Haiku Hands Are Gifted Wordplayers Who Know How To Keep It Groovy

Get to know the band beyond their badass moniker

Photo: Dan Kendall

Haiku Hands have an avant-garde style and witty wordplay at the back of their hands – all the singles they’ve dropped so far has been making waves around the world. Comprised of Claire Nakazawa, Beatrice Lewis, and Mie Nakazawa, Haiku Hands are known for their knack to metamorphose pop and hip-hop sound into one irresistible groove. Their style is a chaotically poetic one that has equal levels of sophistication and playfulness.

We had the chance to talk with Claire while the trio was in Austin, Texas for SXSW. She shared us the influence behind their moniker, plans for this year, and – of course – her ideal apocalypse party.

Who came up with the name ‘Haiku Hands’? It’s genius.

Well, it took us about five months to come up with it. We were going through all word combinations and that one was the one that stood out. We kept coming back to it. It was really a collaborative effort in coming up with the name. We definitely wanted as original as possible above everything else. Also, I’m half Japanese so the word ‘Haiku’ is in a way referencing that…and the word ‘Hands’ is referencing collaboration from many hands, which is always great.

I only have 5% of battery left on my phone and can only play one song from you guys. Which one would you recommend and why?

I would definitely recommend “Not About You.” It was the first song that we shared and I think a really good picture of where we’re at. The attitude on the track and the vibe I think really reflects the energy that we have in general. Yeah. It was off for song. It kind of has taken us a long way already. So yeah, I’m proud of that one.

You guys have been touring in the past few months. Can you share us something crazy or scary that has happened?

Uhmm…well, sometimes I find it crazy that we are on the other side of the world…it’s like watching a movie that I’ve only heard for the first time today. But nothing crazy yet really. Scary wise…yeah, it’s just a little scary before we get on stage, but nothing really bad.

Instagram: @HaikuHands

There has been a lot of conversation going on among the media and critics regarding banning music from controversial artists. As a musician, what is your stance on this? Do you think streaming services should ban artist works based on their personal actions?

That’s a really interesting question. I think culturally it’s really amazing and impactful and what’s happening right now is sending a really strong message to society about what’s okay and what’s not okay. But then there’s the other side of the story of potentially someone’s work as a separate entity… it’s a hard subject isn’t it? I think…I think it’s important that that’s happening and I do support the conversation that is going on. However, I don’t quickly make assessment of someone’s work based on just that, but try to be conscious…it’s really tricky.

What can we expect from Haiku Hands this year? Can we expect a record?

Yes. We’re working on a record, which we basically got most of it like our whole lives and we’ve made more during touring. We have it all laid out and we would go back to them in-between touring.

We also have more tour dates coming up. We’re going to Europe again in July, Groovin the Moo Festival in Australia next month and…yeah, just kind of keep doing shows like this throughout the year.

The world ends tomorrow and you decide to throw a party. Who’s gonna DJ and play the show before you all die in flames?

Um, I know this is really a bit sloppy, but the first person who came up is my boyfriend. He’s really good DJ and I just want to make sure he is there. So I’d probably get him to DJ and he is an amazing Dj. Okay. For singer…I don’t know, it’s just there are so many awesome artists out there. But I’m just going to say for nostalgia sake Lauryn Hill. Yeah, a concert by Lauryn Hill would be awesome…but you know what? If you asked me in some other time, I would give you completely different answers.

Bonus points to Haiku Hands for choosing Lauryn Hill.

Make sure to keep up with Haiku Hands via Instagram and Spotify.

Haiku Hands are currently touring North America, so go give them a high five:

03/21 – Thalia Hall, Chicago #

03/25 – Moroccan Lounge, LA *

03/27 – Rickshaw Stop, SF *

03/29 – Vera Project, Seattle *

03/30 – Holocene, Portland *

04/26 – 05/11 – Groovin the Moo Festival, AUS

* = supporting CHAI

# = supporting Cupcakke