For Singaporeans who attended local music festival Baybeats last month, the name Juno and Hanna might ring a bell. Headlining the Chillout Stage at the Esplanade concourse on Day 2, the Kuala Lumpur-based duo gave audiences a run for their money, entertaining with their spectral, otherworldly brand of synth-and-guitar driven dream pop.
Things seem to be going well for 19-year-old vocalist Hanna and her producer/guitarist brother Hanif. Just recently, the band released their new single “Air”, a track highly evocative of synth-beat driven luminaries like Clams Casino, Blood Orange, and London Grammar.
Later next month on August 12, the intrepid siblings will perform at Good Vibes Festival 2016 at Genting Highlands alongside acts like indie heartthrobs The 1975, British indie rock outfit Two Door Cinema Club, and experimental ambient producer Ta-Ku on Day 1 of the festival. You can view all the acts here.
Being no stranger to Singapore, Juno and Hanna last performed a “super-duper fun” (their own words) opener for Swedish dream-pop outfit Postiljonen in 2014. We sat down with the bookish duo for some answers on the Malaysian music scene, familia matters, and what they are looking forward most at Good Vibes Festival.
How did you guys arrive at the name Juno and Hanna?
Hanif: The origin of the name is quite loosely based on the name of our previous band named Juno hana – which was a five piece band consisting of several siblings including Hanif. Juno actually means “the last goddess” in roman mythology. “Hanna” is the actual sibling Hanna forming the duo, and the word “Juno” is a tribute to Juno hana, our previous band.
We understand that your performance at Baybeats in June was your second time performing in Singapore. How did it compare to the first time when you guys opened for Postiljonen?
Hanna: Both were very memorable and are carved in our hearts. I think comparing them both would be easy – considering the Postiljonen concert is a specific concert, whereas Baybeats is a festival comprising of multiple genre bands. I think in terms of the crowd, both were amazing, welcoming and warm. Our band was also very well managed and we felt very comfortable with our artist liaison, Amelia. We had super-duper fun at both shows.
What are some of the Malaysian acts that you would recommend for listeners in Singapore?
Hanif: We highly recommend people that we look up to in the music industry, like The Impatient Sisters, Pastel lite, Ali Aiman, +2db, Wani Ardy and the Guitar Polygamy and lots more.
Who would you say are your greatest influences for your music?
Hanif: In terms of the beats, we love Blonde Redhead’s beats and sounds. Some of the artists we listen to frequently include Blood Orange, Garden City Movement, London Grammar, Zhu etc.
Hanna: Personally I would write something that is experienced by most of us, but not all of us acknowledge it, neither understand what it really is. I’m not saying that I, as a 19 year-old, understand what I feel, but I think it’s good to know that I can use it as a tool in lyric making.
Are there plans to release a EP/LP in the near future? Could you tell us more?
Hanna: Oh definitely yes. We are very eager in pursuing our new idea for our new EP/album. It is still just planning but we do have one song that is ready. We are gonna keep the idea secret for some time until everything is confirmed. But yes, there’s definitely more music to come.
Have you attended Good vibes before? What are you looking forward most for Good vibes?
Hanna: Yes we did actually, I’m very thankful my siblings love to go to concerts. I think what we’re looking forward to would be the ability of us to capture the attention of attendees that are attending the event.
Hanif: The acts that Goodvibes have gathered for us. All of these elements are making me very excited for it! For those who have never gone to a festival, they really should. It doesn’t matter if you know some of the acts or not.
Hanna, would you say that your family’s influence led you to joining the band?
Hanna: I think I’ve always had that small dream of making music due to the fact that I grew up listening to songs from N’sync to Snoop Dogg, Limp Biskit, System of a down and Dewa 19. As my siblings have a huge gap from me, I was dragged into listening to the music of their era. This led to me listening to Architecture In Helsinki, Lady & bird, Phoenix, Blonde Redhead, Mew, Radiohead, Efek Rumah Kaca and so on. So, yes definitely!
Thanks Juno and Hanna!
This interview has been edited and shortened.
This article is in the first of four leading up to Good Vibes Music Festival. Watch this space for more interviews in the near future!