When Barbara Allin embarked on The Hanson Project 18 months ago, she had no idea of the reaction it would garner from fans of the 1990s American pop band.
Allin, a member of the Barrie Regional Writers Group, Songwriters Association of Canada, started writing Hanson-inspired songs as a way of practicing her songwriting skills. The exercise spawned 25 videos, a mix of original music and other “fun stuff,” such as a video cover of Hanson’s song Give A Little. With the help of her husband Jason, a professional actor, and their three children the video serves as the kick off of the project. All of the videos can be seen on YouTube.
Then, she reached out to fans through social media and created The Hanson Project: FANFARE. That attracted the attention of 13 women from around the globe, who signed on to create a cover of Hanson’s song If Only, an original fan-made music video.
Together, they became known as The Fanson14. From Ireland, Switzerland, New Zealand, the Philippines, throughout the USA and Canada, they shared similar journeys of overcoming obstacles, fears and self-doubt to find the courage to push past their limitations and participate. How they did it became The Making Of video. The entire project took six months.
All of it, in turn, attracted the attention of more Hanson fans who wanted to know how they could become involved in the next stage of the project. How that will unfold has yet to be determined but, in the meantime, Allin is working on another video.
“Jason and I recorded footage of fans from around the world who were in Tulsa for Hanson Day 2018,” said Allin. “We will be creating, to a new Hanson song, a fun, high energy video that includes footage from the weekend and random fans that participated in the video.”
The Hanson Project not only honed Allin’s songwriting skills, it also increased her confidence in performing. Now, she is in the process of creating an EP of her best songs.
Music has been an interest of Allin’s from the time she was in high school.
“I used to spend countless hours writing my own song lyrics and music video concepts with friends, choreographing dances and listening to all types of music,” she recalled. “Music had always been a huge part of my life and I had dreams of working in the music industry.”
However, a lifelong struggle with social anxiety prevented it, despite the encouragement of friends and family. As a result, she enrolled in a social work program and became a residential support counselor.
She married, had three children and one day, last year, “randomly scrolling” social media, she tripped across an anniversary performance of Hanson singing their hit song MMMBop. She looked into the music the band had been creating over the years and in the process reconnected to her own dream to create music.
“I saw these (songwriting) moments as an opportunity to finally do what I’d always wanted to do – a chance to overcome my anxiety and fears and to become the person that I always knew I was,” said Allin.
See the TheHansonProject.com for more.