Mayhrenate Hassan, the one-time child actor on working hard and holding on to dreams.
When Mayhrenate was young, she collected cassette tapes and took her mother’s boom box, belting out Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston. She grew up surrounded by genuine appreciation for music that later sculpted her own path as a singer. She was entranced by artists before her time, absorbing their rich, soulful style. Now at 28, Mayhrenate shares some of the regal qualities of her heroes. She has a theatrically enchanting way of performing with ease that others would strive for.
School of Rock star: How Mayhrenate’s career started
Mayhrenate’s story is a tale as old as time: a young singer dreaming only of the big stage. It was only when a family friend called her about a casting flyer that she found herself in the spotlight. She was 10 years old when she got cast in Richard Linklater’s School of Rock. Jack Black starred as a grubby, wisecracking rock guitarist who scams his way into a substitute teaching position to teach music. Mayhrenate played Tamika, a timid girl who was initially appointed to the role of the band’s transportation. She belts out a few notes, and Jack, reassigns her to the lead singer role. She was able to share her talent, notably her Chain of Fools vocal blast, and in the Battle of the Bands solo performance.
According to Mayhrenate, the call sheet fit her perfectly as she recalls, “They needed a little chubby girl, who had the range to sing Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle, and I’m an old soul who grew up with that sort of music.” She’d only needed to string a few notes of her smooth, powerful voice to be selected. “It was probably the easiest thing because singing was something that I’ve been doing all my life”, she reminisces. The magnitude of performing in front of an audience allowed her a taste of life as a performer.
“That was when I though, okay…I can get used to this.”Mayhrenate Hassan
“I’ve always wanted to perform.”
Despite the transformative effects of her role in the film, she was not content. Her true passion was singing. Real singing, creating music, and having her name on dozens of albums that would sell out. “Playing Tamika meant a lot to me, as a kid, it meant I got to do what I always wanted to do, which was perform,” she says. But it wasn’t enough. When the School of Rock premiered, Mayhrenate tried to ride along with the momentum. She kept auditioning but to no avail; Mayhrenate didn’t fit the image. “I didn’t look like the average kids my age, I looked more like a teenager,” she tells me.
Plush EP 2021 and singing debut
Yet all was not lost with her. After dropping acting, Mayhrenate pivoted to music instead. Mayhrenate’s debut EP, Plush, co-produced by Gourty Maxx, a Grammy-nominated producer, is her pride. The six-track record, released on her birthday as a gift to herself, yields everything from modern RnB, with witty lyrics, polished melodious voice, and progressive backdrops. “This album is my baby, it’s my first body of work that I’ve been able to present to people,” she says. More of her works include her first single Million Reasons, as well as her song Takeout in 2020, and her feature on Willie Hyn’s May It All Be Well. Although she’s been in the industry for a while, her unfiltered creativity is now finally visible in her work on Plush.
The creative process for this album felt scattered; she remembers, “This entire process was completely different.” The entire project was created through countless FaceTime calls and voice memos with her producer. “I had just purchased my very own studio equipment around February 2020, so it was just me in my small apartment, 25/8 putting the pieces together,” she explains. Mayhrenate’s full control over her own work, and having reigned over the vocal arrangement taught her more about herself as an artist. Out of the eight tracks, the one she most treasures is Baby It’s You.
“It feels like home to me, I remember when I was writing to the beat and saying it felt like springtime in Brooklyn.”Mayhrenate Hassan
Mayhrenate’s time to shine!
It doesn’t end here for Mayhrenate. In fact, the dim road to stardom is getting brighter for her. With music videos, merch, and a second album on the way, she won’t rest until her name joins amongst those who’ve sold out Madison Square Garden. She’s bold, exuding both talent and charisma, but her drive is what is commendable and unbreakable. Mayhrenate is ready to face the world in her own way.
Check out Mayhrenate at her page!