Led by Hannay Lwin Lwin, the three-piece band “Hannay and the Zens” recently released Summer of 17, a 6-song EP of original rock songs performed in Burmese and English. Myanmore sat down with Hannay, the lead singer and guitarist, to chat about the band’s inspirations and future plans.
Tell us a bit about the band.
We are a three piece band with me on vocals and lead guitar. Dalila Yusof (bass) and I started playing together when we were students in the music performance programme at Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore. Then, when I set up Academy of Rock Myanmar with my family, we hired Ko Nay Min Oo (drummer) as a music teacher. Our musical styles are similar and so we started jamming together in early 2017.
How would you describe your music?
We play different genres of rock. I grew up in a musical family so there are a lot of inspirations and influences throughout my life. There are also a lot of bands/musicians that I like and listen to. For example Queen was the very first band that gave me inspiration to start playing music. Later on, I started listening to System Of A Down, Blink 182, Dido, Matchbox 20, Avenged Sevenfold, Halestorm and many, many more. You can hear these influences in the music that we write and play.
You mention your musical family. Your father, Ringo, is one of Myanmar’s legendary rockers and your brother, Han HtueLwin (@KyarPauk), is the lead singer of the popular punk-rock band Big Bag. Do you feel any pressure, given the popularity of their music?
I don’t really feel any extra pressure but instead I feel like their reputation gives me more motivation to do well in music.
It must have been interesting being surrounded by such talent when you were growing up. What are you early memories of music?
My earliest memories of music are from when we lived in Taungoo. I was around three years old and my father would come home at night after a long train ride from Yangon where he was recording his records. I remember my parents putting me to sleep while they listened to my father’s freshly recorded songs. Sometimes I wouldn’t sleep, my mother would make supper for my father and I was just there hanging out with them listening to the music.
You just returned to Myanmar after 10 years in Singapore. What do you think about the music scene here?
Actually Myanmar people support local music way more than Singaporeans support their local music. There (in Singapore) the focus is more on international music rather than on local artists. And at Academy of Rock Myanmar, what I see is that the younger generation are very interested in forming bands and learn popular music systematically and that’s exactly what AOR has to offer. We make sure that our students get their music education in a fun way. I’m proud to be supporting the growth of the Myanmar music scene through AOR and also through introducing our band’s music to the local audience.
Any last words for your fans?
Honestly, I feel very overwhelmed by the support Hannay and The Zens get from Myanmar people. It’s awesome and we are thankful for all the support that we are getting from fans and from people in the music industry.
To hear more of Hannay and the Zens check out:
Summer of 17 can be purchased from Spotify, Google Play Store and iTunes