Creating Your Own God: An Interview with AntiHana

I sat down with AntiHana, the dream-pop, some might say edgier Marina and the Diamonds, fairy-esque musician who is inching her way into the spotlight thanks to her whimsical production skills, soft and sexy vocals, and ethereal instrumentals.

Photo by Lukas Markou

“Someone was telling me recently, If you ever feel in doubt or need a guiding force, you can just create your own god (since I don’t subscribe to a religion with a god), like a celebrity who passed away or your favorite movie character… it could even be AntiHana. I now have been seeing AntiHana as a separate entity where I can be a more limitless confident being.”

This quote entirely sums up AntiHana, the goddess that will fill any half-empty heart longing to fill the void left by Lana Del Ray’s dwindling relevance. She brings forward the same energy that my middle school self, screw it, college self, longs for- an artist who is genuine, a bit melancholy, and hot as shit.

Photo by Emme Harris

As a self-proclaimed narcissist who has an alter ego herself (DJ MojoJojo, my far bolder alias when I’m live on air on UCLA Radio), I immediately clicked with AntiHana, whose mystical and confident presence is inspiring and refreshing. She’s an authentic and innovative artist that gives off a god-type energy that I would definitely follow into the void.

Taking influence from icons such as Rosaliá, Gwen Stefani, and Blondie, AntiHana claims she’s still trying to figure out “what that concoction is”: how to lean into her femininity while still remaining edgy and tough, like her idols.

To keep things simple, AntiHana will tell her listeners her sound is pop, but she really wants to say it’s a combination of shoegaze-y, disco, indie-pop, rock-punk…. Are you following? However, if it wasn’t already clear, AntiHana wants to challenge herself, and not limit her sound. With an upcoming hyper-pop song and a country track on the horizon, she’s exploring herself and her sound at her own pace.

In the modern summer of love (July 2021), AntiHana released her debut EP, Manic Pedi Dream girl, which is a twist on the beloved ‘manic pixie dream girl.’ Because naturally, AntiHana totally emanates the same energy as the iconic manic pixies of the silver screen…Ramona Flowers, anyone?

Her first song and creative brain baby, ‘Freaky Luv Tonight at the Disco’ started off as a very ‘DIY project’ in her dorm room, with the help of a laptop, a couple of friends, and a pair of string headphones. After hearing her authentic, dare I say, coming of age, musician story, my nerves were settled. While AntiHana gives off glamorous and untouchable energy, she was just a college student like me, which made me feel a lot better about the fact that I conducted this interview in an ‘Astro World’ themed Greek life shirt and mascara from the night before.

Not too long after cranking out her first tune, she quickly discovered that she could successfully make music by herself; ‘More’ and ‘Vaccine’, both found on the EP, were written completely alone.

Still from AntiHana’s music video, Freaky Luv Tonight at the Disco, directed by Hana Antrim, director of photography Haley Min Young Kreofsky

AntiHana didn’t make Freaky Luv Tonight at the Disco, until her sophomore year of college, despite her ‘tinkering around’ with music since high school. While going to college for a degree in screenwriting, AntiHana says that “writing used to be a thing of passion but once I started studying it, the pressure came and it became a thing of anxiety.” Instead, music became a new fixation for her. It’s something that she’s found herself leaning into more and more thanks to the plethora of shows she played in the underground scene in Boston and her genuine passion for singing.

But alas, she hasn’t completely given up on her early dreams as a filmmaker, putting her skills in directing, producing, and editing to work while piecing together the gorgeous, heavily aesthetically pleasing music videos for ‘Manic Pedi Dream Girl’.

Photo by Tao Antrim

AntiHana expresses her enjoyment of being very hands-on and involved with her work, especially when it comes to the music videos.

Her latest masterpiece, the music video for ‘More,’ co-directed by Allison Nguyen and Hana Antrim, paints an intoxicating yet dreamlike picture, full of fish tanks, cellphones, and blossoming flowers reminiscent of Florence Pugh in Midsommar.

The idea for ‘More’ had been floating around in AntiHana’s brain for a while, she tells that ‘More’ embodies the feeling of breaking up with a long-distance partner over the phone and it feeling pretty fucked up…hence the eclectic 2000’s cell phone visuals scattered throughout the video.

When you’re finished jamming out to ‘Manic Pedi Dream Girl,’ keep your eyes peeled for some potential upcoming live shows in New York and a kick-ass music video for a new hyper-pop beat. I won’t spoil too much, but rumor has it that AntiHana will be outliving her childhood dreams as a mermaid in a couple of scenes, just saying.