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Posted on Sat, Aug 17, 2013 : 9:57 a.m.

Indie-folk-pop's Hana Malhas returns to the U.S. from Jordan to play show at The Ark

By Roger LeLievre


Hana Malhas

When we caught up recently with Hana Malhas, the Amman, Jordan native-turned-Ann Arborite who divides her time between two countries, was busy packing her bags to the return to the U.S.

She plays at The Ark Thursday with her band, The Overthinkers.

Malhas—whose first name is pronounced HEN-a—sings mostly in English, and sometimes Arabic.

“I like to say it’s indie-folk-pop,” Malhas has said of her music. “It straddles those two words. It’s piano and guitar-based. It tells stories. It’s very lyrically driven.”

Her 2012 song “How We Love” was nominated for the 12th annual Independent Music Award in the siner/songwriter/folk category. Her EP was co-produced by "The Voice" finalist Michelle Chamuel, a former Ann Arborite, who added all vocal harmonies and instrumental arrangements.

Malhas has been busy putting her mark on the Arab music scene. While in Jordan this summer, she started an initiative called Bala Feesh, inviting independent musicians from the Arab region to perform in an intimate listening room setting, a common practice in the U.S. but something new in that part of the world.

“We've had three shows so far, featuring musicians from Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, Algeria and Iraq,” Malhas wrote from Jordan via Facebook message. “It's been taking up a lot of my time and I love it!”

She has also been writing and performing new material, which she plans to share for the first time in the U.S. at The Ark.

When Malhas came to the University of Michigan several years ago it was not to study music. Rather, she enrolled in the business school, a decision that has come in handy.

“Right now, my life is split between business projects - for paying the bills - and a music career. And for a personality like mine, it works well,” she said.

Michigan synthesizer-oriented songwriter Chris Norman opens.

Hana Malhas & The Overthinkers play at 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22 at The Ark, 316 S. Main St. Tickets are $15. Details at or 734-761-1800.


Roger LeLievre

Sun, Aug 18, 2013 : 12:46 a.m.

Typo has been fixed. Thank you for pointing it out.

Martha Cojelona Gratis

Sun, Aug 18, 2013 : 12:35 a.m.

This story has been posted for 11 hrs... and no one has noticed that the title says "Indie-fok" instead of "Indie-folk"?