Hi, How Are You Day to Feature Performances from UMI and DannyLux
The fifth annual concert will be held at Emo’s Austin on Jan. 22, with all proceeds benefiting the Hi, How Are You Project
By Meher Qazilbash
The Hi, How Are You Project, a nonprofit dedicated to mental wellness, awareness and education for young people, will host the fifth annual Hi, How Are You Day on Jan. 22.
Held at Emo’s Austin, listeners can catch the show in-person or watch the event online via a global livestream.
Named after the famous mural by late visual artist and musician Daniel Johnston, the Hi, How Are You Project works to get conversations going about personal upkeep.
“I come from a music industry background and managed Daniel Johnston, who dealt with his own mental health struggles,” says HHAYP co-founder Tom Gimbel. “He was really the inspiration for the organization. My wife and co-founder, Courtney Blanton, came up with the name ‘Hi, How Are You.’ It’s the perfect conversation starter. We want to encourage people to speak openly.”
This year’s headliner is neo-soul and R&B artist UMI, widely recognized for her touching song “Remember Me,” which boasts more than 130 million streams on Spotify to date. Her special performance will include a guided meditation and breathwork session in addition to the artist’s dreamy tunes.
“Music to me is frequency with the capacity to change a life. The same way everything we consume ultimately impacts our state of being, I feel music is no different,” says UMI. “Knowing this, I create with a sense of responsibility and honor, and the fact that the music I make can help to set the mood of a space or change the feeling of someone’s day is so beautiful to realize.”
Opening for UMI is 18-year old Mexican-American singer DannyLux, who will perform his captivating set in Spanish. The teenage musician’s accomplishments include earning a nomination for a 2022 Billboard Latin Music Award and opening for Coldplay during the band’s recent Mexico tour.
Both acts will be performing at Coachella later this year, giving Hi, How Are You Day attendees a sneak peek at some of the exciting talent that will soon be a part of one of the country’s most-anticipated music festivals.
“We’ve been very intentional with picking UMI and DannyLux as two extremely talented artists who also appeal to the audience that we’re trying to reach with Hi, How Are You, which is persons ages 14 to 24,” says Gimbel. “A huge thing that young people in Austin need to know is that they can get a sneak peek of Coachella right here at Emo’s and support a good cause at the same time.”
Hi, How Are You Day 2023 will also include the release of HHAYP’s inaugural Thriving College Students Index. The nonprofit conducted a survey in collaboration with College Student Mental Wellness Advocacy Coalition to build on their annual College Student Fall Mental Wellness Survey, which is created in partnership with American Campus Communities.
The HHAYP team worked with Ipsos, a global leader in market research, to poll nearly 20,000 individuals for the Thriving College Students Index, offering a comprehensive look into the feelings and coping mechanisms of students.
“We’re trying to learn more about where students are in terms of stress levels, happiness levels and what is important to them particularly post-pandemic,” explains Gimbel. “One thing that we’ve learned from the findings of the survey is that 81% of college students support their mental health through music so the concert is not only an awareness building event, but we also consider it happy medicine. It’s an opportunity for people to come together in community, enjoy music and raise awareness about this topic.”
Sharing the research findings will contribute to the organization’s year-round efforts to improve the lifestyle and emotional state of young people. HHAYP already encourages “The Happy Habits,” a list of 10 daily practices based on scientifically-tested methodologies for reducing stress and increasing feelings of happiness. In addition, the organization continually shares tips and tricks through the Hi, How Are You Podcast, a platform where musicians discuss what they’re navigating internally with psychologists who weigh in with advice and expertise.
An important aspect of the nonprofit’s mission is to encourage people to be proactive in their personal care and to provide support to those in need before situations become dire. Hi, How Are You Day is a chance to connect with the Austin community, while enjoying a positive concert experience.
“Part of the reason that I love music is that you feel good when you go to a concert,” shares Gimbel. “You’re with other people, collectively singing and dancing and experiencing emotion based on what the artist is doing on the stage. I’ve made it my life’s professional work and it just made sense to also do it in the charitable work that I do.”
The Hi, How Are You Day show will kick off at 6 p.m. on Jan. 22, with doors opening at 5 p.m. Visit hihowareyou.org for tickets and follow the nonprofit on Instagram @hihowareyouproject to stay up to date. All proceeds from the event benefit the Hi, How Are You Project.