Vancouver-based K-R&B singer hanuel has banded together with Indonesian indie pop artist HNATA and Korean-Canadian artist Keris to create their new single, “FLOWERS IN MAY.”

hanuel reveals a fresh side to his artistry with this collaborative single, venturing into upbeat melodies paired with raw lyrics. Released on May 19, the song explores the excitement and insecurity of a one-sided relationship. In an email interview with EnVi, hanuel, HNATA, and Keris opened up about the vulnerability of one-sided love portrayed in “FLOWERS IN MAY.”

The Missing Puzzle Piece

Prior to its release, “FLOWERS IN MAY” remained in hanuel’s vault for about a year, searching for the right hook. That was until he met with HNATA over a call in February when a hook melody was quickly created. After a suggestion from hanuel’s manager, HNATA became the missing piece to the single’s puzzle. “The dynamic and groove that he brought in was just what I needed,” said hanuel. Hanuel brought in fellow Canadian indie pop artist Keris to add strings and background vocals, and the single was complete.

HNATA’s World

HNATA is a solo artist originating from rebelsuns. – an alternative-pop duo. Debuting as a solo artist in 2019 with the single, “Slowtime,” he embraced the artistic freedom that came with going solo. “Artistically, the solo project just gives me the pleasure of taking things as far as I could go in all aspects.” His music is a lively mixture of pop, hip-hop, R&B, taking inspiration from DPR Live and Bearface. “I study his [Bearface] patterns quite a bit and I interpret to my own style,” he said.

When it comes to his creative process, HNATA never sticks to one strict approach. “Usually I’d sit down with a guitar and just mess around with melodies until something hits, and then I start drafting a vibe (rough instrumental) then slowly think of a theme or concept for the lyrics. The melody is usually my priority though!” he said. He hopes that through his music, listeners can take comfort however they wish. “I want my music to be a warm company for anyone through all the good times and the bad.”

All About Keris

Music has always been a significant part of singer-songwriter Keris’ life, playing classical violin since she was six years old. She picked up songwriting in high school, pursuing what she was truly passionate about. “I never really liked school, so music was that outlet for me to express myself and run away from things that I didn’t want to waste my time on.” 

Her emotionally vulnerable debut single, “Yeoubi,” was a spontaneous release after a friend encouraged her to release it. Ever since, Keris has grown in her confidence as an artist, embracing every opportunity. “I think the best things come when you least expect them, and I want to keep this mentality because it helps me not to let my fears overcome my actions,” she said. In April, she hit a career milestone with her debut stage opening for SHAUN’s concert in Toronto. “It helped me realize that if I keep on being real with my music, and the people around me, opportunities will come,” she said.

Keris’ discography has an overarching theme of self-reflection and raw vulnerability paired with mellow instrumentals. She believes music is a universal language, connecting everyone through emotions rather than experiences. “I hope that my stories can be theirs, and theirs stories can be mine,” she said. For her upcoming projects, she hopes to venture into a “subtle-yet-cool” rap style similar to pH-1 and Audrey Nuna. “I want to focus on making simple music that sounds closer to my original demos, rather than revising it too much and making it sound complicated. That way, my music sounds more raw and beautiful the way it is.”


“FLOWERS IN MAY” stands out from hanuel’s discography with upbeat instrumentals, contrasting the forlorn lyrics. “The song talks about a boy who is very insecure and is contemplating whether to confess or not. The lyrics show the ups and downs of emotion that he goes through,” he said. HNATA adds a bright perspective as he sings, “Two sides, same coin got me going bright eyed / Just one thought of you has got me feeling so alive.” HNATA’s addition to the song portrays the innocent excitement of this one-sided love. “I just wanted to bring a little flair to the song which was very beautiful and sweet but in my very own way,” he said.

Taking inspiration from a friend’s experience with one-sided love, “FLOWERS IN MAY” exhibits hanuel’s impressive storytelling ability. “I tend to write better from the perspective of others, putting myself in their shoes and trying to understand the feeling/emotion. So it was a little challenging to fully cope with emotions that weren’t mine, but in the end I feel like I’m slowly getting better at what I do.” As hanuel sings, “I want you to stay, but if you wanna go it’s okay / I’ll live with the fact that you’re gone from me,” his parts portray the insecurity that comes with one-sided love. “The juxtaposition between the happy melody and the loneliness the lyrics portray perfectly describes what I would personally feel when I am caught in a one-sided relationship,” said Keris.

A Change in Tempo

“FLOWERS IN MAY” provides a glimpse into hanuel’s future music endeavors as he prepares to release his upcoming five-song EP, YOU, this summer. Prior to the single’s release, hanuel’s past songs portray the melancholic emotions experienced in a breakup. In YOU, hanuel exhibits another side of his artistry by experimenting with more upbeat melodies made for summertime. “I think naturally I relate to more of the sad side of relationships, so trying to break that mindset and approaching a totally different emotion was definitely challenging, but it was fun,” he said.

YOU will illustrate a story of meeting someone for the first time through hanuel’s unique perspective of his struggle with introversion. “As someone who is very introverted, it is extremely hard to open up to someone, especially if I have an interest in them,” he said. Among the songs in the EP, “FLOWERS IN MAY” was chosen as the title track as it best represents the overall theme of the EP. 

Looking to the Future

hanuel, HNATA, and Keris’ new single, “FLOWERS IN MAY,” is available to listen on Spotify and Apple Music. Make sure to follow hanuel, HNATA, and Keris on Instagram (@nayahanuel, @kitelikenerves, @kerischoi), TikTok (@nayahanuel, @hnataisonline, @kerischoi), and YouTube (@nayahanuel, @hnata, @keris5602) for the latest updates!

Want to know more about hanuel? Check out our artist spotlight with hanuel here!