Singer-songwriter Hannah Jane Kile finds reward and balance in her career
Singer-songwriter Hannah Jane Kile remembers the magic she felt when her band last played the Silver Star Cafe’s Park City Limits concert series last year.
“A huge storm came through during our second set, and everyone helped us grab our gear so we could run inside to finish the show,” Kile said with a laugh. “It was so amazing, and I adore the owners and how they have created a great place for touring artists to perform.”
Kile and her band hope some of the people there last year will come hear them play a return engagement Friday at the restaurant, which is owned by Jeff and Lisa Ward.
“I’m also hoping some new people will come see us,” she said. “I’m so looking forward to getting back there. I have so much more to share. I’ve been working hard on my performance, my voice and guitar work.”
Kile has been playing music since she was a child.
“Growing up I was a stand-in musician for my brother, who is an accomplished guitarist and keyboard player, and his band,” Kile said. “I played piano and guitar, and one day he said he needed a drummer. So I told him I’d do it. He would teach me a beat and then I’d do it.”
At that time, Kile wanted to play music to be part of something bigger than herself.
“As time went on, I fell more in love with the idea of doing my own music, but I resisted the guitar,” she said with a giggle. “I didn’t want to be like all the other girls who played guitar.”
Her feelings for the instrument changed when she held it in her hands.
“It felt like it was a part of me,” Kile said. “Sometimes the things you resist are the best things for you.”
Throughout her career, the guitarist has garnered recognition with winning Northern California’s American River Music Festival Showcase in 2016 and the KZFR Celebration of Song Showcase in 2014.
She has also opened for Ingrid Michaelson and was accepted into the Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City.
“I wasn’t able to attend the school, which is a whole different story,” Kile said laughing. “But each of these things are examples of a few moments in my life where I really feel the phrase, ‘I was made for this.’ They are affirmations that I’m on the right track, and they tell me the hard work, sacrifice and heartbreak is worth it.”
Adding to the hard work is the fact Kile has type 1 diabetes.
“This is not a club anyone wants to be in,” she said. “But there is an immense gratitude I feel about how the disease has shaped me as a person, even though it sucks and is painful.“
Although Kile can feel sick and exhausted, which is difficult to deal with on tour, she is grateful that she can wake up each morning, she said.
“I am lucky to live in a time that has the technology that allows me to do this,” she said. “Even though there are some times when I’m having troubles with my insulin pump, and there are other things that cause physical and emotional pain, I still play music that makes people feel alive.”
Over the years, Kile has worked on writing more personal songs.
“I’m an emotionally driven person, so I always write what I feel,” she said. “And the type of song I write depends on how I’m feeling at the moment.”
Kile usually finds a few different chords to illustrate what she’s feeling, and then she’ll come up with a melody.
“I have to work harder at the words than I do finding a good melody for some reason, and in the past couple of years, I’ve been more careful about how I want to say things, rather than just rhyming the word ‘blue’ with ‘you,’” she said.
The other day Kile found an old journal that contained lyrics she wrote in the early days of her career.
“They were terrible,” she said, laughing. “So it feels good to know that I’m honing my craft, and slowly, but surely getting better.”
Still, writing deep and personal songs can be unnerving.
“When people hear my song, they get a snippet of who I am, and that can make me nervous,” she said. “They get three-and-a-half minutes of my life, and maybe those three-and-a-half minutes weren’t the best moments of my life.”
Other songs Kile has written show her fans how much her confidence has grown over the years.
“That’s the beauty of what I do,” she said. “Hopefully, if the songwriter does her job, the listeners will relate and feel like they aren’t alone anymore. I have a new batch of songs that I will perform in Park City next week, and they are the most intense and honest songs I’ve ever written.”
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