It is difficult, if not impossible, for an artist with any sensitivity to create in a world that is so troubled and not be affected by what happens around them. For Swedish singer-songwriter Hanna Nilsson, who goes by her stage name Hana Oceans, the plight of European immigrants fleeing war in their native countries is impossible to ignore. For her recent single “Invincible Borders,” she tells their story with a powerful video that was directed by Natalya Holley and produced by Holley London/Lauren Holley. It immediately personalizes what can all-too-easily become just a series of newsreel images from some distant, foreign land.
“So let’s break these walls, these invincible borders,
crushed we feel small but we can’t live by their orders,
so we march march to the sunset, fight fight til the day ends
There is a fault, that’s always on their minds but never outshined
there is a people that never are heard but will always rise, will always rise
– Invincible Borders
In a premiere feature and interview with Atwoods Magazine, Oceans explains what inspired her to write this song:
“I can’t be happy in a world where people have to risk dying at sea for the hope of a better life, only to be blocked by borders if they are lucky enough to reach dry land. It upsets me that over 60 million citizens of the earth are fleeing from conflicts.,” says Oceans. “Nobody should have to live in fear and the more that people start to organize, the more chance we have of affecting the politics that have led to so many people facing uncertainty every day. However, I want people to know ‘Invincible Borders’ is not about all of the negativity surrounding this political crisis. This song is a reminder that there is hope in the world, and that hope is represented by unity only.”
Traveling the world at a young age, Oceans became interested in the idea of inspiring people through music. She studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston before releasing her critically acclaimed debut EP Dust (OStereo) in 2015. As for her own inspiration, her favorites include Florence and The Machine, Ane Brun and Highasakite, in addition to pop and cinematic music.
Hana Ocean’s Dust EP (which includes the single) can be found on iTunes. You can listen to “Invincible Borders” on Spotify.
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