The son of Palestinian and Filipino immigrants (and the first American in his family), Hanni El Khatib grew up in San Francisco and was obsessed with classic Americana and pop culture of the 1950s and 60s. Influenced by pioneers of early Rock and R&B, the multi-instrumentalist serves as singer, songwriter & producer for his one-man band (live he is joined by drummer Nicky Fleming-Yaryan) mixing a unique sound of ‘50/’60s blues, soul, garage rock & doo whop. Or in Hanni’s words “these songs were written for anyone who’s ever been shot or hit by a train. Knife fight music. ” With his sinewy guitar and wry, whiskey-glazed voice, Hanni El Khatib creates malt shop music for those who drink them spiked with bourbon.
Hanni 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.