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Hannah Diamond
Hannah DiamondPhotography Hannah Diamond

Hannah Diamond’s internet obsessions

The PC Music pop princess guides us through her online rabbit holes

Dazed Faves is the series where we talk all things online – that surreal meme account you’re obsessed with, weird conspiracy theory subreddits, ASMR YouTubes, or slime Instagrams.

Last week, Hannah Diamond released Reflections Remixes, a package of reworked tracks from her 2019 debut album. For the new release, the PC Music pop princess enlisted a who’s who of underground music talent to add a new spin to her original tracks, which Diamond had written and produced primarily with label founder A. G. Cook. Yung Sherman’s version of “Make Believe” takes things in a trancey direction, while umru’s take on “True” twists the 3/4 waltz of the original into a slamming four-to-the-floor beat with vocal cut-ups.

“I’ve been working with everyone who’s on the remix package anyway, so it was like putting in friends and people I really admire,” says Diamond, speaking over the phone during the worldwide lockdown. “A lot of tracks on Reflections are super slow and super sad, with a specific, tight sound world, because me and A. G. Cook worked on them together. Some of them I felt were crying out to have a slightly different twist to them, or to go in a different direction.” 

To mark the new release, we invited Diamond to take part in our Faves series, where artists tell us about their internet obsessions. A recurring theme in Hannah Diamond’s work, both as a musician and as a photographer and artist, is digital identity – the places where URL and IRL life come together, and the places where they don’t. Like a lot of millennials, Diamond’s formative internet experiences were on MSN Messenger, talking to friends and discovering music through a feature of the software that automatically shared what you were listening to with your contacts list. After that, she spent a lot of time on MySpace. “That’s where I go into coding, and was the place that I started thinking about identity in online spaces,” she says. “You could fully customise it and make it however you want. Even now, that early experience probably influences a lot of my work and feelings about things. A lot of my music and work I make is about online life.”

Diamond says she likes the internet when it allows for customisation and personalisation, as opposed to the modern social media experience, where the user experience is boxed in by big tech companies and people are encouraged to constantly add new content to the feed. “I find it hard to put too much of myself out there without feeling like I’m going crazy,” she says. “I get stage fright.”


Hannah Diamond: The platform I use the most is Instagram. It deals with images, and I make images, so it works for me. The thing is, I’m really bad at social media. I’m not on it all the time. I don’t have Facebook anymore. Especially on Twitter, I find it hard to put too much of myself out there without feeling like I’m going crazy. I’ve got more followers because of my music and the pressure gets worse – sometimes (I can spend a long time agonising) over the comment or caption: “What should I say?” I get stage fright. I don’t feel like I can just post a stream of consciousness. The way I communicate most effectively is when I make images and when I make music. That’s where I say the things I need to say. That’s what I really enjoyed about working on my album, I worked out a way to say a lot in ten songs and a bunch of images.

My favourite Twitter account used to be DJ Warlord. Where is he? Nowadays it’s Cher. Her style is iconic. You have to read her tweets four or five times to even understand what she said, because she’s packed so much information into one tweet with the emojis. Sometimes the emojis she’s picked don’t seem to make sense to me. At the same time, she’s going hard on her activism and speaking up for stuff she believes in – but through this style of tweeting that’s just absurd.


Hannah Diamond: My friend, who runs an account called Hysteric.Fashion, was like, “Hannah, you need to follow this girl, she has so many crazy vintage Dior pieces, I don’t know how she gets them or what she’s doing but she has the best stuff.” I’ve been obsessively following her because she somehow finds the best archive pieces, all the most iconic stuff from my favourite designers and from the early 2000s. Not only does she find the good pieces, she makes these ‘look’ images where she groups things that fit together in themes to make outfits out of them. It’s so well curated, I really love it.


Hannah Diamond: I like to go on YouTube rabbit holes of UK garage, bassline, and trance. It all started when I found this remix of Aaliyah’s “Miss You” by Marky B that was so, so good. I started going through uploads from random people who had also uploaded Marky B edits of different tracks. Then I stumbled upon this account, and she posted loads of really good UK garage/bassline edits of stuff. I thought that the images she used for the videos were so good. They remind me of this thing called MSN Images, where you could pick your profile picture from a bank of images. I always used to save them and draw them and other random stuff when I was a kid; you type in “girly desktop” in images in 2003 and it would show up. It took me back to that headspace, like, “Woah, these are so good.” It’s a YouTube channel I go back on a lot and just listen to every song top to bottom because they’re all good. Sometimes I DJ them as well.


Hannah Diamond: I have a TikTok account, but I haven’t really used it. Video, especially phone video, is not my thing. If I make images, I want to make something crazy high definition and spend lots of time lighting it, so TikTok is the antithesis of how I normally work.

What do you think will happen after this quarantine is over, now that even TV shows are being made using phones and webcams? Do you think that we’ll see that lo-fi imagery carry on afterwards?

Hannah Diamond: A lot of music artists are creating their own content during lockdown, and I was thinking how everyone’s output is lower quality but being made a lot faster. Is that going to be something that continues? And if it does, how would that affect photographers or video makers, if the mentality is “Well, all these people can just make the content themselves, we don’t need to hire freelancers or people with expertise anymore.” Everyone is a photographer now, everyone is a video director, you know?

I think it will be a while before people get budgets to make really high quality content again. I really like the 90s format – if we’re talking about photography campaigns and fashion campaigns – where you spend a lot of money to make something really, really high quality, because all the ads would be imprinted on billboards and it would be worth doing a long rollout for a campaign. With social media, everyone’s making stuff really fast, because as soon as it’s been seen, it doesn’t carry on going forward. Everyone wants to see new stuff. Quality has had to go down because of that, and I wonder if this is gonna speed it up even more? I’m interested in it going to the absolute extreme, then slipping back to the other extreme again. 

I’m obviously on both sides of it: I’ve experienced the pressure to put out loads of music really fast, but I can’t really make stuff like that in a way that feels fulfilling, and then I also have it as a photographer working on projects for other music artists or brands and fashion stuff.

Back to this TikTok...

Hannah Diamond: I don’t really know much about it, but there’s a boy who has a pet meerkat. He does funny things, like he used some kind of pet hair dye to dye its tail purple. And he does video where it’s bath times with his meerkat. And it’s just so bizarre. Who has a meerkat as a pet? Like, I don’t even know if that’s allowed. It’s really strange, but it’s really cute. I’m the same on Instagram. My recommended stuff is just, like, dogs and cute animals.