Meet Handa: Urban Artist Who Meshes Her Peruvian and Croatian Roots Into Her Music

Meet Handa: Urban Artist Who Meshes Her Peruvian and Croatian Roots Into Her Music BELatina latine
Credit: Handa

Latin music is one of the most successful genres at the moment. From reggaeton to Latin pop, I can bet it’s in almost everyone’s playlists. However, when someone thinks of this genre, they usually think of Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Panama, and Mexico. However, those countries don’t make up all of Latin America. Let’s take a look at Peru’s music scene, for instance. 

In Peru, the music scene is still trying to break into larger spaces. Handa, a Peruvian-Croatian urban artist, told BELatina News recently how many times it may cater to male singers – but things are changing. In fact, Handa is one of the musicians giving Peru’s music industry a run for its money. She’s currently promoting her latest singles, “La Manzana” and “Alcohol,” which are part of her upcoming “Eva.”

Known as the “Orange Girl,” Handa wants to show the world that it is possible to make music from the eclectic country of Peru. 

Growing up in the northern region of Peru, she was surrounded by a small community of Croatians. She stayed there until the age of 17. Then, she moved to Lima, Peru’s capital to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an artist. Although, it is important to note that she started studying music at the age of seven when she would play at the local theaters. 

In our conversation with the emerging star from Peru, we learned about what’s been driving her until now. 

Find the conversation below. 

The interview was slightly edited for clarity and brevity. 

Where did the nickname “Orange Girl” come from?

It came from my orange hair which was inspired by one of my beloved artists Hayley Williams. She’s Paramore’s lead singer. It was a decision that I made in the quarantine during the pandemic while looking for a change.

How would you describe your musical style and how do your roots influence it?

My music style focuses on the Urban genre, but it can be very versatile. I grew up in a multicultural society listening to The Beatles and Paramore as well as Arcangel and Lenny Tavarez. Having my roots from two different worlds, meaning South America and Europe, has helped influence and form who Handa is today. I find it fascinating.

What have been some of the challenges you have faced? 

Starting out as an artist in a country where the music industry barely exists. It took me a long time trying to open doors and get connected to key outlets in the music space. The music industry in Peru is still very limited, but at least now we are seeing signs of growth. Peru has abundant talent, and it is time to start exporting our talent and propagating it to the rest of the world.

How have these situations shaped you as an artist?

This situation has made me emotionally stronger. Also, as a female artist, it made me realize that there is still a lot of work to do in order to achieve equality between men and women – especially in the music industry. I believe that the opportunities should be granted to those who deserve them based on talent, discipline, and engagement in this industry regardless of gender or sexuality. 

What’s next for you?

Keep promoting my second single “Alcohol,” which was released on August 26. “Alcohol” is special to me as it allows me to tell my story and empower other women against emotional abuse in their romantic relationships. It’s also my first single solo under a new direction with my new label. I am happy to share this with my audience.

Anything else you’d like to share with BELatina News?

I would like to invite everyone to accompany me on this experience to listen and connect with me. I’m on an empowering mission where I want to bring people who, for some reason feel underserved, and need to give themselves a new opportunity, to love themselves and start all over again. 

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