Hanni El Khatib Hanni grew up in San Franscisco, California. The son of Palestinian and Filipino immigrants and the first American in his family, he became obsessed with classic Americana and pop culture of the 1950s and 60s. Influenced by pioneers of early rock and r&b (Johnny Burnette, Sam Cooke, Johnny Cash), El Khatib created a musical aesthetic to match his vision. The multi-instrumentalist serves as singer, songwriter & producer for his one-man band (live he is joined by a drummer) that is part blues, part garage rock, part soul, part folk & part doo whop.
As the creative director for HUF and lifelong skater, El Khatib professes to a love for well-crafted objects: classsic cars, cans pomade and stiletto switchblades. This craftsmanship carries over into his music, where El Khatib is inspired and informed by the specificity of a guitar tone or the fuzziness of an amp sound . His background in DIY and skate culture manifests as a desire to “keep mistakes in” and make things “as raw as possible.” Merging primitive rock sounds with punk aesthetics, El Khatib toes lines between all genres and ends up firmly in his own.
His diverse interests in music, zines, art, photography, and film, converge around his singular personal aesthetic, which reveals itself in all of El Khatib’s work. Combining the old weird America with the brave new frontier of home recording, El Khatib bridges the past and the present to create music that already sounds timeless and were written for anyone who’s ever been shot or hit by a train.
“With a Black Keys-ish, authentic rock and roll vibe, San Francisco-based Hanni El Khatib is a one-man band that’s been selling out smoky bars and filling them full of bluesy electric guitar, drums and fuzzy amps. El Khatib is joined live by a drummer, but he writes, records and produces all songs on his own. One recent single, “You Rascal You,” is a masterful reinterpretation of a ’30s jazz standard.” – Gibson
“Hanni El-Khatib is one of the most talented acts in L.A. right now, a one-man band, singing, songwriting, and producing all on his own and synthesizing 50s and 60s garage rock, soul, blues, and even a bit of folk. El-Khatib’s attitude is his greatest attribute; anyone who strives to write songs for “anyone who’s ever been shot or hit by a train” and brings with him the rawness of Phil Spector, Jack White, the Shangri-Las, and the Black Keys.” – LA Weekly