UK born artist Hanwah, is multi-disciplinary artist and producer currently living in Eswatini. Her fusion of jazz sounds coupled with her masterful use of the keyboard and vocals make her a sonic genius. A Hanwah J performance is hypnotic and enduces a healing trance state which we got to witness at our 2019 Creative Union event at Botaki Ba Afrika. She shares her journey in music with us.
How do you define yourself as a musician and what inspired you to become one?
My musical expression is often an emotional exploration, I use it as a therapy and to better understand myself. I also use it to remind myself of my power and potential. I was blessed to be nurtured in music as a child and I grew up singing jazz in restaurants with my dad who is a jazz pianist.
What makes your music unique?
Although I wouldn’t call myself a Jazz artist, I always pay homage to that foundation, and fuse it with whatever is resonating with me at the time. I have such a broad sphere of influence so its quite hard to catorgarise my productions.
What inspired your latest project and what do you want people to take from it?
Recent events in my life opened a channel for some inner child work and in doing so I learned to hold those parts of myself that where abandoned in youth. My upcoming EP, entitiled “I Love You Little Witch” is a love letter to my inner child. It narrates her journey through relationships with herself and others, from naive infatuation, to destructive love, self love and ultimately to abundant love. I am releasing each track month by month until October in collaboration with some incredible visual artists. I hope that people watching and listening feel apart of the journey, and love the Little Witch as much as I am learning to! I also hope that it inspires people to see the power in vulnerability, and that every story has equal value, no matter the journey.
What do you feel the next step should be for the music and art industry in Southern Africa?
I just feel Southern African artists should continue embracing themselves in abundant authenticity. Retain mother tongues, retain traditional sounds, retain songs of freedom. The world is watching, now is the time for African artists and I’m here for it!
What would you say to upcoming musicians to inspire them?
Don’t abandon yourself. Your story has value. Keep pushing into dominated spaces and show them what they are missing without you there.
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