“I hope people can feel the swag”: Mesquite native Hannah Jadagu embraces headliner status

Hannah Jadagu, wearing a black top and blue jeans, stands on a NYC rooftop

Hannah Jadagu
Photo: Sterling Smith

Quite a lot has changed for Mesquite native Hannah Jadagu since KXT last spoke with her in the summer of 2022 — not least of which was the May release of her debut LP, Aperture, which garnered plenty of critical praise and even a glowing feature in the New York Times.

Now, she finds herself on the road, undertaking her debut headlining tour, a roughly month-long journey which will bring her back to her North Texas roots Wednesday for a performance at Club Dada. Next year, she’ll head to Europe in the spring for a string of headlining dates there.

“I’m looking forward to going back to my neighborhood, staying at my house, and seeing my friends,” Jadagu told KXT recently, of her upcoming Texas dates.

The 20-year-old vocalist, songwriter, producer, and New York University student had plenty more to say — what follows is our conversation, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Are you pleased with people’s reactions to Aperture thus far?

Hannah Jadagu: “Yeah, definitely. It’s been cool to see people coming to the shows and, like, singing the songs. So, it’s been really nice.”

Has working with Jake [Aron] and Max [Robert Baby] on the record led you to be more open to collaboration? Did anything surprise you about that process?

Jadagu: “I think the one thing that probably surprised me [most] was just realizing that other people can amplify your ideas if you’re on the same page. When I first started, I was used to doing everything by myself, and I liked doing that, because then I felt as though I had the most control. But I learned it was possible to still have control over your work, working with other people that you just genuinely loved what they did.”

I wondered too if that gave you a sort of confidence, in a way, to be — not more vulnerable, necessarily, because I feel you were already pretty vulnerable, but did it give you the confidence to be that vulnerable? Sort of like a toe in the water for an audience’s reaction because those people are outside of you.

Jadagu: “I think it definitely does that. It was cool, and it was empowering. I think I went into [the recording of Aperture] knowing also what I wanted the end game to be. So, it was easy to maintain my vision, despite other people being involved.”

Is there a shift in your thinking at all moving from the support role to the headlining role, in terms of the live show?

Jadagu: “We did so many support tours [that] I think we’re still actively navigating the whole headlining thing. That’s just something that will come with more time and experience as it did with doing so many support tours. By the end of it, we were locked in — we knew what we were doing. … It’s been interesting to figure out what works for us and what doesn’t.”

What are you hoping people take away from this run of shows both here and in Europe?

Jadagu: “We’ve been working hard on these shows, and [we’re] always thinking of ways to make it even more swag. So, I hope people can feel the swag and the effort that we put into it, and that we’re having fun on stage.”

Hannah Jadagu at Club Dada, Dallas. 8 p.m. Sept. 13. Tickets are $16.

Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on X (@prestonjones). Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.