I recently sat down with IMAN to talk about her singing/song-writing career, life in L.A. and what it was like working with the likes of Ed Sheeran and Kanye West.
What inspired you to become a musician and songwriter?
I’ve always been drawn to singing and when I was younger I’d love performing little shows to anyone who would watch me. It’s something that’s always come naturally to me. Being onstage and connecting with people is something I love. I think becoming a song-writing is more so part of a necessity. No one else was there to write the songs for me so I just knuckled down and got on with it, so that I could start making demos.
What have been your best coping mechanisms for overcoming the self-doubt and low self-esteem?
My friends have always been amazing to me. I have a small circle of friends that I’ve known for years and they’ve watched me grow. I’m an open book when it comes to expressing the way I feel. So, when I feel defeated I always have them on hand to encourage me. I’m naturally quite an optimistic person so my moments of darkness never last long enough to get in my way.
What is touring life like and do you enjoy it?
There’s a lot that goes into it even on a smaller scale. I’m very hands on and work alongside my management, so sometimes I’ll even help arrange my own rehearsals. Although its challenging I do enjoy it. The best part, of course, is performing and sharing my songs with people, especially when I have people come up to me afterwards saying how much they enjoyed my set.
Can you tell me more about your L.A. experience? What happened when you arrived? Was it scary?
It was a random plane ticket that I bought on a whim as I felt like studio sessions in the UK were starting to dry up. I arrived not knowing anyone. I remember when trying to find my hotel, I had this girl who was stood behind me and she started telling me that she found me attractive and then asked if I was into swinging as she was about to meet her boyfriend. That was the first conversation I had with anyone out there. So the whole experience definitely started off in a very unexpected way!
Other than that episode I managed to book myself into sessions for the most part whilst out there, sometimes two sessions per day back-to-back. I just made the most of it and that’s how the Kanye West opportunity came up two years later in London. Oh and no, nothing happened with me and the swinger!
Can you tell me more about your latest single, ‘Wishing’? What’s it about? What inspired you to write it?
I wrote ‘WISHING’ about a guy I met and I had a really strong crush on him. (We’ve all been there!) Unfortunately, he had a girlfriend so I stayed well away. I decided to put it all into song instead.
If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would that be? And, why?
My dream gig would be performing to a massive festival crowd on the beach. Watching the sun set and the stars come out as I perform would be Heaven. With good vibes all around and the crowd singing along to my songs with me.
Have you ever played a gig in Birmingham? If so, did you enjoy it? If not, are you looking forward to seeing what a Brummie crowd is like?
I have actually and it was at Birmingham’s NEC, it was part of a showcase arranged by my college and yes, I did enjoy it! I would love to do more shows in Birmingham and have more Birmingham based radio shows play more of my music. I’ve always heard that the Brummie crowd are super enthusiastic and open to new music. I really want to open that door and start something there.
What is it like working with the likes of Kanye West and Ed Sheeran?
I didn’t actually work with Kanye West himself, it was me writing along to music from his producer, Mike Dean. That was huge enough in itself as he is one of the ‘dopest’ out there. At the time I didn’t even realise he was behind classic Kanye songs like ‘Gold Digger’ and ‘Jesus Walks’. It was an honour that he had me try out writing to some of his tracks. Ed was a super cool dude, a total gentleman and is an incredibly gifted musician.
If you had the chance to collaborate with anyone in particular, who would it be? And, why?
If I had to pick one it would be Drake, he is one of the finest songwriters of our time. His melodies and lyrics are amazing and he’s definitely nailed his own style. That’s true artistry right there.
To find out more about IMAN follow her on social media:
SPOTIFY – http://spoti.fi/2jAwHGT
YOUTUBE – www.youtube.com/imanmusicuk
INSTAGRAM – www.instagram.com/imanmusicuk
OFFICIAL WEBSITE – www.imanmusic.co.uk
FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/imanmusic/