• My life's path? •
A luxuriant environment without superfluous elements
Hantcha, born in 1982, grew up in Madagascar. The daughter of a Madagascan pharmacist and jazz pianist, and a French schoolteacher, Hantcha lacks nothing. This is Madagascar, and she’s rich in surroundings, time, fresh air, no superfluous items, intensive sport, a stairwell that gave a monstrous reverb to her early days as a self-taught guitarist, and, at the time, a big fan of Newjack, her English-language music… At home, we communicate through the music we play all the time: jazz, classical music, post-war international variety.
In 2000, for her higher education, Hantcha left the Red Island, like her brother 8 years earlier. The change was marked by seasons of cold, norms, essentials, unfamiliar habits…and a path too defined for her. She joined the Bordeaux sports faculty and played rugby at a very high level in parallel. In 2005, she obtained a Master’s degree (2005) and became a sports educator. Little by little, she realized what she had lost by leaving her roots behind. As an outlet, she composes and particularly enjoys the sound of the English language, inspired as much by the alternative rock of Incubus, the orchestrated jazz of Nat King Cole and the R’n B of India Arie. Over the years, she has brought her worlds together, buried her rootlessness and continued to compose.
After sport, music as a profession
In 2016, she had to choose: she would make music her profession. To respect the Malagasy phonetics of her first name “Hanitra”, she chose Hantcha as her stage name. For the musician, this will be a new step into the unknown, accompanied by imbalances, doubts but also openings. In 2017, Hantcha decided to perfect her singing skills and began working with Monique Thomas (an American vocal coach). The collaboration proved decisive, enabling Hantcha to assert her position as a singer. This new lease of life lifts her spirits and gives her a deep desire to get back to basics, to return to her roots.
A new lease of life
In 2018, she travels 10,000 kms to see her loved ones again. She relives her roots, the dimensions of her mixed race, and adheres once again to her foundation. Hantcha refines her choices: she will be herself, and expresses this through her EP AINGA VAO (“New Breath” in Malagasy). To do so, she chose the home studio of Paul Magne, drummer for Cocoon and Puggy. She lives to the full the self-production, never mind the rest: she wants to be free. She has the time, deeply enjoys this collaboration, their synergy, loves the confidence he gives her and the rhythmic articulations with which he wraps his sounds. Finally, the singer expresses the place she wanted to give to the voice, to the vocal harmonies that sometimes articulate like strings, to the precise, fusional rhythmic amalgam between the guitar and the percussive instrument. She also wishes to stop apologizing for not speaking Malagasy and feeling obliged in the eyes of laymen to make sunny music in order to be considered “Malagasy”. As Rija Randrianivosoa, a renowned world music guitarist of Malagasy origin, puts it: “You may not be doing it consciously, but do you know that in your music, there are Malagasy music codes? The rhythm revolves around the guitar and the harmonized vocals are at the same volume, there’s no lead.” His words are pure happiness & honor for Hantcha, who realizes the deep imprint of her culture in her music.
In April 2019, she proudly takes her new EP “AINGA VAO” (“New Breath” in Malagasy) across France and beyond. These collaborations, which she calls “beautiful and simple”, push her to be herself without concession, even if it means cleaving. Hantcha moves forward, dusting off her limits and, in mid-2020, choosing to work with musicians who share the same human and musical language.
What's next ?
Hantcha patiently explodes everything that distances her from her authenticity, and when the dust settles, she’ll be free AFAKA (“Free” in Malagasy).