Hana Lu Lu :: Presents you with a Keepsake


by Martyna Turczynowicz

Hana Lu Lu is set to release their very first EP, Keepsake, on November 15. The Winnipeg based trio is made up of Kevin Desjarlais on vocals, keyboard and synthesizer, Atom Dzaman on synthesizer and Chris Aquin on drums.  The band made a name for itself with it’s fresh, synth-heavy sound. Stylus caught up with Dzaman and Desjarlais to talk about the new album and the band’s upcoming plans.

Hanalulu came together when Dzaman and Desjarlais would interview bands together. “Me and Kevin were doing a project where we were interviewing bands. We were doing an interview with Mise en Scene and they suggested we should jam sometime. I don’t even know where it came from but somehow we actually ended up jamming and it was good,” says Dzaman, 28.

The very first Hana Lu Lu encounter, Dzaman recalls, happened at a party. He was playing in the basement and Desjarlais came up.

“I remember playing in a basement at a party and Kevin was singing over me and playing guitar. So even before we were interviewing bands, there were little previews of Hana Lu Lu.”

Keepsake is set to come out on November 15, with the release party will be at 72 Princess. Attica Riots will open for them.

“It’s going to be a big night. It’s an exciting treat after putting all the work into recording. Especially in your own hometown,” Desjarlais says. The release party is a collaboration with Synonym Art Consultation. Synonym is a Winnipeg-based initiative that specializes in art consultation for hospitality and retail establishments and event planning. Working with Synonym has allowed Hana Lu Lu to focus on their music.

“Chloe and Andrew (from Synonym) are fantastically hardworking people. They just showed up one day, looking really slick,” says Desjarlais. Both Dzaman and Desjarlais agree that they would work with them again in a heartbeat.

“We were walking home from the jam space another day and Atom echoed this feeling that it’s nice to have that sense of community.  Working with other artists lightens your workload and your event is exponentially better because they’re bringing their circle of friends into your event. It’s beneficial for everybody,” Desjarlais says.

Hana Lu Lu has had a very busy year, playing gigs and festivals.

“We had a good summer. We played MEME, Rainbow Trout Festival, International Jazz Fest here in Winnipeg,” explains Desjarlais. Both agree that Saturday night at Rainbow Trout Music Festival was by far was the best. “Everyone was there to dance and party. It’s easy to play for people like that.”

Up next for the band is touring. “We’re touring for two weeks. We’re playing Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and some smaller towns like Windsor and Peterbourough. We have nine dates right now, we’re trying to get twelve. It’s our first tour so we’re trying not to go too huge.” Desjarlais says of the band’s upcoming plans.

Bands in the cities that they’ll be touring in have been very forthcoming with the resources they have Dzaman says. “It’s their own town, they’re like ‘come play, we’ll split the door with you, we’ll get our fans out, we’ll give you a place to stay, show you the city.”

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