Italian singer-songwriter and Tileyard Education’s Scholarship winner Giulia Fontana goes beyond bedroom pop into big sound.
Giulia Fontana, better known under her moniker HÅN, has been on an upward trajectory in the past few years. With a handful of singles and two EPs under her belt, the 24-year-old singer-songwriter, Tileyard Scholarship winner, and now Sony Music Italy signee, has garnered much warranted excitement and attention.
For HÅN, her musical origins started as a means of escapism. “I was born in a very little town in the North of Italy, and I basically wanted to see and do more than what I was doing,” she explains. “I started in this way, and then it became very addicting because it was liberating. I used it as a sort of diary, and I still do. It was a big part of my growing process, and this implied many difficulties that I still experience every day.”
Despite the constraints of living in a small town, HÅN has been able to reach farther than those borders through her music. The initial spark of musical curiosity and the hunger to do more than what was available in her hometown also helped drive a rather spontaneous creative process. “My creative approach isn’t really methodical. It’s very random. There are times in which I don’t seem able to write anything and then I’ll write three or four good songs in a week. I’m trying to be more regular with it because I definitely need to write more, and I can’t always wait for the spark of creativity.”
This determined creative mindset from Fontana has resulted in a steadily growing discography and earned her a scholarship provided by Tileyard Education. Tileyard Education's Scholarship program allows students to build closer relationships with industry partners such as ourselves. Amid all this, HÅN has developed a sound that boasts evolving synths and dreamlike instrumentals that compliment her airy and effortless vocal melodies.
HÅN’s brand of emotive atmospheric pop is reliant on her approach to music making, which gives vocal melodies precedence. “My writing process is very focused on the vocal melodies, which for me are super important as they need to be interesting but memorable enough,” she explains. “The production is also critical. It includes a lot of detail, and it takes a lot of work.” Not wanting to pigeonhole her sound, HÅN works to create music unique to her vision. “I don't want my music to sound like a ‘type beat’. It needs to have little details of production that sound personal and remind me of why I wrote the song in the first place.”
With such an expressive and emotive sound, listeners may be curious as to what the lyrical content of HÅN’s music is trying to express. “To be honest I started making music for myself, without trying to purposely convey a message,” she says. “However, making music without connecting to people is a waste, so this comes necessarily with a message. Especially during the pandemic, I discovered that I really missed this exchange and that I really needed it in order to feel complete about my music. I guess the message isn't anything political, but strictly personal because, as said I before, my music is my diary”.
It’s unsurprising that HÅN’s musical ability has captured the eyes and ears many fans across the board, including that of Sony Music, to which she has recently signed and released her latest single, ‘sonic96’. “We just released one single this month and we're planning to release more during the fall leading to my album. Since signing to Sony Music, one thing that already changed is the chance to work with creatives that can help me realise my vision. In the past, I was independent, so it was more of a DIY approach in terms of artwork, pictures and videos. I'm feeling very lucky to be able to work with people I admire.”
With an exciting future ahead with seemingly unlimited prospects, the scope for HÅN’s growth might seem an intimidating feat, however, HÅN’s plans are focused and pretty simple. “I’m planning to release the best music I've ever made! I also hope to go on tour soon.” In this way, HÅN breaks free of those small-town constraints, and looks forward to a career as evolving as the soundscapes she creates through her music.