Dinah Jane Hansen has the type of voice that turns heads. Whether she’s singing the national anthem to a huge crowd or simply humming a tune, people stop to listen. She has a voice and range that, dare we say it, compares to current music megastars Beyonce and Leona Lewis. Did we mention that she’s only thirteen years old? Yes, you heard me right. Known by fans as Dinah Jane, this young, Tongan talent is determined and ready to take her music to the next level.
Born and raised in Orange County, CA, Dinah Jane was exposed to music early on by her mother, Milika, and aunts and uncles. “My mom and her brothers and sisters were always performing in church and practicing at home,” said Dinah Jane. Her mother vividly remembers the first time she heard Dinah Jane sing. She explained, “[Dinah Jane] was only four years old singing ‘Happy Birthday’ and I could hear the vibrato in her voice.” At age 7, she was invited to perform in public for the first time at an event in Sacramento, CA singing the national anthem. From then on, she performed at various events around Orange County. One performance at her elementary school caught the ear of the school’s superintendent who hooked her up with gigs with the Boy Scouts of America. Although she had booked Dinah Jane to sing at these events, Mrs. Hansen and her husband never thought anything of it. She said, “It wasn’t until [Dinah Jane] was eleven years old that she sat me and my husband down and had a serious talk about this music career. She really wanted to pursue it.”
After that talk, things got serious; Dinah Jane and her parents were focused on her music aspirations. They hooked up with music producers and songwriters such as Big Dave from Pacific Icon Management Group (PIMG), Kennedy Mailo, TreySmoov, MsBrown, and Baby J to get her career going. Vocally, Dinah Jane would listen to her favorite artists over and over again and imitate their sounds, tones, and runs. If it didn’t sound exactly like how the artist performed it, Mrs. Hansen would send Dinah Jane back to her room and practice until she got it right. This kind of work ethic shows in the way she sings today. The influence in her voice comes from the artists she’s been imitating from a young age, namely Beyonce, Leona Lewis, Mariah Carey, and Etta James. She’s also been able to practice her craft at school – she’s currently an 8th grader at the Orange County High School of Arts (OCHSA) studying curriculum in the acting/singing department and interacting with other singers her age.
The practice and push for Dinah Jane’s music career has been paying off. So far this year, she has performed at Fob Fest at The Galaxy Theater in Santa Ana, Nesian Fest in Utah, and will be performing in Dallas on June 4. Just this past March, Hansen entered Polynesian music artist Teki’s YouTube Cover Contest and won! She is currently working on getting her first single out, titled “Dancing Like a White Girl.” She’s also been working on projects with J Boog and aforementioned songwriters and producers to get her album together. Mrs. Hansen describes the mood of the album as “very girly and fun.” She explained, “we want Dinah Jane to be singing about things going on in her life as a thirteen-year-old.”
While Dinah Jane is serious about her music career, she is still a 13-year-old girl who enjoys the same things as any other young adolescent. “I love playing volleyball and hanging out with my brothers and sisters!” she exclaimed. She especially loves and looks up to other young Polynesian artists such as Hefa Tuita and Dayvid Thomas who are pursuing their dreams in the entertainment industry. She acknowledges her parents, family, friends, Big Dave, PIMG, Kennedy Mailo, Trey Smoov, Faiva from Malie Productions, and S&E Productions for helping her out thus far. Though she is only in the very early stages of her career, Dinah Jane knows exactly who she is and how to stay level-headed. “Stay humble and true to yourself and always put God first,” she advises. Now that’s WhatItDo, Dinah Jane.
Article Written By: Pesi Kava
*Photos and YouTube video courtesy of Dinah Jane