Hanna Hanra knows everything there is to know about music and more. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Beat magazine, Hanna is your go to girl for everything you need to know about the latest bands, record labels, DJs and musicians. When she’s not busy working her way through new releases, moonlighting as a DJ or putting pen to paper for the likes of i-D, Love and Sunday Times Style, Hanra can be found in the Beat’s east London office, looking at cat porn, listening to tunes and making or breaking the future music stars of tomorrow.
“Usually it takes at least two coffees before my brain starts working, which is disappointing. I never thought I would be that person, but I guess it's what happens. BEAT is kind of international, so the first thing I do when I wake up is look at emails that have come from New York and LA. Any that are terrifying and need replying to straight away are replied to straight away, pre-coffee, which is ridiculous because they don't normally make any sense. There are usually a few emails from PRs telling me about so and so's latest release, which I try to keep to read later on, and there's normally a few about “the latest flat shoe trend”, which I've recently gotten into the habit of simply unsubscribing from. After breakfast, I cycle to my office in Dalston. If it's raining, or if I have to be somewhere where I can't be dressed in my usual “funky mum on the school run” outfit, then I get the bus. I have a coffee as soon as I get into work and tackle my to do list, which I make at the end of the day before, and add to over the evening when I remember things. I have a terrible memory, which means if I don't write something down, I won't do it. Or I will, but six months after it needs doing.
BEAT is a small team, so everyone pitches in with everything; cleaning, organising, blogging, making the issue, buying socks, making lunch, and most importantly, looking at cats. We're like a little family. It's nice to have that kind of atmosphere in the office. The day starts at ten-ish and finishes at five-ish - if the work is done, there's no need to stick around. We get sent a lot of CD's to listen too - so on a typical day we listen to promos together and make comments on what we think. I like to give things 30 seconds before we take it off the stereo, it if makes it past that then it must be ok. Quite often people will pop by or we will go and see them - I always make a point of meeting contributors and friends to pick their brains about what they're listening to.
The magazine is quarterly, so there are some days where I have to focus a lot more on the production side of that, and then some days when that's the furthest thing from my mind. At the moment, we are working on our Christmas issue. I have a meeting via facetime at least once a week with our fantastic Art Director, Dean Langley, who lives in New York. It usually ends with a gossip too... did you know that blah blah has been fucking blah blah for SIX months?!
After lunch we go to the post office, and drop magazines off. It's really important that not only the right people at brands get their copy of Beat, but that they are distributed in all the right places for readers too. We are distributed in 500 places worldwide, and this can take a fair amount of organising! Sometimes when I’m working, it's easier to listen to no music or music I'm already familiar with. So by mid afternoon, I'm definitely ready to listen to some golden oldies. Or something that came out last year. Earlier this year, I adopted a continental method of working, which is take Friday off. I'm still there on email, just not in the office. I'd rather work really hard in the week and be able to be a bit more flexible at the end of it, so I save Fridays for fun meetings and relaxing at home, or doing something that I find inspiring. Unless we're on deadline or I have a piece to write. In which case...