Hanna Malan. Picture: Supplied
Hanna Malan. Picture: Supplied

Hanna Malan drops new Afrikaans single ‘Alle Paaie’ all the way from Europe

By Kedibone Modise Time of article published Jun 3, 2021

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Rising star Hanna Malan releases a brand new Afrikaans single, “Alle Paaie”, all the way from Denmark.

“Alle Paaie” is Malan's new single, which is making waves in South Africa.

What interesting to note – aside from it being an infectious track – is the story behind the release. The singer and producer dropped the single while based abroad.

Being in quarantine at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, the young musician says she was afforded time and space to fulfil her lifelong dream of bringing some of her songs to life.

“As devastating as the pandemic has been for the entertainment industry, for me it has had quite the opposite effect.

“For the first time in years, I had more free time to write and sharpen my music production skills and collaborate with other producers and musicians.

“I wrote ’Alle Paaie’ after a period in my life of having many enriching life experiences, and realising that those experiences, whether that’s achieving something, travelling somewhere I’ve always wanted to, or reaching a personal goal, didn’t mean as much as the people in my life that I share those moments with,” she said.

The Free State-born star says that although she had an option to release the song in English, she chose to do so in Afrikaans to honour her culture and heritage.

“Living abroad, I rarely get the chance to speak Afrikaans in my day-to-day life, so I enjoy writing in my mother tongue.

“As I’ve been travelling and experiencing different cultures, I also have a newfound appreciation for my own heritage,” Malan said.

She describes her sound as gentle poetic folk meets synth-pop, with a strong focus on storytelling.

“My musical journey began when I started taking acoustic guitar lessons at the age of 11.

“My choice of instrument, as well as my natural surroundings, led me to adopt an acoustic singer-songwriter approach to writing music.

“After moving to Scandinavia in 2019, I’ve been more exposed to synth-driven pop and my own music has been inspired by that.

“I started experimenting with the sounds of vintage 80s synthesizers and blending them with the familiar acoustic soundscapes I have known and loved. It’s the combination of inspiration from these two worlds that have shaped my sound.”

With musical influences from the likes of Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks and Lana del Rey, Malan says she has learnt the art of showcasing emotional vulnerability through storytelling.

“The music I like has always been defined by raw honesty from a lyrical perspective,” she said.

Many artists around the globe opt to use a stage name or pseudonym, but this in not Malan’s.

Malan said: "I understand with an everyday name like mine some artists might have considered using a stage name or an anglicised version of it.

“But because my music is deeply personal, I wouldn’t have been able to separate my musical life from who I am as a person.”

Malan says with her passion for music was discovered very early in her life, all thanks to her parents.

“My parents exposed me to many genres of music, from classical music to Queen to Simon & Garfunkel, as well as great Afrikaans artists like Laurika Raugh and Koos du Plessis.

“I learnt how heartfelt music could touch lives and was inspired to start taking guitar and singing lessons.

“Growing up I used to perform covers at local festivals and took part in musical shows throughout school and university.

“A few years ago I took up music production as a hobby, and that is really what has been inspiring me to give life to the songs that would have otherwise only have lived in a notebook or on a voice note for eternity.”

Malan, in collaboration with South African producer Gideon Botes, is in the process of releasing her debut EP.

“I hope to release it within the next few months. I can say that it will be a collection of Afrikaans songs, most of which I’ve written over the last year.”

“Alle Paaie” is available on all music streaming platforms.

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