Indie Mixtape 20: Hana Vu Traces The Peaks And Valleys Of ‘Romanticism’


Hana Vu is a romantic. On her new album, the appositely titled Romanticism, she traces the peaks and valleys of romance. Right after the Los Angeles songwriter embraces the optimism of dreams, she finds comfort underneath wilted trees, considering life to be some kind of “big disease.” It doesn’t feel like whiplash so much as it does a candid portrayal of Vu’s experiences.

It’s an astute, self-aware record that reckons with both the joys and sorrows of love’s promises. Alongside co-producer Jackson Phillips (AKA Day Wave), Vu gives her interiority a bigger stage, with sweeping guitars and propulsive drums that lift her songs to vertiginous new heights.

Following the record’s release this month, Hana Vu sat down with Uproxx to talk about why she wants to visit Cypress by herself, her love of Solange, and why she doesn’t like following people on social media in our latest Indie Mixtape 20 Q&A.

What are four words you would use to describe your music?

Girl, singing, yelling, guitar.

It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?

I think in 2050 I will still be alive, and I hope to not be forgotten just yet because that is kind of soon. Hopefully I can be remembered by the omnipresent statues of me in every major city center.

Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?

I am probably most inspired by my friends and family. The people of whom I am closest and can very deeply empathize with really color my life with perspective and richness. We are only what we know and what we’ve done.

Where did you eat the best meal of your life, and what was it?

I eat a lot of really good meals, and it’s hard to think of what is best. I will say that my favorite place in SoCal to go to if I have the chance is Jus’ Poke in Redondo Beach.

Tell us about the best concert you’ve ever attended.

Best show I’ve ever seen was when I saw BLACKPINK at Coachella 2023. I don’t really attend a lot of big pop shows, so it was really a stimulation overload. Haven’t seen anything like it, though.

What song never fails to make you emotional?

Every song makes me emotional, but when I am being particularly emotional, I have to listen to “Cranes in the Sky.” Nothing feels like “Cranes in the Sky.”

What’s the last thing you Googled?

The last thing I googled was Alicia Keys’ birth chart, and what I found out is that she is a Libra moon.

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?

I don’t know if I have ever crashed anywhere ‘weird’ per se, but I have definitely crashed at some pretty gross houses. One time I stayed in a house that was so decrepit, and I convinced myself that I was going to get abducted and murdered, so I actually did not sleep. So I don’t know if that qualifies as crashing.

What’s your favorite city in the world to perform, and what’s the city you hope to perform in for the first time?

My favorite city to perform is New York! It’s kind of like playing in LA but your whole extended family and people you went to high school with aren’t there because I am not from there. I would like to play a show in Buenos Aires mainly because I just want to go there.

What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?

I would probably tell myself to get my license because I didn’t really try until I was like 20. I probably wasted so much time and energy trying to get around LA on foot or bus.

What’s one of your hidden talents?

I don’t have very many talents, so the ones I do have are very much on display. When I was a kid I used to yo-yo and stuff though, so maybe that.

If you had a million dollars to donate to charity, what cause would you support and why?

I don’t really even know. I wonder why causes require charity to exist when so much money is misplaced. Can I put a million dollars into the rehabilitation of society? If so then that.

What are your thoughts about AI and the future of music?

I’m not really thinking about it. Music is for people. As long as one has a soul, you will need to hear music made by a person.

You are throwing a music festival. Give us the dream lineup of 5 artists that will perform with you and the location it would be held.

Ok so my dream line up is Whitney Houston, Journey, Solange, Luiz Bonfá, and Ariana Grande, and it would be on a cliff by the ocean.

Who’s your favorite person to follow on social media?

My favorite person to follow is no one. I actually have everybody muted on Instagram, so it just shows me videos of lizards and otters and stuff. So maybe my favorite are the accounts that are posting that wildlife stuff.

What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?

My favorite tattoo is my tattoo that says I <3 LA>

What is your pre-show ritual?

Usually I tweak out and pace around and hum to myself before a show. Mainly, I pretend not to be nervous or beside myself in order to function.

Who was your first celebrity crush?

My first celebrity crush was probably Justin Bieber.

You have a month off and the resources to take a dream vacation. Where are you going and who is coming with you?

I want to go to Cypress by myself. I mainly want to swim around. Or somewhere very vast and beautiful for me to swim around by myself.

What is your biggest fear?

I don’t really think about fear or know if I have any. Fear is kind of like a you-know-it-when-you-see-it sort of thing, like when you watch criminal minds and stuff. But existentially, probably like being destitute for eternity.

Romanticism is out now via Ghostly International. Find more information here.