Our exclusive chat with Hanna Barakat

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What is the story behind your latest single?
Writing about love can sometimes be cliche. It’s a widely accepted topic, but It’s not always given a raw representation. Society portrays love like a fairy tale, and if the relationship you’re in is not picture perfect, there’s always someone else out there to sweep you off your feet and ride off into the sunset with. Reality tells us that pairing lives with another soul is one of the hardest things two people can do on this earth. Relationships take constant care, devotion, patience, and a hell of a lot of strength. We all go through periods of depression, weakness, physical or psychological traumas, and we need help. We need people in our lives to lift us up and hold us tight while we recover. Leave Your Light On is an honest plea between two lovers to do just that – be strong for one another in tumultuous times – Be each other’s light – their pillar of strength – and know that it is an ebb and flow – the roles will most certainly be reversed not long down the road. This is what relationships are built on.

When did you realize music was your calling?
My parents can attest to the fact that I was practically born singing. I had no other activity I loved more than to sing, whether i was playing with my dolls, jumping on my trampoline, or horseback riding, I was always singing. I didn’t always understand to what capacity I would male my living as an artist, but I have always known music was my passion and my path.

How would you best describe your sound?
I love music of all kinds. Some days i only listen to heavy metal music, while other days I’m jamming out to divas and learning new vocal runs! I have been so profoundly influenced by different styles of music to the point where my producer told me, when we finished the record, “i don’t know where you fit – rock? pop? I don’t know…” And at first, that concerned me, but then I realized it truly didn’t matter. I love that each song tells a unique story, and doesn’t necessarily fit into the same category as the previous song. Some songs are heavily influenced by hard rock, while others are tremendously influenced by middle eastern music, particularly in my vocal lines. When you hear my record, you’ll know it’s me! I am all over it – You can feel my voice and know it’s my message, regardless of the influence of that particular song.

What do you hope listeners take away from your music?
My music is rooted in deep personal experiences, in one way or another. My songs carry a specific meaning for me personally. When I write my songs, though, my goal is to impart a relatable story or convey a mood or emotion that anyone can connect with and imprint their own meaning towards. Music is a language in itself, and can be translated into any language through the imagination of the listener. I aim to stimulate that imagination.

Who are your dream collaborators?
I love music so much, It’s hard to stay in one vein when it comes to collaborations. I would have loved to collaborate with Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington. That was a dream of mine since I was 12 years old. Amy Lee of Evanescence would me another insane dream come true to work with. Serj Tankian of System of A Down has such a unique voice – I would love to write with him and create intricate vocal harmonies. I think I could go on and on about my dream collaborators, as I have a long list of producers I would like to work with as well!

Is there a possibility to perform your new music live?
We have multiple summer shows coming up, most notably, my debut record cd release party and concert at Come and Take it Live (Austin, TX) on August 30th with a handful of local acts and potentially a very special guest artist! I keep my website calendar up to date! We are hoping to tour in the very near future!

What are some albums that really shaped you as an artist?
I was born in the summer of 1989, remember that when you read these…

Celine Dion – Let’s Talk About Love
Evanescence – Fallen
Linkin Park – Meteora
Staind – Break the Cycle
Fairuz – ‘Oudak Rannan
Pink – Can’t Take Me Home
Alicia Keys – Songs in A Minor

What are some of your contenders for best song of 2019?
I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I have been so preoccupied with shows and getting these singles and this record out to the world since mid January, that I’ve hardly taken a moment to listen to new music. I hear a lot to music, but I don’t think I’m present enough to give it my attention. That’s crazy! We are still early into 2019. My list for 2018 is strong though, oh my goodness.