We had the good fortune of connecting with Hana Canhasi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hana, how do you think about risk?
I like risk because it brings fear. When I start getting nervous or feeling on edge I know i’m about to be put in a situation where I get the ability to grow. A risk is just that- forcing us outside this mental bubble we have ourselves trapped in. A bubble of what we think we can and cannot do, what we think is and isn’t possible. To me, it’s a bigger risk staying stagnant. Personally, I can tell when it’s time to step outside this comfortable bubble that I periodically pull myself into. You stay locked into this bubble for too long and you start to get more afraid to take risks each time. I’ve learned that I will never be ready for something, I just have to set down the action to move and go for it. The more you take small risks, you learn to become confident in taking the larger ones. It’s like you have to become okay with things not working out and if they don’t, okay cool- what’s your next solution gonna be? As an independent artist I almost need to train myself to hold this self-motivating mentality. At the end of the day, if you take that risk or not- no one is going to hold you accountable, you’re the only one who’s going to be left navigating through those “what if’s”, so why not try to go for them? Take control of how you want your art to be perceived, take control of being okay with not knowing what’s on the other side of the box you’re in. Take control of your mentality. You’re only as good as your willingness to step outside the comfort zone in your head. Once you make it out, it’s crazy how much you start to believe in the risks you take.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I like to think what sets me apart is my albanian culture . My family immigrated from Kosovo to the United States as refugees when I was a toddler and the way I was raised has greatly impacted the person I am today. From the way I connect and talk to other people and from the way I talk to myself. From the way I was taught no one is going to hand you things, you have to go after every single thing you want and do it with a passion. My drive and passion for the way I work is because of how I was taught to not be afraid of obstacles that test your patience and discipline. I’m proud of the way I believe in my work, before the whole world has begun to. I’m proud of my ability of never letting the fear of how I could be perceived, stop or limit me from being vulnerable and transparent.
With my music, I’m most excited about being able to put out a solid body of work that is super candid and fragile, in an empowering way. I’m ready to take melancholic feelings and try to create good from them. I have specific goals I want to accomplish, but I don’t like to make big plans anymore. Life is very uncertain so I’d rather invest my energy and focus into what I can in the present moment. I lost my mom in October of last year and it has been something that has continuously forced me to step back and figure out what I should be truly going after in life. Grief is a very dark and scary experience, but I’m slowly beginning to learn from it. Slowly beginning to learn that this eternal void of missing a loved one may never be escapable, so we have to learn to carry it. Some moments that load gets easier to carry but in the moments when it gets super heavy, you have to find ways to keep your head above water until you can fully swim, and I do that through my music.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First i’d take them to the Grind Coffeehouse. They have a super nice patio out back where we could just grab a coffee and talk for hours. I love just getting to truly hangout with friends and just talk to each other without disturbance. There’s a lot of nice food spots like chipotle. lol I’m kidding, but not really. Some local spots I love are international cafe- they have good gyros. Cafe Berlin has a lot of good eats for us vegetarians and sometimes they also have live music. I also love Sparky’s ice-cream they hands down have the best homemade ice-cream in town. In my opinion though, it’s not really about where you’re going it’s defiantly who you choose to spend the time with. Even when I go to huge cities I never really like to go to the “tourist locations” it’s more fun when you navigate away from the average itinerary and truly dive into the culture of a city.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would say the biggest credential to my success has been the people who take time to listen to my music and connect to it, then share those experiences with me. To know someone is taking the time to view your art is incredibly humbling and the biggest encouragment to keep going.
It takes a lot of work for an idea to come to life (sonically and visually) and it takes a lot of help from other creators to get something to it’s final form. I am grateful for the team around me who believe in me and my creative direction enough to help me execute it.
I wanna shoutout my producer, Elliott Montgomery who has incredible dedication in the way he helps me discover and shape my sound as a new artist. My cousin, Earrita Canhasi who has pushed me to become a better songwriter through her poetry. Some talented photographers i’ve worked with- Noah Frick-Alofs and Kylie Shaw. Also directors and videographers- Keaton Jones and Luke Strege who have helped bring storylines to my music.
Seeing other creators push forward with their own art is what provides mentorship and inspiration to me on the days where I lack to give it to myself. Having people around me who are able to take the load off of “perfectionism” with my music is what I know will keep the longevity of my creativity going. I’m thankful as hell for those who i’ve been able to connect with and for those I will in the future.
Other: TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@canhasih?lang=en