Hannah “Halo” Littleton, a senior broadcast journalism major from Montgomery, Alabama, is a musical artist and student at Troy University.
After falling in love with the being the lead singer for a praise band at her high school, Littleton said that music turned into a career path for her. However, balancing school and music with being a full-time student who also commutes isn’t always easy.
“It is tiresome,” Littleton said. “I drive about an hour and then drive back (to Montgomery) to go to the Studio Media where I work. It’s a lot, but it’s worth it.”
Even though doing both is time-consuming for her, Littleton said she could never let go of music.
“That (music) is my focus, my passion, why I live and breathe,” she shared.
Littleton said her relationship with making sound dates back to the moment she entered the world. Her mother said Littleton’s birth came with a deafening scream.
“My mom would tell me stories of when she had me; I came out screaming,” Littleton said.
“She said my voice would be piercing, and that’s how she knew I would be a singer.”
She said her talents began being sculpted in her home and at school. Littleton’s father would play pop singer Elton John and the funk band theCommodores in the mornings as her family would clean the house. She said her brothers also began to take an interest in music.
“My brother plays bass, and my younger brother has picked up drums,” Littleton explained. “We all used to play piano, so yeah, I guess you can say we’re pretty musically inclined.”
Littleton said she was involved with theater when she was younger, and some of the skills she learned translated into her musical career.
“I would not be as comfortable on stage if I didn’t grow up on the stage; that is my comfort place,” Littleton said. “Those skills carry over into music and into life, such as presenting yourself.”
She also said working on an artistic presentation to help build a musical sound for an artist is necessary, and that being able to take from influences and mold personal sound is the foundation for most artists. Littleton mentioned R&B singer SZA, Sade and neo-soul singer Erykah Badu as her influences.
“I’ll always rest on Erykah, just the spiritual being she is,” Littleton said. “The fact that her music has a purpose and it’s to enlighten others; I want my music to have that same impact.”
Littleton attributed her writing style to life experiences since she wants to connect with her audience. She said she wants let listeners connect with her sounds even before she is able to reach them physically.
“When you express yourself through any medium, it’s genuine, and it’s from a (personal) experience,” Littleton explained. “I think when it comes to that place, you can really connect with people genuinely.”
Littleton said she is most comfortable on a stage where she can connect not only with the audience but also with herself.
“I love the stage! I get anxiety when I get off the stage,” Little shared. “As soon as I get off stage, I feel it (anxiety), but when I’m on stage, it’s natural.”
However, with the COVID-19 pandemic and recent stay-at-home order, Halo was put in an uncomfortable situation that she said challenged her creatively.
“I had to challenge my thinking and rethink what this was,” Littleton said. “When you’ve been told you can’t leave a place, it can seem really restrictive in your mind.”
Littleton lives with her parents, so in an attempt to be extra cautious for them, she turned her room into a recording space.
“I can’t go to the studio, so one thing I have done is compiled my resources,” Littleton said. “I got a new speaker, I got a new microphone and I’ve basically set up an at-home studio. I got sound software downloaded on my computer, so I’m ready to hit the ground running.”
Littleton said that the first week at home was very confining, but she has learned lessons already from the quarantine.
“It taught me to be grateful, like I don’t have it bad at all,” Littleton said. “The more I changed my perception of the situation the more I became grateful. Like, I’m stuck here, I don’t have to go out, so I can just sit here and create.”
She said the musical lessons she is learning do stop with just the quarantine. Her school work is preparing her for her career. She shared that being a public relations minor helps her understand music from a business standpoint, as well.
“I’m learning a lot of things about marketing and advertising,” Littleton said. “You can’t be successful if you’re not a good business person, too.”
From recording her first song on an iPhone to now working on new music, Littleton said she has grown as an artist. She said she has learned from music, as well as college, the art of self-expression, and how to become more business savvy.
With this new knowledge found, Halo said she feels the same way about music as she did when she was the lead singer of her school band – she knows music is in her soul.
She said, “I want to do music, I want to perform and I want to be a music artist.”