Hannah Kol
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Hannah Kol

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2018

Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Established on Jan, 2018
Duo Folk Pop




"Communique: Hannah Kol's Album Celebrates Cole Rassin's Music-And His Life"

Julius Cole Rassin-called Cole by his family and many of his friends-passed away at the age of 22 in February this year. Cole was an actor, a musician, and a prolific songwriter. He left behind so much music, and his friend Hannah decided to record six of his songs in tribute to his life and talent.

The album Hannah recorded in Nashville is titled Sunny Day. The release party is this Sunday at The Annex at The Brooklyn Arts Center at 7:00. Album sales are supporting an organization Hannah helped create called Music Heals Minds. Listen above to hear our conversation, and see the extended discussion below.

Tickets for the album release party are available online and at the door. Listen to the music here. See videos of Cole performing his original music here.

About Hannah's last name-She was born Hannah Laham, but her stage name is Hannah Kol. She got this name through a brainstorming session with her dad, who is from Isreal. Kol means “voice” in Hebrew.

Gina: I'd like to start by asking you about the music and about how you started, how you became a musician.

Hannah: Basically, I grew up in Wilmington, really was into the theater scene there. And when I turned 16 I decided that I wanted to go to school for musical theater. So I like applied to all these schools and ended up getting accepted into one of my dream schools in New York. And a couple months before I graduated, I decided for some reason it just didn't feel right, so I decided not to go and I decided to take a year off from school and I got hired at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee to sing in this pop show. And I'd always loved pop music. But I never really thought about just being a singer because theater was always like where did all my stuff growing up. So I took the job and moved out here and spent that whole year getting to do a concert style show. Like, it was just six people super intimate and I got to sing pop music.

And I realized then that that's what I really looked to do is, I mean, I always knew I loved to sing, but I didn't know that I just want it to be a singer. And so, fast forward like a year, and I got in contact with a producer in Nashville and he called me and was like, so what are you going for? Like, what style are you looking for? What kind of music do you write? Had all these questions for me. And of course I had, I didn't have any material at the time. I didn't really know exactly what I wanted to do, didn't have much direction. But I just like to keep in touch with them and get back to when I really found out what it is I wanted to be as an artist and what I wanted to do.

And about a month later, a good friend of mine, Julius Cole Rassin, passed away. And it threw me for a loop. Just was like really random. It felt random at least. And I remembered like the conversation we've had about like a month before, it was right when I was talking to my producer and he called me ... and I had done like a little Christmas cd for like my friends and family back at home and he'd listened to it and he called me and told me how proud he was of me and that he wanted to record some stuff together whenever I could, whenever I got back home.

And so when he passed away, his parents actually gave me six of his songs to finish and get to record, which has been insane and amazing and yeah, it's just been such a blessing and such a, like it's just been a great amount of healing for me and I'm sure for other people, too once it's out.

Gina: I knew him myself, so it's been great. You were friends with Cole when you were in sixth grade together?

Hannah: Yeah, we went to middle school together.

Gina: There seven songs on the album?

Hannah: There are eight. Six songs that Cole wrote, some of them weren't finished so I got the chance to like write another verse or, you know, change some things up just to make it fit musically, which has been really cool because it's been like writing with him and then I wrote two songs about this whole experience for me.

Gina: Which one of those songs is the most important one to you?

Hannah: One song he wrote is called, Here I Am. It's one of the last songs that he wrote while he was still here. And I actually got the chance to get one of his friends to come to Nashville with me. His name is Michael Eakins and he got to help collaborate on that song and sing it with me. So it's kind of like a duet and the lyrics are all about what Cole went through and you can just tell. The lyrics to the chorus are things will work out, things will look up and I just think that's so important, and I think that's something that it's hard to, it's hard to really believe that when stuff happens like this, but it really does look up and it's so cool to see that happen.

Gina: And tell me of the two songs that you made specifically for this album or that you made on your own. Tell me about the writing process of those.

Hannah: So, I wrote two songs. The first one I wrote was the night that Cole went missing. I've literally never been able to write music in my life without it sounding like super weird to me. Like, I've just never been worthy of actually producing. But the night he went missing, I wrote the hook to a song called Sunday and it was kind of like a song I wrote to his mom about just holding on to whatever hope you do have that he would be back to her someday. And at that point I didn't, I didn't know anything that was going to happen, but it just came to me and that was amazing for me because I've, like I said, I've literally never been able to write music. So it was crazy.

Gina: And then you came out with another one.

Hannah: Yeah. And then the other one is called Sunny Day, which is what the album is called. I wrote that song. I was sitting in my room talking to a mutual friend of Cole and I's named Sunny. And it's just, it's very similar to Here I Am, like the message, but it's all about Cole's life, and anyone's life really. If you lose anyone or how no matter how dark one day can be, there'll always be a sunny day after. And that's so important to remember.

Gina: It sounds to me like this whole album really is about Cole.

Hannah: It absolutely is. I've, I've just never been able to write music before. So this entire thing happening like opened up a whole other part of me, which is, you know, as awful as it is, it's so great, too.

Gina: When horrible things happened, it kind of breaks us apart a little bit.

Hannah: Yeah.

Gina: Light shines into different places and light shines out of different places.

Hannah: For sure.

Gina: So now I also wanted to ask you about Music Heals Minds. Tell me about that organization.

Hannah: So basically, my inspiration for it was obviously from Cole, to help him cope with ... he had schizoaffective disorder and I know how real mental illness is, especially in the music industry. And I just know how much music can help. Like just having a guitar or you know, being able to study music or just have an ipod to listen to music can help so many people heal through so much. Like without music, I don't know where I would be right now, but it's just yeah.

Gina: And this organization, the goal of it is to try to get that music into the people's hands who need it?

Hannah: Yeah. So the goal is to basically help. We're mainly focusing on youth and young adults, help them incorporate music into their life to help cope with whatever mental illness they do have. So we're collecting gently used instruments, and monetary donations at this point and we hope to one day be able to collect things like journals and it's just really hard depending on the facilities that we donate to, what they're allowed to have there. But we're looking into all of that.

Gina: And I noticed that Cole's mother, Mary is on your Board. That’s great.

Hannah: She just has so many ideas to help with stuff like this. I know she, she obviously dealt with a lot of these things on a very personal level and it, it helps a lot. She knows a lot of the logistics when it comes to what they can accept, what they can't accept. And I know that a lot of facilities in town have a really good relationship with her because they knew Cole and they loved Cole. And I think it's really awesome.

Gina: And is Cole's dad, Steve, has been involved.

Hannah: Steve has been a huge part of this process for sure because he, you know, he helped sign over Cole's stuff to me and trust me with that. So that's been a huge blessing for me, too.

Gina: Hannah, you are going to be having your CD release party, your album release party at the Brooklyn Art Center this Sunday. and do you want to tell me anything about that?

Hannah: It’s in The Annex at the Brooklyn Art Center, which is like a perfect place for this, I think. Super intimate and I'm having Michael Eakins open for me and he was a good friend of Cole’s so that's super special. And he's featured on the song that he sings with me on album. And also we have Javier Rodriguez who is also featured on a song on the album, so it'll be awesome. I'm really excited about it. We're doing all eight songs from the album.

My band from Nashville is coming down to play for it.

Gina: You have a band in Nashville?

Hannah: Well, basically we had like, we had a bunch of really awesome session players play for the album just because they have crazy booked up, you know, on tour, on whatever. My Bass player, Craig Young, actually like put together a little, he calls it his dream band and they're coming. They're coming down to play for the release party.

Gina: That is really cool.

Hannah: Yeah. I'm super excited.

Gina: a way, this is a great gift that you've been given, but it seems like a really huge responsibility to. Do you feel that?

Hannah: What do you mean exactly?

Gina: I mean, for it to be said, hey, here's this music ... perform it. Record it. Do something with his music. It like a very serious responsibility.

Hannah: Yeah, it was really overwhelming at first. I had to think about it a lot just to see if it felt right and it's been so, so, so special to me. and I know two friends to like Michael and Sunny and his mom and his dad, I'm sure ... it's a huge responsibility, but I can't imagine it any other way right now. I'm like, I don't know, it's just, it's awesome to be able to, to sing and to make it not only Cole's, but relate to everyone and I think that's what he always wanted was for someone no matter who it was to spread his music. And I think that's so important.

Gina: Let me ask you about your last name.

Hannah: Yeah. So my real last name is Laham, which obviously is kind of hard to pronounce for some because it looks like Laham. But, I, in January I like went home. I just finished my performing contract in Tennessee and I was sitting down with my dad and I was like, it was right after I'd talked to the producer, so I was like, I kind of want like a stage name just because no one ever says, well home, right. Which is fine. But it also just wasn't really clicking for like, I don't know, it just, it wasn't what I wanted. And I sat down with him and my dad's from Israel, so I've always like really wanted, what, what I'm represented by to be a part of my roots. And so we were going through names, like Israeli words, Hebrew words and stuff to see if there was anything that really clicked and we went through so many names, like crazy mountings and Kol came up, Kol, and in Hebrew that means voice. And at the time I was like, oh, that's kinda cute. Like Hannah Kol, but I didn't really think anything of it. And I was like, well, we'll just figure it out later, put it off. And then once this all happened, like once I started thinking about everything that had happened when Cole passed away and everything, it just made so much more sense. Like the fact that it sounds just like his name and it means voice in Hebrew, like it just made it even more like relevant, made it feel like it was supposed to be that way.

Gina: Thank you. That's even better than I could've imagined it to be. - WHQR

"WORKING THROUGH PAIN: Hannah Kol releases debut album ‘Sunny Day,’ dedicates it to childhood ‘brother’"

Hannah Kol’s first album, “Sunny Day,” delivers on its promise: eight upbeat sunny-side tracks, with notes of reggae, pop and Americana, all evoking hope and positivity. However, its release comes on the heels of a year that was anything but bright for the former Wilmingtonian.

The 20-year-old’s battle with mono and a diagnosis of Lyme disease, which took its toll on her physically, was followed by heartbreaking news her childhood friend and ILM musician Cole Rassin passed away in February 2018. “I was just really not in a great place,” she surmises. “But Cole’s family gifted me six of his songs.” The end result garnered the highest praise Kol could ask for from Rassin’s mother. “She said it sounded like something Cole would have written,” Kol remembers, “and that was the ultimate compliment to me.”

22-year-old Rassin suffered from schizoaffective disorder and went missing at the beginning of the year. When his body was found, it was believed he died from accidental drowning in the Cape Fear River. Rassin loved music and in honor of such, Kol’s album release party at the Annex at BAC on Sunday will gift a portion of sales to Music Heals Minds. Kol founded the nonprofit to help young people with mental illness obtain instruments for therapy. She also will collect donated instruments at the party.

While Rassin was a couple of years Kol’s senior, they spent much of their formative years together throughout middle and high school. They were both active in the theatre community. “His whole family was my second family,” Kol says. “He’d call me ‘Sis’ and he was like my brother.”

Rassin was a prolific songwriter. To honor his talents, Kol decided to piece a few of them together for “Sunny Day.” “[I] actually did the whole album in the order they were written and the first six are [Cole’s,],” she tells, “and a lot of them weren’t finished, so I felt like I was kind of writing with him. It was a cool experience for healing.”

While some songs had a verse or chorus, Kol filled in the blanks and structured them. It was her first foray into songwriting. “I was so intimidated,” she admits. “[Cole] was a natural writer and ‘easy come, easy go.’ I’m sure he wrote hundreds of songs, and that was something I always admired about him.”

Kol remembers when Rassin wrote the first track, “Beautiful.” They were young teens and his words at the time were seemingly indicative of typical growing pains:

“I start worrying about things no one else can see / Is it bad that it’s hard to be me? / At times we all hate things about ourselves / And we all wish we were someone else / We’ve got to learn to live with what we’re dealt / Because you’re beautiful if you’re yourself.”

The lines would become more telling for Kol. “It’s just something everyone struggles with,” she expresses. “I wanted that song as close to what it was as possible . . . and that’s one I had to write the least on.”

While Kol felt pressure to commit to a genre for her debut record, Rassin’s work didn’t fit into one category. It matched his personality. Kol wanted to represent different parts of who her friend was as an artist and person. She achieved help with James Waddell at Nashville’s Lyricanvas Recording Studios.

“I had YouTube videos of Cole singing; voice memos of the songs I’d written,” Kol tells. “I didn’t have much of anything—immediately he had all these ideas and it was super cohesive. I didn’t expect it to be that easy.”

One video shows Rassin in his room, singing “I’ve Got Love.” He sits on a box and wears a beanie. For Kol the scene evoked a reggae feel, in tone and sound. She ultimately pursued singer Javier Rodriguez.

“The song is about where you’re from, your roots, and love for city,” she explains. “I just thought it would be awesome to have someone from my roots, someone from Wilmington, be a part of that. [Rodriguez] got to write a whole verse and ad-lib throughout.”

Though Kol never met Michael Eakins, featured on “Here I Am,” she saw him perform online and invited him to be a part of the project at the last hour. Eakins jumped on board with ideas.
“He said, ‘I hear this kind of Lady Antebellum duet thing,’” Kol remembers. “I knew it was the right move based on how passionate he was . . . [the song] did a complete 180 in style.”

While the first six songs started with Rassin, Kol kept her friend in mind for the final two she wrote. Her first song, “Someday,” was written the night she found out Rassin was missing. The urge to unite was inexplicably overwhelming. “I was kind of writing it to his parents,” she divulges. “It felt completely natural, which was weird for someone who always felt uncomfortable writing.”

Kol also wrote the title track, and while it is metaphorically appropriate in encapsulating the album, its start was more literal. “I really wasn’t going to name the album ‘Sunny Day,’” she tells. “A girl contacted me who had been a friend of Cole’s for years, but I never met her. Her name was Sunny. . . . As I was talking to her, I literally had to get off the phone and sit down at my piano . . . she had been so positive and uplifting to me with the whole situation.” - Encore Pub

"Hannah Kol releases a lovely indie-pop tune, entitled, “Way Out”"

Hannah Kol is an up-and-coming singer-songwriter based in Nashville, Tennessee. Not too long ago, she released a lovely indie-pop tune, entitled, “Way Out.”

“I wrote this song with two of my friends mid-pandemic. It’s really about how mundane life can feel sometimes. That when it does get like that everyone needs a way out. Time can pass by and feel like it’s fading or flying just depending on your perspective. A lot of our influences for this song came from people like Sara Bareilles, Dua Lipa, and Kacey Musgraves. We wanted it to be a four on the floor kinda song that makes you want to dance or move.” – Hannah Kol explained

‘Way Out’ contains a relatable narrative, ear-pleasing vocals, and tuneful melodies. The likable tune possesses guitar-laden instrumentation flavored with a groovy indie-pop vibration. Furthermore, “Way Out” serves as a tasty appetizer to what listeners can expect to hear from Hannah Kol in the near future as she continues to release new music.

We recommend adding Hannah Kol’s “Way Out” single to your favorite indie-pop playlist. Also, let us know how you feel in the comment section below. Mel Blanc’s famous catchphrase, “That’s All Folks!” Thanks for reading another great article on Bong Mines Entertainment – the hot spot for new music. Furthermore, always remember that (P) Positive, (E) Energy, (A) Always, (C) Creates, (E) Elevation (P.E.A.C.E). - Bong Mines


Hannah Kol released a tribute album to her late friend Julius Cole Rassin after his passing in 2018. The album is titled "Sunny Day" and features 6 co-writes with Rassin as well as two originals Hannah wrote ( titled Sunny Day and Someday). Following the release, Hannah moved to Pigeon Forge, TN where she spent her summers singing and dancing at Dollywood Theme Park. In 2020, Hannah made the move to Nashville, TN where she ultimately began her artistic journey as a singer-songwriter. During the lockdown of 2020, Hannah Kol and Baggio (The Voice of Holland, TV show - former contestant) released their own unique cover of Jason Isbell's "If We Were Vampires", which now has over 5k streams on Spotify alone. In August of 2021, Hannah released a cover of "Nashville" written by David Mead. In the next 6 months, Hannah has several originals and co-writes set to release, which she will be playing live along-side the amazing David Chubirka (guitarist + songwriter) on tour in 2022. 



Nashville based singer Hannah Kol attributes her sound to many of the pop industry's greats (Carole King, Sara Bareilles, Tori Kelly). Hannah has her own unique voice that cuts through differently than those before her. Hannah has been performing professionally since she was sixteen and just graduated from The Blackbird Academy where she studied studio audio engineering. Hannah's experience in the music industry mixed with her raw talent are two factors that make this up-and-coming artist stand out. Hannah has singles planned to release on Spotify & Apple Music for the next 6+ months and will be touring spring of 2022 along-side the incredibly talented David Chubirka. 

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