IT has been a while since I last spoke with IMAN…
She tells me about her current track, For You, and how it came together; whether more music is coming up; how early music came into her life – and whether, as a child, her parents were supportive of her desire and passion to pursue this path.
IMAN discusses gigs and musical influences; a new artist we should check out; what her favourite memory from her career so far is; the advice she would give new musicians coming through – she reveals what she gets up to away from recording and performing.
Hi, IMAN. How are you? How has your week been?
It’s been busy; very productive thank you.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m a London-based artist that writes my songs - and I’ve been known to co-direct and edit my own music videos. I’d say my sound is Electronic, R&B; Soul with a Pop influence.
For You is your latest track. Is there a story behind its creation?
Yeah. I wrote it about when I ran away from home at a young age - and about how much my perception of life had changed when I returned many months later.
To me, it sounds like your most confident and personal track. Do you feel For You is your most important cut so far?
I’m not sure I’d say that: it’s a song I love and still connect with...but I have more that I’ve yet to share that are, also, very personal.
Will there be more music coming this year?
Yes. There will be loads more; it’s all being planned out.
Can you remember when music came into your life? Which artists did you grow up around?
I didn’t really grow up around music: it was pretty much banned from the house. Hence, why I felt the need to leave home so young so that I could start pursuing it. The music I was familiar with as I was growing up was whatever happened to play on the radio. My exposure to music growing up was definitely limited.
Were your parents supportive of your desire to pursue a music career? Was it hard convincing them it was the right path?
No: they weren’t supportive - and that came from their own fear for me. They wanted me to pursue a more stable path - and I always understood that.
Recently; it was International Women’s Day. Do you feel women are overlooked in the industry? Is it important we raise awareness of the imbalance?
Obviously, there are so many female artists out - and it’s been like that for a long time. I would like to see more diversity across the board for artists, male and female, from different ethnicities particularly.
Certainly, in the music industry, it’s male-dominated and, perhaps, women are overlooked for positions in this area. Women are creative, powerful and ready more than ever to be the leaders of business - I know this. I’m sure, as we keep pushing for positions and equal pay, things will change.
It always does in the end...
Can we see you tour soon? What gigs do you have coming up?
All my gig info will be up on www.imanmusic.co.uk and, if you join the mailing list, there’s a chance to get yourself a secret song that is strictly for the ears of my mailing list crew.
How important is it getting your music out to the people? How does it make you feel performing live?
Sharing my music is what it’s all about. Putting in all the hustle, just to have it sit on my desktop is no fun. The joy and reward come from the connection I get to make when I share my music. Performing feeds my soul and reminds me why I do it when hard times come.
What do you hope to achieve, personally, in 2018?
I want to see through the releases of my next few records; perform constantly throughout the year and connect with loads more new listeners. I hope my current fanbase continues to enjoy my new music and I also want to keep writing and start taking my D.J. sets out - as I’ve just gotten into D.J.ing.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Performing to 5,000 people at Brixton Academy was pretty insane. I remember I was buzzing with happiness for days after!
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
I’d say, always be honest with yourself about what you could improve and what exactly you want. Don’t shy away from your ambitions - and use every day to do something that will propel you closer to your goal.
I also think keeping the most real people around you is key.
IN THIS PHOTO: Seinabo Sey
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Seinabo Sey. She’s giving me life right now. A very authentic artist.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I don’t get much time but, when I do, I adore hanging out with my niece and nephew. They are both toddlers and give me so much life. I also love travelling - and I’m gonna be fitting that in this year, too.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
I love Seinabo Sey – I Owe you Nothing. Tunnneee! The video is sick, too.