• Photography: Stylezza


Photography: Stylezza


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I was pushed to another level: musical interview

editorial & arteditorial

11 January
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Dear Hanner Nos, Tell us a little bit about your story in a few lines, so the readers can know more about you ...

I think I am an apprentice artist who's trying to express himself through music and photography and try to live my own life but it turns out as a joke, most of a time, so I try to keep the smile on.

I am twenty five, I will turn twenty six in one month. I've discovered music when I was, I think, fifteen. Before, I had been totally into dance. I was dancing jazz, then hip hop and contemporary ...

And, you're not doing it anymore, the dancing part ?

I dance but, mostly, for my own pleasure.

I bet you are a great dancer ...

Yes, I am doing this when I am partying on my own.

When I was in high school, and being excited by all the movies like Fame, I had the option of dancing and music. I have discovered this amazing instrument called piano  and I've learnt it on my own. I've always learnt any kind of art on my own. It's the most interesting way to learn from your mistakes. And, in ten years, I've learnt piano and six other different instruments when I had the occassion and money to buy them : harmonica, guitar, base or any other instruments.

So this is how your love for music has started ...

Yes, I discovered piano in my first year of high school.

And you started to play on your own, at your home. In time, have you started to perform somewhere else ?

I started to perform, first, in 2008. I had my first occassion to sing on the stage. I was in a group in Cannes to make a tribute for thirty years since Jacques Brel died and I was kind of tricked...mislead by my dancing teacher who was casting for the musical and said that I should try my luck as I already danced. And, for the last second, I mean twenty four hours before, I realized I had to sing. I didn't know what to say. So, I learned quickly a song and took me for the scene part and I was happy. And, for six months, I was into it. I performed on the stage for the first time for like five hundred people... and in French, by the way.

So, how was it ?

Freaking frightening ! And exciting, at the same time, as I had to play comedy, and new things ...

So, it was a bit scary at the beginning !

Yes, scary ! I think I forgot a bit of the lyrics but I just kept singing ‘cause I was opening the whole show. One line on my face, microphone, Jacques Brel song ...

When I turned eighteen, I met a guy called Edwin Loel, as I was looking for a base player and he said he can do it. I did the audition at his house, everything went well. He had the whole idea of a project. He was way older than me, I was certainly new in that art and he really guided me. He was so impatient, he said I was going to do the singing part. Just do it ! I was pushed to another level that I didn't have and I had to learn on my own faster than the others. So, I turned out like lead singer and guitarist. I had to learn faster the guitar. This lasted for three years and it was a really nice adventure.

What this experience has taught you ?

Definitely, how to sing more and more, how to behave on stage. We won some contests in Nice and Aix en Provence. I've been coached by professionals so I've learnt a lot from bad jokes like : first time on the stage, I tried to make a contact with the audience and it was a complete disaster. No one could understand me. The only quality I had on my side was that I tried, I really tried. It was really transparent ; people could see it all.

So, for three years, I've learnt a lot. For exemple, I was really committed to songwriting...

You were, also, writing songs ?

Yes, definitely !  And it helped me practice more in English. When you have five in a single band with different styles, you learn so much ..

What was the name of the band ?

Lossly Way !

The basist and the drummer quit the band. With the coming of age, life's changing, you're changing, you're growing up so we split and it turns out it was only me and the bassist and the drummer so it was less pop rock and more alternative.

So, this was the style of the band ?

Yes, it was a pop rock band.

Which artists did you enjoy doing covers ?

Most of the time people are playing songs like Wanderwall, Lemon Tree over and over again with the same excuse that this is what audience wants, but I don't like to treat people like babies and keep them by the hand.

So, what do you like ?

I like Massive Attack, Blur, Pink Floyd, Beyonce, Gorillaz, different things that I enjoy. I am very influenced by rock music.

But you're also doing hip hop mixing !

Yes !  

You said you've grown up ... so where do you place yourself in the musical world now?

I have two goals in my life : living with the music and living from my music. I consider myself as an entertainer mostly of how I work everyday, playing in restaurants and being in different bands with different instruments. On the other side, I'm trying to be an artist and play my own songs which is quite hard ‘cause, especially in Nice, is not very helpful.

How is the musical world in Nice ?

I think is really rich. There are a lot of really really good artists but there is only room for entertainers.

There is not enough room for everybody ?

Not room for art. Pure art and originals rarely ... A guy I like, David Zink, is an English artist working here, doing originals but you can't hear much about it ...

This is a little example but, most of the time, they are leaving the town for abroad which I will do so, too. Nice is a good opportunity to grow up as a musician less as an artist: you learn to be on stage, with the audience, you learn how to be patient ‘cause you can meet some awful people, sometimes, especially when they're drunk! You can find older musicians who can be totally open to give you some advice like Cabine 13, the oldest band from Nice...

What are the main stages in Nice?

I would say The Volume but it's been recently closed, this fall.

Besides music, what is your style, lifestyle?

I like to learn things all the time. I watch movies, documentaries. Also, I can call myself as a googleler.  

What are you searching on Google most of the time?

Music, art in generally! History like: who invented that ...

Who's your favourite artist?

It's so hard! I mean classics: Jimmy Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Damon Albarn from Blur, Matthieu Chedid in France from M. I think is the best French music artist ever.

And your fashion style, what defines you best?

Random thift shop style mixed with funk. I'm going with my feelings, and it depends what I will do on that day. If I really want to feel comfy, I wear sweat pants. I really like women clothing.

In what way?

Way more choice! I like tight tops, or leggings. I have no problems with my masculinity. I'm confident in what I wear.

Let readers know about your future projects, what do you have in mind ?

I focus on my second step in life and living from my music. Not being famous and paparazzi stuff but having my own fine base and discover new people in musical festivals. Playing on festivals and having more gigs and express my own music. And I will do it! I'll do it abroad, like I said. I will leave Nice for Montreal in one month ‘cause in the middle of February I'll be studying in an audio production and sound engineer school as I think I can focus on school for just one year. This is good for working and producing my own music.

I am old school. Computers I don't understand them, I just need to have a recorder and play guitar, piano, and just record it. So the school keeps me updated with the new.

Plans to return to Nice?

I don't think so! I know a band, Kitches, with good projects and this could be the reason to turn back for gigs or festivals but I don't picture myself as a musician and entertainer here. I think I'm done! It's been like almost four years here. I travelled a lot all the time also in my hometown in Cameroun and even there I had the occassion of playing with amazing musicians so I would be more excited to return there. Also I played my own music in Prague. I'm definitely excited to play outside like London or somewhere else.

Do you want to do it on your own or do you want to have a band?

Basically, my project is on my own as I'm using my own sounds and my own guitars, electric and acoustic and I've been inspired by Ed Sheeran as he is on stage by himself or BernHoft, a Norwegian singer. So I want to have my own equipment and work on my own songs being by myself as there is no other way of doing your own arrangements. I'm a bit of a lone wolf in my habits, all the time. I've been in four different bands so I kind of got sick of it so I want to do it on my own. I think I will make a band when I will feel confident about what I'm doing and feel the confidence with the others and understand my idea of songwriting.

Do you have a message for the readers?

I wish I could be inspiring! I have a quote from a comedian Trevor Noah who said that there is one thing that you will never loose your money on and this is travelling.

Interview by Andra Oprea

Photography: Stylezza