Watching an artist change and grow over the years is very exciting. I’ve had that experience with a young artist named Hannah Ford, now Hannah Ford Welton, who I got to know a few years ago.
When we first met, she was under 18 years old and traveled to all the drum conventions with her very supportive father (and musician as well) Dave. It is always great to see parents get behind their children’s career in the right way. At that time, Hannah had already created a brand for herself with her Peace, Love & Drums clinics. She would “minister” to kids her age through her playing and her positive attitude. It was refreshing to see this happening at such a young age.
As time went on, we decided it would be great invite Hannah to be part of the Shure family of endorsers. We supported many of her clinics, gave away door prizes, and caught her at events from time to time. Once she got into college, under the instruction of many notable players including drummer Paul Wertico, her playing naturally advanced. She joined several groups, one rock and then a progressive rock group. There was a noticeable difference in her playing. We renewed her endorsement for another term.
In 2011, we got this great interview with Hannah during a Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA.
About 2 years ago, Dave called me and said, “I have some amazing news to share with you.” Hannah had an audition up at Paisley Park and got the gig! Prince was starting a new project, and Hannah was going to be his drummer. Joined by guitarist Donna Grantis and bassist Ida Nielsen, the group 3RDEYEGIRL was formed.
I watched Hannah’s Facebook page take off with shows all over the globe. With hardly any advance promotion, they would sell out venues. It was exciting to watch and even more exciting when we started seeing some of the performances pop up on YouTube.