By Maggie Shui
Auckland rapper Hans.’ new music video features the acting talent of Hans., Hans., Hans. and Hans. Why did he choose to play every character in his new music video?
“Honestly couldn't be fucked organising people to come in,” says Hans. “So I was like huh, why don’t I just do it? It saves me lots of time. And I wanted the shoot done in a day. I don't want to stretch it out.” With Hans., the Occam’s razor principle is often appropriate; the simplest solution is usually the best. His answer to how his new song came about: “I just wanted to say some slick stuff that people could dance to.”
In ‘Caught Up’, Hans. says plenty of slick things and showcases his unique flow - uptempo yet laid back at the same time. The music video, co-directed by Hans. and Beren Allen, begins in a dressmaking studio. An irate fashion designer (Hans. iced out in chains he bought last minute from H&M) scolds his assistants, one of whom is perpetually sleepy, both of whom don’t seem to know anything about sewing.
Those poor assistants probably view their jobs as just a way to pay the bills, and there was a time when making music was at risk of veering into similar territory for Hans. For a while, he was putting pressure on himself to make money from music which he says made it “seem like work. It wasn't fun and I hated it… When you do music with the primary objective of making money it just becomes stressful.”
But now, he says music has “shifted towards more of a hobby and uni is work, studying is work. Now it feels way more fun.” When he’s not Hans. the rapper, he’s Hans. the geography student. For his honours degree, he researched the connections between New Zealand hip hop and mental health among young people. This year he’s working on his master’s, also with a focus in music geography.
With his attitude towards making music comes freedom. He’s been approached by labels, but prefers the peace of mind of knowing he owns everything he makes, and not needing to abide by somebody else’s schedule. He doesn’t worry himself too much with rollout strategies, describing his process as: “I catch a vibe, make a song, it’s out, it's over and I just move on.” With Hans., the simplest solution is usually the best.
'Caught Up' will be available on streaming platforms on August 14th.