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Conversations with han.irl <3

Today we’d like to introduce you to han.irl.

han.irl, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I’m Han.irl <3 I’m an alt pop singer/songwriter from a small town in east Tennessee called Johnson City. I’ve been living in Los Angeles for the past two years and it’s definitely home to me now.

I grew up writing poetry and singing my whole life and I released my first song “Lost in Brooklyn” in 2018 under my full name Hannah Hausman. After releasing music for the three years as Hannah Hausman, I rebranded to Han.irl <3 in the middle of 2021 to signify a shift away from the singer/songwriter world and more toward an experimental anti-pop space. My early inspirations were indie pop artists like Chelsea Cutler and Jeremy Zucker, and my newer music is mainly inspired by as electronic alternative pop artists like Brakence, Eden, and Underscores.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
For me, self-doubt has always been my biggest challenge. For most of my life, I was paralyzed by this internal fear of not being good enough. I had this dream of writing & singing songs, but I kept waiting for other people to tell me I was good enough to try.

After recording my first song Lost in Brooklyn, I got sick and lost my voice for nine months on and off. I was living in Australia at the time so I moved to Nashville to be closer to my family and to get my voice back to normal. That year was so difficult because I spent so much time doubting myself and once I finally gained the courage to share my songs, I felt like it was all stripped away from me. I read and wrote a lot of poetry during that time. More than anything losing my voice helped me realize how much of a gift the ability to sing is. I promised myself that when my vocal cords healed, I was going to stop asking if I was “good enough” & start living like I was.

I realized I was fighting against my own dreams with my lack of self-confidence. There are songs in my head that only I can write that could bring joy to specific people and it’s selfish of me not to create them. I started focusing on trying to become more authentically myself in all aspects of my life including in how I sing and write. I realized I love all of my favorite artists because of how unique their voices and songwriting styles were, not because they were better than someone else. I also realized that opinions on creative work are so subjective and it’s okay if some people don’t care for the art I create because everyone has different tastes. I started singing and making music that I liked instead of making something that I thought other people would like and it really changed everything for me.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Firstly, I’m a singer/songwriter. Making music is the way I process and express my thoughts and feelings. I love collaborating with other artists I like so a lot of my songs end up being collaborations. I think lyrics are definitely my strong suit since I grew up writing poetry. I personally think my vocal tone is definitely what sets me apart! It’s very rare that I hear someone else that sounds like me, especially now that I’m coming closer to developing my own sound & style. I love messing around with the formant/pitch of my voice.

I’m also a graphic designer! I make all of my cover art and tend to gravitate toward making graphics anytime I want to procrastinate working on something else.

I also love finding new music and supporting other up & coming artists! I love going to concerts (I go to 1-5 every week) and I spend a lot of my time searching for new artists to listen to and making playlists! I write for the music blog “Early Rising,” and I also love making TikToks and reels about new music I’m into!

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
My definition of success has definitely changed a lot over the past few years. I’ve realized numbers and streams and attention will ebb and flow, so I never stress about those things or judge the success of a song/ project based off of that. If I’m truly proud of something, I’ve created if I get out of my own way and do something I’ve always wanted to do that I’ve been terrified of, if I make something that means something to one person then that’s a success to me.

I’ve realized success on a larger numerical scale is made up of a bunch of smaller wins. I’ve really been trying my best lately to be more kind to myself and to really celebrate every small win.

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Image Credits:

Sarah Sturgis Monique Plackz

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