She has a voice that demands attention - seductive, sweet, expressive. Her debut album, the path unclear, features songs which range from distorted rock to soft love songs, passing by folk, pop, alternative rock, even jazz styles. Yet somehow this eclectic mix doesn't jar the senses; with her hypnotising voice and skilled song-writing, Charlette pulls it all together into a concise and pleasurable experience.
Born in Wellington, NZ and raised in the folk scene, Charlette was exposed to live music from an early age. She made her first performance aged four, and sang duets with her mother for many years. She excelled at music in high school - spending all her spare time (and PE class) in the music suite - and was part of the choir for many years. Her family moved to England when she was ten for two years.
Charlette went straight into a job as a reporter on the local paper in Motueka when she left high school. In 2005 she studied a contemporary music and performance course and she formed her first original band, Qarousel, for which she was the primary songwriter. She also played bass in a covers band.
In 2006 Charlette decided to return to her roots in Wellington. Founding the hugely popular website WellingtonLiveMusic.com, she has become a much respected name in the local music scene.
She has also founded the Scorching Records label, under which she is releasing her debut album, the path unclear, as well as other upcoming artists. Recorded at Braeburn Studio with the nurturing and skilled Robbie Duncan, the album features Charlette's original core band of Vince Waide on bass and Hans Weston on drums as well as many guest artists from electric guitar to cello. Charlette plays guitar, piano and the bodhran on the album. "When you invite other musicians to play your songs, it's fascinating to learn what they hear in them, what they come up with. Working with so many people on this album has been an amazing experience."
Moving to Wellington has also been a time of great personal happiness for Charlette, meeting early on the man who would later propose to her on a beach in the moonlight with his knees in the wet sand. Hans is the drummer on her album. "I write happier songs now," she says.
Charlette and Hans, with Dana Orrock-Binnington (the bass player from Qarousel) recently completed a successful tour of NZ, starting on the 14th of December '07 in Motueka and finishing on the 18th of January '08 in Leigh. Most of the shows pulled good sized crowds, and they were enthusiastically received by audiences all over the country.
Guitarist Joe Ryan has recently joined the band, bringing another musical and creative dimension and contributing to even more exciting live performances.
Charlette Hannah is a name to remember and a voice you won't be able to forget.
Charlette Hannah - voice, guitar; Vincent Waide - bass; Joe Ryan - guitar; Hans Weston - drums.