Carlie Hanson
[Photo by Logan Rice]

6 takeaways from Carlie Hanson’s Artist Friendly podcast interview

On Ep. 2 of the Artist Friendly podcast, singer-songwriter Carlie Hanson joins host Joel Madden to discuss her upbringing in rural Wisconsin and taking the plunge to move to Los Angeles, fresh out of high school, to pursue a career in music. The episode just dropped today, ahead of the release of Hanson’s latest single, which is due out next week. Hanson is also hitting this road next month, with the first show kicking off Feb. 28.

Read more: 5 takeaways from episode 1 of the Artist Friendly podcast, featuring alternative rockstar DE’WAYNE

Following a foray into pop radio and scoring considerable internet fame, Hanson is now in the midst of transitioning into writing more indie-and-alternative-learning music, which has been warmly received by fans and critics alike. Recently penning her most vulnerable material to date, the 22-year-old artist clearly knows exactly who she wants to be now — her latest tracks “608,” “Illusion,” and “Pretender” all containing a more delicate, ambient sound. In her conversation with Madden, we hear about the journey that ultimately shaped Hanson, gain a broader understanding of who she is today, and how she wants her music and self to be defined.

These are the six takeaways we learned from Ep. 2 of Artist Friendly, featuring Carlie Hanson.

Carlie is a day-one Belieber

While Hanson has grown to pull from a diverse range of influences, she is the first to admit that pop sensation Justin Bieber had a huge impact on her early years of getting into music. She went as far as creating her own fan pages for the pop star, and feels as though she essentially grew up while watching Bieber himself go through all of his life changes and musical eras. Hanson also mentions she couldn’t imagine going through the stress of having all eyes on her and judging her, like Bieber faced in his young adulthood, and has grown appreciative of the time it has taken for her to launch her career without the presence of outside pressure.

Success is more than just numbers and dollar signs

Like so many others who set out in pursuit of a music career, Hanson of course had grand aspirations to play massive venues and dominate the radio. However, as she has navigated the industry over the course of the last five years, she now finds that the “art” aspect will always be the most important to her. Take for example “608:” Hanson’s bare bones ballad that has since become one of the songs she is the proudest of. For Hanson, being honest with her music, while offering catharsis to her fans, is “more than enough” and bigger than things like going viral on TikTok and number of streams.

Carlie went from McDonald’s to the mainstage 

Prior to making the move to LA, Hanson held down a position at a McDonald’s in her Wisconsin small town as a fry cook and drive-thru cashier. Hanson admits that the experience of working at the golden arches was actually “pretty chill,” even if she does have her fair share of food safety horror stories from the experience. So what’s her McDonald’s order? A McDouble, no questions asked.

Genre labels are not important

If you have been keeping up with Hanson’s new music, you can probably already tell that the 22-year-old songwriter is on a mission to create any kind of sound that she desires. As the artist heads in the direction of a new full-length album, one thing she knows for sure is that it is not going to be a “straight-forward pop” album and is not writing songs simply for the radio. Hanson is aware of the genre labels being applied to her as of late, including “alt-pop,” which she says is fine — but more than anything else, she does not want to be afraid to get experimental and create without restrictions.

“Home is somewhere in the woods” 

As Hanson becomes more established as an artist, she admits that her days of constantly needing to be in the hectic LA scene to keep up with the music industry are not going to be permanent. In fact, Hanson says that she misses the cold, seeing the stars, and the tranquility of the woods from her rural Wisconsin upbringing more than anything else. While she is open to moving several places, including potentially back to her home state one day, she has toyed with the idea of migrating somewhere like Colorado or the nature-rich cities of Seattle and Portland. This comes as no surprise, as Hanson’s new music (in particular “608”) does have a cozy, cabin-like feel that is reminiscent of fellow Wisconsin-native and personal influence, Bon Iver, who has also lived and recorded in seclusion in the woods.

Touring couldn’t come sooner

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hanson was only able to go on a few, select tours, including one with alt-pop trailblazer Lauv, before the entire world shut down. As her time away from the stage went on, anticipation only grew. Hanson has since performed a series of intimate LA shows and a special performance in her hometown, but for 2023, she plans to go all out and hit the road harder than ever. It won’t be long either: Hanson recently announced the Home is Where the Heart Is tour, her first-ever North American headlining tour, which kicks off Feb. 28.

See the full list of Hanson’s tour dates below.

February 28 – San Francisco, CA – Cafe du Nord
March 2 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
March 3 – Seattle, WA – Madame Lou’s
March 4 – Vancouver, BC – Biltmore
March 6 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
March 7 – Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge
March 9 – Chicago, IL – Schubas
March 11 – Milwaukee, WI – Back Room @ Colectivo
March 12 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
March 14 – Columbus, OH – Basement
March 15 – Detroit, MI – El Club
March 16 – Toronto, ON – Velvet Underground
March 18 – Montreal, QC – Ritz
March 21 – New York, NY – Baby’s Alright
March 23 – Philadelphia, PA – The Foundry
March 24 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
March 27 – Atlanta, GA – Vinyl
March 28 – Nashville, TN – Basement East
March 30 – Dallas, TX – Trees
March 31 – Austin, TX – 3Ten
April 2 – Phoenix, AZ – The Rebel Lounge
April 3 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echo