy Spirit onstage. It’s faith filled nature is infectious with a crowd and the Lord really is able to make it come alive. So, I would say “Eyes Open” was the most fun to write and “Go” is one I love to perform live.
[JW] Speaking of performing live, what can people expect from a Hannah Schaefer show?
[HS] You can expect a fun, energetic show about hope, love and faith. In my shows I send a clear message of trusting the Lord through no matter what is happening in life. It’s lively and filled with moments that bring people closer to the Lord.
[JW] I understand you’re working on your debut EP? Do you have a rough idea when you plan to release that to the world?
[HS] I actually do. The EP release will be Oct. 31st, but you can pre-order it on Oct. 21st. When you pre-order the EP you will automatically receive the title song “All the Way”, but you will have to wait for the actual release date to receive the rest of the songs.
[JW] Are there any specific songs on the EP that you’re really excited about people hearing?
[HS] I am stoked for people to hear “Warrior”. It is the only song on the EP that wasn’t previously released as a single and will be completely new to everyone. In fact, this is the first time I have ever revealed the title! It’s powerful, and personal. This song was written for the fighters, and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.
[JW] Now for a few fun questions to round out the interview…
[JW] If you could sum “Hannah Schaefer” the person up in just 5 words, what would they be?
[HS] I would say…Lively, Optimistic, Driven, Kind and Truthful
[JW] What’s your favorite “naughty” food treat?
[HS] hmmmm…I seriously love blizzards from DQ. My favorite season is fall because (when it comes to “naughty treats”) it gives me an excuse to buy the pumpkin pie blizzard as much as I possibly can!
[JW] What is something crazy you have always wanted to do but haven’t quite had the nerve to do?
[HS] Skydiving. Definitely Skydiving. I love roller coasters and adrenaline rushes. I would think skydiving would be the ultimate thrill!
[JW] What song or album by another artist/band are you currently obsessed with?
[HS] I love the song “First” by Lauren Daigle. I love the immense power behind the melodies and her roaring tone. I can’t get it out of my head! Not only are the pop beats and synths infectious, but also the lyrics are a wonderful way to get into a Holy mind-set for the day. I strongly recommend everyone check out her single.
[JW] Is there a certain bible verse which is currently impacting your life hard?
[HS] “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Pslam 37:4 I love this verse because it reminds me that it’s not about what “I” want, it’s about what HE wants. What I think I want may not always bring me happiness. Only God knows all and will never lead us astray. I love this verse because it keeps me chasing after what God is calling me to do and keeps me from chasing after worldly things. It humbles me, fills me with hope and motivates me everyday.
[JW] Before we wrap this interview up in a few moments, is there anything else you’d like to say to everyone out there?
[HS] I just want to say thank you to everyone who has supported and is continuing to support me through this journey. It means so much to read an encouraging comment or hear how the Lord used my music to touch others. I am super excited about the release of my first EP and can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks!
[JW] Where can people connect with you on social media?
[JW] Lastly, but certainly not least, is there anything we at Jesus Wired and all of our readers could be praying for you specifically about over the coming weeks and months?
[HS] Thank you for that. I would ask for prayers to proceed on this journey with a humble and obedient heart as well as the strength to keep fighting the good fight.
[JW] Thank you Hannah for taking the time out of your schedule to chat to us about your music, we sure appreciate it and we can’t wait for the EP and to see where your career goes! God bless you and your music, keep up the great work!
[HS] You’re so welcome. Thank you again for interviewing me! I am extremely excited to share my EP on October 31st so don’t forget to be on the look out that day for new music! I wish you all the best and God bless.
About Hannah Schaefer:
Hannah Schaefer, born June 2, 1996, is a Christian pop singer and songwriter from Columbia City, Indiana. She participated in the youth choir at her church, and was trained classically in high school; partaking in any musical activity she could. Ever since she watched her first Broadway musical show, Wicked, she was determined to make a career on the stage. By the end of her senior year she received a scholarship to the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, but soon realized God was calling her into the Christian Music Industry. She followed the calling and began to pursue becoming a Christian artist full time. She picked up guitar, and honed in on commercial and contemporary pop styles of singing and songwriting. It was during the uncertainty of God’s future plans for her that her first single “All The Way” came to life. Her newest single, “Go,” helps tell the world what her life is like today after saying yes to following Christ into the Christian Music Industry. “I know now that I am doing what God created me to do, and I’m so thankful that He has given me the courage to take that leap of faith, to just GO and follow Him. I pray ‘Go’ inspires others to be brave and listen to their calling from Him as well because it’s way beyond worth it.” – Hannah