Hezza Makes Music at Mercy Magnuson Place

Hezza was born in Seattle but moved around a lot as a kid. “My father had a passion for travel, and wanted to see the world,” said Hezza. “Moving around, I got great at making friends, learning local languages, and I fell deeply in love with music,” they added.

As a child, their mother nurtured their gift, encouraging them to explore and stay curious. Hezza’s passion grew stronger over the years and transformed into musical expression through the piano, cello, and pandeiro (Brazilian version of a tambourine). But, they loved to sing. “I see my voice as an extension of me, another instrument that can be manipulated and played with,” Hezza said.

Hezza returned with their partner (at the time) to Seattle from Berlin to connect with creative community around the Salish Sea and to help care for and be close to their ailing grandfather. The Seattle they returned to was dramatically different from the city of her childhood. Gone were the days of a sleepy northwest city. Cranes, skyscrapers, and development in every direction now filled the landscape. In all that hustle and bustle, Seattle had also become a drastically more expensive city and homes had become less affordable. “As an artist and musician, there were few options for me and even fewer communities with homes for those in the arts,” said Hezza.

As Hezza struggled to find a place to call home, Mercy Magnuson opened its doors to the first set of residents. With some work and a little luck, Hezza was a part of the first group of residents to move into Mercy Housing Northwest’s newest community.

“One thing I love about living at Mercy Magnuson is the ease of access to nature,” Hezza said. A few steps from the community, residents have access to Magnuson Park. The park features beachfront access to Lake Washington, hiking and walking trails, and ample quiet spaces among the trees to reflect and create.

“With its high ceilings and ample space, Magnuson is the perfect space for me. Here, I can create, work, and live,” said Hezza. “In these walls, I have written and recorded songs, crafted albums, and shared music with neighbors who have become friends.”

From these intimate performances with friends, Hezza began performing for neighbors. This last summer, they even performed at the Mercy Magnuson Community Block Party. “We are building a community around music and encouraging people to express themselves,” Hezza said.

Hezza has also begun performing locally and dreams of hosting a concert at a theater in Magnuson Park. They have also mentored students who attend MHNW’s homework club.

“All of us who live here have a story, and we have dreams we wish to pursue,” Hezza told us. “Here, I feel supported and respected. I think we are building something special here.”

Check out Hezza’s work here!