Student of the Month: Malachi Hannula


Malachi drumming.

Kaden Hamilton, Staff Writer

Many young musicians think of starting their own band and jamming with their friends, but very few actually carry out these musical aspirations. Optimist had the opportunity to sit down with South junior Malachi Hannula, the drummer of a local student-led band called The Croakes, to talk to him about his experience balancing his musical passions and his academics.

How were you introduced to The Croakes?

Chandler and Ben were jamming, and asked me to play drums with them. I invited my friend Grace to come with us, and then we called ourselves The Croaks. Grace’s house was also much cleaner than Chandler’s Basement.”

Do you play drums for South as well?

“Yeah, I play in the advanced jazz band, the pep and used to march for the school.”

Do all of the members go to BHSS?

Yes, all members except for Destiny who graduated early this year.”

Which aspects about playing with your band makes you stick with it?

“We’re all good friends, and we’re all good musicians. It also helps that we have a nice and laid-back environment.”

What do you predict for the future of The Croakes?

“I think we’ll play a lot of local venues and have lots of fun. Hopefully we can play up in Indy.”

What type of music do you listen to?

I like listening to Mac Miller, Wes Montgomery, and Saturdays at Your Place the most.”

What type of music do you guys play?

“We started out with more heavy-punk vibes, but expanded into a more chill and alternative sound.”

What has been the best compliment you have ever received?

“People like to mention how dripped out I am, and occasionally ask if I’ve been working out.”

Do you wear Teddy Fresh and Supreme everyday?

“Not everyday, but I try.”

Do you do any after school sports or physical activity?

“I don’t do any sports, but I do like to hit the gym at the YMCA or the Iron Pit.”

Where do you work?

“I work at Buffalouis, usually around five days a week.”

Are you having trouble balancing work and music with school?

“It’s tough but I enjoy the grind. I love spending money, so I have to love making money even more.”

How frequently do you guys practice together?

“We usually practice once or twice a week, but with school it’s hard to find time to practice.”

What are your plans over the break?

I’m just gonna work all week and try to practice with my band as much as I can.”

How stressful has this school year been for you?

“It has been a big adjustment, but I’ve managed to maintain some very good grades so it’s ight.”

Have been enjoying the mask free environment?

“Yes! I’m proud to be vaccinated.”

Where could people find The Croakes?

“Our Instagram is @TheCroakes, and we have a Spotify and SoundCloud coming soon.”

Malachi Hannula is a prime example of a student who chooses to not only put his energy towards school, but his passion. His 4.4 GPA and thriving band shows us that our life doesn’t have to be solely school. Don’t let the school workload funnel your life into an endless loop of stress. To combat this, we have to make time for ourselves and our aspirations. Don’t wait on your dreams.