Not many queer artists would want to reclaim a song like “Boom Bye Bye”, interpreted to be supportive of murdering gay men – but Hasani did just that on his debut EP BoomByeBye. Speaking to Dazed back in 2021, he described the process as an unconscious protest: “How can you sing your homophobic, violent song to me if I sing it back to you word-for-word with a smile on my face?”. This attitude is one that carries through all of Hasani’s work – reclaiming and celebrating queerness within cultures that try to erase or suppress it.
Now based in London, the 25 year old, who was born in Brixton and raised in The Gambia, makes music that is personal and confessional. He tells stories of love and heartbreak, guilt and shame, tales that many of us can relate to but perhaps wouldn’t share with a friend, let alone the world. Hasani’s music is a stripped back exploration of dancehall, soul and reggae – the perfect accompaniment to his soft-as-silk vocals.
Soul-baring artists like Hasani are essential. Sharing experiences can show us we’re not alone, especially within the queer community where isolation and confusion can be all-consuming. As the artist put it: “The chance to potentially provide any younger queer person of colour with some sort of representation of a shared or similar experience means a lot to me.”
Text Louis Merrion