Aaron Hanania Music
Musician, Aaron Hanania uses his personal story and journey of becoming a musician as a mode of inspiration for others.
Hanania, 18, was born in Ekaterinburg, Russia, a place where opportunity is scarce. At the age of two, he was adopted and brought to the United States. He was two years behind in language, so he had to catch up to his peers. That barrier did not stop him.
“Having such a unique background is something I am grateful for. It is something I am proud of. It makes me, me,” Hanania said.
By 8th grade, Hanania had yet to discover his true passions.
“I was like many of my fellow peers: lost. I had no clue what I really wanted to do with my life. I lived each day as it’s own and my goal at that time was to get through Junior High. Adult-ing was not a concept I had in mind,” Hanania said.
Hanania began to discover his passions during his freshman year of high school. He enjoyed interviewing local celebrities and writing newspaper articles about them.
“For sure, when I interviewed Cub’s first baseman, Anthony Rizzo, I knew I loved being able to meet people and write stories,” Hanania said.
Although everything seemed to be going well, Hanania points out that that was not the case.
“What a lot of people don’t know is that right as I was about to interview Rizzo, I was notified that my grandfather passed away. It was not an easy feat to conduct that interview, but I definitely think I learned how to control my emotions very well in that moment,” Hanania said.
Hanania was unaware that news writing would not be his only passion. During his Junior year, he challenged himself to write an entire novel.
“Junior year [of high school] was when I started to unearth my creative writing passion. I told myself one morning that I wanted to write a novel, and I made it happen. It was a completely foergin style of writing, but I loved every minute of it. That was when I realized that creative writing came naturally to me and that I enjoyed doing it,” Hanania said.
From there, Hanania ventured into free-verse poetry. He found it as a way to express his thoughts about abstract concepts.
“When I first started poetry, I was in my senior year. A poet came to my high school and I attended his workshop and something clicked. From that point on, I was never the same. I never enjoyed poetry until that workshop. Seeing and experiencing the art of poetry in a different form allowed me to fall in love with it. Sometimes you have to look at something with a different mindset in order to appreciate it,” Hanania said.
Shortly after venturing into poetry, Hanania made the leap into music.
“I remember the exact moment when I found out that I liked making music. The story starts when I bought an acoustic guitar back in 2014. It sat for four years collecting dust in my room. One day I decided I wanted to try to learn “Country Roads” by John Denver. I taught myself the chord progression, but it was not easy for me as I play left handed, I had to reverse every chord. From there I started to sing, and I was horrible at it, but I had fun doing it,” Hanania said.
Within due time, Hanania penned his first song, which he never released.
“My first song ever, with lyrics, was a song called, “I Knew the Truth,” and I honestly don’t really know why I wrote it, but it was literally two chords. Looking back at it, I laugh but that song served as the gateway to my career,” Hanania said.
Within six months, Hanania mastered his playing style.
“I went from knowing nothing to being able to write songs on the spot in only six months. I think that rigorous practice really helped me to learn quickly, and my ability to teach myself came in clutch,” Hanania said.
It was not until June of 2019 when Hanania began to share his songs publically on SoundCloud, a popular app among aspiring artists.
“I did what a lot of people did: SoundCloud. It was a place where I could share my music for free and gain a following. But above all, publishing my music sparked a passion, a drive, to continue pushing myself to make more music,” Hanania said.
By August, Hanania had five followers on SoundCloud.
“It was horrible. I honestly thought more people would hear my stuff, but that didn’t stop me. It helped me to realize the reality of my situation and the reality of the industry. I was just a random guy from Chicago putting random songs out there. There were millions of people like me. I knew at that moment that I needed to take another leap and seperate myself from the millions,” Hanania said.
Hanania spent two months searching for other outlets and then he found Spotify.
“When I saw that I could put music on Spotify, I had that ‘aha’ moment. I first had to find a distributor and that process was rather tedious. I never realized what a challenge it would be to find a distributor. “They” make it difficult for people like myself to get into the ears of other people. But, then I found DistroKid,” Hanania said.
By mid-October, Hanania released his debut album, “Deep Space” onto two dozen music platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, GooglePlay, iHeartRadio, iTunes and others.
“It is hard to describe what that moment felt like for me. It was many months of hard work finally paying off for me. It was my new dream coming true. I say new because just last year  I had yet to write a song and now my music is all over the world,” Hanania said.
By November, Hanania had 40 followers and nearly 1,000 streams on Spotify alone.
“It was remarkable. To be able to share my music with other people, I cannot express what it means to me. I make music with the hopes that someone else hears it and finds my story, a story marked by roadblock after roadblock. And, I hope, that my story inspires other people to really push themselves to try new things,” Hanania said.
Hanania shows no signs of slowing down. He posts updates on his music Instagram page with the caption: “we are only getting started.”
“In life, it’s vital to constantly reach higher and try harder. Music is no different. The followers don’t just come up to you. It’s up to you to gain followers, it’s up to you to wake up every day with the hopes that something great will happen. If you don’t do that, it’s impossible to be successful,” Hanania said.
“I came from a place where opportunity is almost impossible, to a place where there is nothing but opportunity. I never take that for granted. I live every day thinking about that. I wake up every day with the goal to impact others, and poetry and music is how I do that,” Hanania said.