Hanson Asiedu is a London-based singer-songwriter. Faith and Christianity have always played a big part in his life, and that shows through his music as well. Hanson strives to bring worship music out of the churches and onto the streets. With his debut EP recently released, Gigstarter had a chat with Hanson about his faith, his music, and the way he’s bringing the two together.
How’s Gigstarter treating you so far?
'I think Gigstarter is great! I had my first gig a couple of months ago. I got a message from a Brazilian gentleman who wanted to propose to his girlfriend in London. He was looking for an acoustic act to sing before and after his proposal. He gave me a shout and I helped him to find a good location in London and the gig went great. It was a lot of fun.’
Can you introduce yourself for the people that haven’t heard of you yet?
'I’ve been recording music since about 2008. Releasing singles mainly, but I also put out a full project. I was always excited to make that happen, so about a year ago I gathered the courage to put together a crowd funding campaign through Kickstarter. It was something I was anxious to do. I felt like I was virtually unknown, so who’s going to back a campaign for someone they hardly know? However, it turned out to be quite a success! As a result of that I was able to put together a 5 track EP called ‘Stages’, which was released in October last year. I’m currently in the middle of a mini tour within London to promote it.’
You want to bring worship music to people on the streets. Where did this idea come from, and how do you write music surrounding that topic?
'Faith is something that’s very important to me. It’s a big part of what I do and who I am. For me, music is a means to express what’s going on in my life, to express a message. It’s a way to express my thoughts as well. I’m very much a part of the church scene in London and I find that the church keeps very much to itself. I find it frustrating to see how we have our own music and our own meetings. I believe we are part of a wider community and I don’t believe we should segregate. One of the ways to build bridges and bonds with people is through music, because music has got this unique ability to penetrate through your soul, even without your permission. Music is there to connect people, to teach or to instruct, a great tool to motivate and inspire people. That’s really what I aspire to do.’Your Presence Is Heaven To Me - Israel Houghton & New Breed cover
What’s the response been like?
'It’s well-received! One of the misconceptions about Christian music is that it’s boring and old-fashioned. Just organs and choirs, things like that. What some people don’t realise is that Christian music can be very contemporary as well. The church has moved away from the hymns and organs. Generally, people gravitate to my music a lot because they don’t know gospel music can sound like that. It’s not the same music from a hundred years ago. Getting that realisation out there, I like to play my part in that. Just to get the community represented a bit better.’
Is there a specific message that you want to get across through your music?
’My messages are essentially of love and hope. As I said, faith plays a big part in my music. I believe that there’s more to life than just the physical, which is an inspiration to me as a songwriter.’
What else do you have planned for this year?
’For now, I’ve got the rest of the tour to finish. I’m writing my next project, which I’m hoping to release as an acoustic EP. I started writing and recording that already.’