“To travel to so many places in the world and to communicate through my music, this is one of the greatest things I could imagine,” Israeli singer-songwriter Victoria Hanna said.
As a child, Hanna could barely communicate. She suffered from a severe stutter. “The other kids were very cruel,” she said in a phone interview. “They were laughing at me. I wasn’t like the normal child. When you are a little bit different, it’s not always easy to accept your surroundings.”
Creativity provided the answer. “For most artists,” Hanna said, “if they would grow in a society where art would be out of the picture, they would be very different. They would be unaccepted. And they would be very miserable.”
Music proved to be Hanna’s salvation. “Whenever I was singing, the stuttering would disappear. I feel the most comfortable when I’m singing, when I’m creating a new world and when I’m performing. Everyday life was so tense that it was full of stuttering. But when I was singing or in an imaginary world I invented, everything was OK.”
Hanna has invented wondrous, diverse music, impossible to categorize. She will perform at Stanford’s Bing Concert Hall Studio Cabaret on Wednesday, Nov. 29,
showcasing material from her debut album, “Victoria Hanna.” It was recently released in Israel, will hit Europe in the spring and is offered on her website. Hanna will have copies available at the concert.
Her original songs are inspired by ancient Hebrew text and traditional melodies, but incorporate rap, hip-hop, rock and pop influences. Some are very melodic, some more rhythmic.
Victoria Hanna is the combination of her first and middle names. She was named after her two grandmothers.
One part of the album reflects the personality of Victoria, the other Hanna. Victoria was from Egypt, Hanna from Iran. “They were both married against their will, when they were very young. This was the way they did it in the places where they came from. Each one of them took the situation to a very different reality,” the singer-songwriter said.
“Victoria was married at 16. She was rebellious and did exactly what she liked, not what people expected from her. Hanna was opposite. She surrendered. She accepted everything. She went very much inside herself.
“Even the name Victoria is not a Hebrew name. So for me, she represents this place of the deconstruction, the way I work with ancient Hebrew texts to deconstruct them. It becomes something else. And…