Mesquite’s Hannah Jadagu is one of NPR’s favorite new artists – and she’s just getting started

Hannah Jadagu. Photo: Sterling Smith.

October is Local Music Month, KXT’s celebration of the sounds reverberating throughout North Texas! Each day, we will highlight different local artists you can hear on KXT. Check back here, find us on our social media or tune in to 91.7 FM to see the day’s featured artist.

Most artists dream of signing a record deal, but rarely do they do it by the time they finish high school. In that regard, Mesquite native Hannah Jadagu (pronounced “juh-dah-goo”) graduated with honors.

Now, just a couple years later, Jadagu has ascended as one of the most promising new indie artists to watch.

In 2021, Jadagu signed to Sub Pop, the iconic Seattle-based record label known as the home of legends like Nirvana. Still just 20 years old, Jadagu balances being a college student at NYU while sharing a label roster with indie circuit heavyweights like Father John Misty and Orville Peck. And it’s not hard to understand why, as her refreshing take on fusing components of bedroom-pop, indie-rock and R&B have her paving a lane all her own.

The bedrock of Jadagu’s creative process is a DIY ethos. Her 2021 EP, What Is Going On?, was recorded and produced on her iPhone. Mostly written while she was still in high school, the five-track EP is a prologue of sorts that drapes dreamy soundscapes through her struggles with self-doubt, anxiety and coming into adulthood as a Black woman.

As she told KXT contributing writer Preston Jones in 2022: “I’ve gotten a lot of messages where people are, like, ‘your music is so calming’ — and I’m like, ‘That’s nice,’” Jadagu said. “They don’t need to have gone through the same thing as me, but I’ve also gotten [messages from] people who’ve been, like, ‘you know, as a young Black woman, I also resonate with some of the stuff you’re talking about.’ So, that’s kind of cool.”

Her debut album, Aperture, is easily one of our favorite releases of this year, and one that unsurprisingly landed her among NPR’s Favorite New Artists of 2023. Following her first U.S. headlining tour – which just stopped here at home last month – Jadagu will be headed across the pond for a European tour next spring.

Aperture is out on all streaming platforms, and you can hear tracks like “What You Did” and “Lose” from the album in regular rotation on KXT.

You can hear even more local music at noon Mon-Fri on Local Bites and on the KXT Local Show on Thursday nights at 7 p.m. If you’re an artist from North Texas, you can submit your music to KXT for consideration right here.

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