US Mag : Tell us a little bit about yourself. Your background, education, acting, dancing & singing etc. ??
Hey! I’m a singer, actress, songwriter and filmmaker originally from Columbus, Ohio, although I currently live in Los Angeles, California. I have been singing since I was 3 years old and started performing nationally at 8 years old. I started acting when I was 8 as well. My entire childhood, I traveled from city to city performing and working on sets. I’ve opened up for Ginuwine, Mila J, Yolanda Adams, Shelia Ray Charles, Calvin Richardson, Tisha Campbell and more. I was also the youngest contestant on Season 10 of American Idol and made it to the top 40 out of 125,000 contestants. I’ve also been featured on Showtime at the Apollo as a “Kid Star of Tomorrow”, BET 106&Park, the BET Experience at the BET Awards, on Modern Family and on Criminal Minds as a guest star. I’ve been in a few feature films and have produced my own as well.
US Mag : We been hearing a lot about you, so we notice your starting to gain a lot of attention how does it feel?
That’s so awesome. Haha! It’s a really weird feeling because I’ve been working so hard for all of this for as long as I can remember. I am so so grateful.
US Mag : Please tell us more about your “Marco Polo” music video ?
My “Marco Polo” music video is probably my favorite of the music videos that I’ve done so far. I produced, directed and edited this project, so it’s really dear to me. If you’ve seen my “Artificial Intelligence” and “Bees Like Honey” music videos, you may catch that they tie into each other. I have an entire visual on the way that will connect all of the music videos for this project together. It’s going to be one big story.
US Mag : What motivates you to do your best work as a singer?
My mom. She’s my best friend, biggest supporter and amazing musician herself. She’s literally given everything so that I can make my dreams come true. She also raised me around some of the best music like Motown, Jazz, Classic Rock, 80’s-90’s R&B… everything!
US Mag : What is the best and worst thing about being a actress ?
The best thing about being an actress are the experiences that you have in someone else’s shoes. I’ve had to empathize with so many different types of people in order to portray them on screen and on stage. I feel like it makes you a more open and understanding person in general. I’d say that the worst thing about being an actress is the business. It’s a hard job and full of rejection. You never know what to expect. It’s almost like being in 500 different relationships and getting your heart broken every time. All of it makes you so much stronger, though.
US Mag : What are your goals as a filmmaker?
I’ve already had the opportunity to write, direct and produce my first film! I’m currently in pre-production for the second! My main goal is just to create meaningful content and make people “feel” something, you know?
US Mag : Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to be a professional musician ?
Don’t stop! There’s no set steps or way to becoming a musician, really. The industry changes so frequently and there are new outlets everyday. If you never quit and keep working on your craft, you’ll get there. Never think that there isn’t room for improvement. There is always room for improvement.
US Mag : Any up coming plans as a actress ?
Yes! I am currently working on a film and another film that I shot last year is set to release soon!
US Mag : Everybody needs time out. What do you do in your free time?
What’s free time? Haha. I don’t really have to much of that but I love to write. That’s what I do 80% of the time when I have free time. I’m kind of introverted so I like doing things like reading, listening to music, and hanging out at home with my best friends and boyfriend. I also love Pilates and Yoga. Honestly, a lot of my free time is spent coming up with business ventures and ideas for my music, which kind of makes it not free time.
US Mag : Are you active on social media? what’s the best way to follow you ?
Yes! I’m pretty active on Instagram and Youtube! You can find me on Instagram @sheishanani and on Youtube by searching “Hana Ni”. You can also follow “Hana Ni” on Twitter and Facebook.