Local band with big dreams


Tyler Smith Cartography Productions

Hannah Rust, lead singer for HYGEIA performs at the Aggie in Fort Collins.

HYGEIA performs for FoCoMX at the Aggie in Fort Collins. (Thomas Culp)

Countless musicians dream of standing in front of thousands of people, each one shouting their name, each one singing the words, but very few make the dream a reality.

Hannah Rust, an aspiring singer in the Fort Collins music scene, is no different, except she already has fulfilled this dream, on the stage of Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado, with a local house band.

Where do you go from there? Anyone in the same position would ask after performing a set in front of a sold out crowd of over 9,000 fans. 

Hannah did the only sensible thing, and dedicated her life to pursuing a career in singing, with hopes of one day returning to that dream. 

Her band’s name is HYGEIA, a modern progressive metal band founded in Fort Collins, CO, with three other members experienced in live performance and individual creativity. 

The band has already released a five song EP, with streams reaching six continents and thousands of people, generating exposure and a steadily growing community.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to sing,” Hannah shareds, expressing her vision of a lifelong journey of creating art and a community with fans. 

It takes an immense amount of dedication to make that choice, and with it comes many risks and boundaries.

“Being vulnerable through our music and learning how to time manage and book shows” is one of the many difficulties Hannah describeds when jumping into the first steps of a music career.

Many bands begin in a DIY community, playing garage shows, house parties, and skateparks, yet HYGEIA found their way to a crowd of nearly three hundred and fifty fans by their second show at the Aggie Theatre, with only one song on streaming platforms.

With such extreme exposure, vulnerability is essential to connect with an audience, and Hannah noteds how straining this can be.

“I always recognize what makes me uncomfortable and work to push past it for future instances if I know it’s going to better myself and the band.” To be successful in one of the most challenging but rewarding industries, it requires more discomfort than familiarity, and Hannah is no stranger to discomfort.

HYGEIA has played many shows with bands across many different genres, from many different areas, in front of many different people, many of which aren’t familiar with metal music.

The band has been able to amass a diverse following in locations from Colorado to Thailand, Australia to Germany, and Canada to Japan.

In only one year of the band’s formation, HYGEIA collected nearly 12,000 streams on Spotify and 18,000 views on one music video. 

Regardless of the promising success and upward trends, it is still key to remain motivated, which can often be debilitating.

“Keeping up to date with my idols” is how Hannah maintains her motivation. By remembering who gives her ideas and inspiration she is able to continue pouring her energy into HYGEIA.

But succeeding as a band isn’t cheap, especially on top of the cost of living in Fort Collins. 

Hannah turned to education to step into a job as a hairstylist while the band continues to grow until it makes enough money to support the four dedicated members. 

“It is very challenging to balance my work and band life. Being able to put out enough creative energy towards both fields is very tiring at times.”

Without a doubt it is exhausting to put one hundred percent effort into the inception of a band, but to evenly put effort into two careers? Inspiring to be pulled off.

“Don’t quit on yourself, you never know what opportunity will present itself,” Hannah stateds when asked about advice others can take from her experience. 

Just barely after the band’s first birthday, HYGEIA became a finalist in a Northern Colorado upcoming artist competition, known as Sonic Spotlight.

The band was given an opportunity to perform at Fort Collins’ largest music venue, Washington’s, packing the venue for the debut release of their music video and a live set.

It’s hard to imagine where a band like HYGEIA can be in a few years. If they continue to grow at the same rates, they will be “nationally touring,” as Hannah expressed her vision for the band’s future.

Every band dreams of making it “big,” flooding a venue with fans swarming to get to the front row. HYGEIA might just have the makings to achieve that goal, and Hannah Rust is dedicated to making it happen.

“I want people to remember and resonate with my lyrical content and the performance and stage presence that I can bring to the industry.” Hannah shares the legacy she wants to leave behind, dismissing any possibility of failure. 

Dedication, commitment, and resiliency creates legacies, and Hannah Rust with her band HYGEIA are destined to leave behind a legacy.