Fana Hues Is Claiming Her Spot in the Future of R&B

Watch the new film “Fana Hues: On The Rise” today.

Fana Hues bares her soul in her music; her consoling vocal runs and poetic lyrics tell the stories of a twenty-something Black woman’s pursuit of inner peace and collective healing. She infuses a sense of allure and enchantment into every track on which she appears, as displayed in her contribution on Tyler The Creator’s 2021 track "SWEET,” as well as her two detailed and dynamic solo projects. Hues writes and sings gut-wrenching blues songs just as naturally as she does bouncy, self-assured pop songs, climbing scales with precision and channeling immensely personal stories in her music. 


Hues is currently working on her debut album: “I’ve been collecting the things I want to talk about and the overall picture that I want to paint with this album for six years now,” she said. Today, Noisey premiered “Fana Hues: On The Rise,” a short film that showcases Hues’ daily practice and priorities at home and on stage. Directed by Hector L. Torres III, it’s an honest and personal look into Hues’ element, from sipping a cup of lemon ginger tea in front of a big bright window, to shopping with her sister Sazi, to performing.

Originally from Pasadena, CA, Hues is one of nine siblings raised in what she described as a warm, supportive and musical environment. Growing up, she was bright-eyed and active. “I always had an event going on,” she said, laughing energetically. “I was in violin, guitar, Girl Scouts, and student government, and I played flag football. I was a wide receiver and cornerback in a co-ed league.” She looked back at her early teen years and remembered declaring, “I’m gonna sing for the rest of my life.” With admiration for her younger self, she said, “I’m trying to get back to that Fana. I had unbelievable confidence at that age, no one could tell me anything. I was so sure of myself.” 


In two years since the release of her first single, “Notice Me,” Hues has released two full-length projects and a string of memorable tracks that have established her status as a rising voice in R&B. Her 2020 collection Hues was stitched together gracefully with orchestral detail and laced with dreamy, dramatic vocals. The project was stacked with bittersweet poetry about pain, humility, heartbreak and regeneration. (“Wild is the wind that carries me home /While I lick my wounds,”) she sang about self-soothing on “Icarus.” Hues has written diligently in her most vulnerable moments, a habit which has materialized in records that are instinctive and thunderous. “My storm is hella vicious,” she warned on Hues.

My storm is hella vicious.”

Her most recent project, flora & fana, released in March, is a spacious and sensitive collection of eleven songs that explore Hues’ inner universe. The collection concludes, she said, with two of her favorite songs, “Fall in Line” and “Wait.” “With ‘Fall in Line,’ I’m talking about the way I've had to move through the world as a Black woman. For so long people expected me to apologize for my Blackness and my femininity. I needed to fall back in line with what I’m supposed to do on this Earth, and not fall in line with what society wants me to do,” she said, describing the song as a mantra of protection and self-made stability. (“Nothing ever made me or saved me/ My guns off safety/ I’m good where I’m at''). Both Hues and flora & fana displayed the evolution of a songwriter on a natural ascent, singing from a carefully charged place. 

Hues’ focus is gratitude for her strong and loving family and for the contentment her life as an artist brings her. These gifts, as well as a commitment to being accountable with herself, are what she says keep her ecosystem flourishing. “What has helped me the most is just being honest with myself,” she said. “When I'm having conversations inwardly, I can’t lie to myself. The best way to keep the ecosystem flourishing is just being honest.” As Hues prepares to release her debut album, she is consistently reflecting, writing, and watering her garden diligently. “No matter what's happening outside, my ecosystem is flourishing.”