Hanni El Khatib Biography


Khatib, a first-generation American with a Palestinian father and a Filipino mother, spent a large portion of his boyhood as a skate rat in San Francisco and developed a strong interest in the visual arts and design associated with skateboarding. He served as the creative director for the HUF skate and surfwear company before his music career took off.

He developed a ferocious rock & roll guitar style that at times resembled Jon Spencer’s grungy blues with a spiky punk attitude. The San Francisco native blends a variety of riotous sounds and textures into his music under the flexible umbrella of rock & roll, including blues, folk, indie rock, garage, punk, and even hardcore rap.

Career & Projects

He first gained attention in the early 2010s with a basic yet visceral guitar-and-drums combo, and in 2013 his second album, Head in the Dirt, which was produced by Dan Auerbach, garnered praise. Over the following years, he developed further, fusing a strong visual aesthetic with a variety of musical endeavors, particularly on his 2017 album, Savage Times. Khatib, a musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and visual artist, records for Bay Area independent Innovative Leisure, where he also holds the positions of creative director and co-owner.

He debuted in 2010 with the release of two singles on Innovative Leisure. After establishing himself fast, Khatib was chosen to open for Florence + the Machine in 2011 and later released his full-length debut, Will the Guns Come Out. He made a comeback in early 2015 with his self-produced third album, Moonlight, which he had stretched out and played additional instruments on after a year of intense touring.

Savage Times, his fourth album, would turn out to be something of a creative breakthrough for Khatib. The 19-track album, which spans genres from punk to disco to solo guitar, was released in early 2017 and came in a limited-edition box set with three 10″ discs.

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