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Ticket to commercial success - Metro US

Ticket to commercial success

Hannah Georgas isn’t your typical Walmart shopper. She admits to shopping there maybe once or twice in her life.

Which is strange, since she’s the current voice of the Walmart back-to-school TV ad campaign.

“I don’t even own a TV,” laughs Georgas in an interview from her East Vancouver home.

The spot has been running for several weeks across North America. Overtop images of worried moms packing kids off to college, Georgas sings a catchy little jingle in an almost childlike voice:

“Wherever you may go, no matter how unknown, don’t ever feel alone. You’ve got a place to call home.”

There’s a glockenspiel chiming sweetly in accompaniment.

The ad is so popular that Walmart extended its run by a few weeks and made the song available for free download on its website.

Georgas wrote and recorded the 30-second jingle about two months ago with her producer, Ryan Guldemond (of Vancouver alt-rock band Mother Mother).

It took them all of about six hours. Three weeks ago they went back into the studio to record a complete three-minute version of Place Called Home. They’re hoping to have it available soon on iTunes.

The Walmart commercial is a huge boost to Georgas’s new career. The 27-year-old singer-songwriter released a six-song EP in January and is working on a full-length album for release in March.

A year ago, the native of Newmarket, Ont., was performing at open stages in Vancouver pubs.

Now Georgas is on a national tour with up-and-coming Vancouver band Said the Whale.

Her voice and style have been compared to Feist, another Canadian singer-songwriter who scored a smash hit with a TV commercial (1 2 3 4, for iPod).

Georgas’s break came this summer in a small New York club called The Living Room.

“There was barely anybody in there watching me,” she says. “There was a man who worked for a company called the Martin Agency. He came up to me and said, ‘Hey, I really liked your set. Would you be interested in writing a jingle for Walmart?’

“And I said, ‘Okay.’”

Appearing live
• Toronto: Hannah Georgas opens for Canadian musician Danny Michel for four nights in a row, starting tonight, at the Rivoli, 334 Queen St. W. Tickets at www.maplemusic.com.

• Halifax: Georgas plays the Toothy Moose Oct. 21

On the web

• Hannah Georgas has recorded a three-minute version of her Walmart jingle, Place Called Home. It’s available for free download on Walmart’s website, and the singer hopes to have it on iTunes soon.

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