- ANDREW GOLD
Introducing Luhan Si Hadin, Solo Artist and Director of Sacramento Songwriter Circle
Luhan Si Hadin has made a name for themselves as a musician of emo, folk, and cinematic pop. It wasn’t an easy journey, but they credit Sacramento for being host to an inclusive music scene where artists can explore their musical interests and talents amongst their peers.
“It has a thriving hip-hop scene, a bluegrass scene, a folk scene, jazz, punk, you have all these choices that you can experience at any time,” Hadin said.
Inspired by the likes of musicians such as Marianna’s Trench and Janelle Monáe, Hadin also draws inspiration from their roots in Guam and Chamorro bands such as Microchild.
“They make the most lovely indie-pop, sometimes in English and sometimes in Chamorro. I really enjoy listening to it because it’s like a breezy hug,” they said
The music program at Deterding Elementary School initially inspired Hadin. They began playing the recorder as early as third grade and took part in the band, choir, and guitar club soon after. Hadin’s love for music only grew deeper by the time they were in fifth grade, waking up each morning to attend music class before school. Fast forward to senior year of high school, Hadin had already taught themselves how to play the ukulele.
Although Hadin had a love for music at a young age, anxiety kept them from playing in front of crowds for most of their life. If it weren’t for the dedication to helping other artists and a “forcible” push on stage from a friend, they would not have gained the exposure they have today. That push has helped broaden Hadin’s horizon and allowed them to push more and more out of their comfort zone.
“I took the time to make connections in the community and to observe for maybe a little too long, but I still think it was valuable,” Hadin said. “When you’re not out to promote yourself, it’s a different vibe. It’s a lot easier to let go of being self-centered.”
These connections have also led Hadin to become the director of Sacramento Songwriter Circle, allowing them to help people through the artistic process of making their songs.
Currently, Hadin is touring Sacramento as a solo artist, sharing their music at venues across the county with new friends and other musicians. Their dream is to one day play in a full folk band.
“My favorite part is learning about different places around town I never would’ve known existed. One of my favorite gigs I did was at a ceramics gallery. If I hadn’t been booked to play there, I never would have known it existed,” Hadin said.
Although Hadin mainly listens to genres such as hyper-pop, hip-hop, rock, and emo, their music falls further into the “folk” category, evidenced by their first endeavor with new roommates.
“I have roommates now, who I had never met before. They had no preconceived notion of the kind of music I was making. They heard me practicing in my room and told me I love your voice, ‘I love your music. It’s so folksy.’ I thought, ‘oh, I am definitely making folk music then.’”
Hadin’s goal is to create inclusive spaces for musicians, something that has not always been common.
“In general, the music scene is very dominated by people who are white, people who are just men, people who are straight, and I realized that I was having to actively seek out or attempt to create spaces that were the opposite,” Hadin said. “I’m non-binary and pan, but I’m also, in terms of statistics, a person of color. I had to take the time to seek out and cultivate communities that I wished I had more of in my life.”
Finding spaces in Sacramento has allowed Hadin to explore other communities and truly immerse themselves in what they love. From the confidence they have built through music, their advice to those in the LGTBQIA+ community attempting to break out as a musician is to be yourself.
“A lot of it comes from a place of ‘Oh, I have to make myself small’ or ‘I have to make myself palatable to everyone else around me.’ But the truth is, you don’t have to,” Hadin said. “If you’re in a safe space, be as big and as loud as you wanna be because people who have been big and loud for hundreds of years are just gonna walk all over you if you’re not.”