- You Better Know Who I Am
- Who Was I Trying to Fool
- I Don’t Know
I first became hip to Iman a couple of years ago when I got my hands on an advanced copy of Gilles Peterson’s “Brownswood Bubblers” compilation. Her track on the compilation “Who Was I Trying to Fool” quickly became one of my favorite tunes.
Back then she was 23 and living in London. The daughter of a Sudanese father and Yemini mother, Iman started trying to break into the music business at sixteen.
Through Yam Who? (Amp Fiddler, Official Remixes for Jill Scott, John Legend, Joss Stone, and Pharrell Williams), who played her demo album for the legendary Gilles Peterson, she ended up on the “Brownswood Bubblers” compilation.
She’s written songs for Incognito, Galliano, Shep Soloman and an Italian artist named Kelly. Her performances include opening for Omar and the London Jazz Festival’s Ladies Unplugged alongside Shola Ama and Keisha White.
Iman draws musical inspiration from Nas, Prince, Just Jack, Kate Nash, Wiley and in her words, “strong independent females like Jill Scott, Indie.Arie, and Lauryn Hill.”
I love her sound, which is reminiscent of a cross between Jill Scott, Amy Winehouse, sprinkled with a bit of the Nelly Furtado before the hip-hop makeover.
What we like most about Iman is that she’s a songwriter as well as a singer. The kind of combination we can’t get enough of.
Iman will be in Los Angeles next week! I caught up with her online as she gets ready for her first trip to La La Land to see what’s she’s been up to and to find out if Amy Winehouse had really ditched that nasty crack habit.
What’s new in Iman’s world? New music?
Hey! Yes I have been really busy the whole of 2008. I was writing new material which is different from the old. It is less jazz, but still maintains the soul. I guess it’s more soul/pop with bits of electro wacked in. I am really pleased with how it’s gone.
What are your goals for 2009?
2009 is the time for some signings me thinks. I am ready now for a deal. I hope to get a few more cuts too. At the end of last year, some of the songs I was not going to use ended up being used by Iatalian X Factor, German Popstars, a South African Artist named Pebbles and another one of the songs is due out for release in the UK on a second album by a guy named Lee Mead.
Who are the artists you’re feeling?
I love Adele, Will. I. AM, Ting Tings, The Script, Kings of Leon. Those are some of the guys I am listening to right now.
Who’s hot right now in the UK?
The Ting Tings, The Script, Kings Of Leon, Coldplay, Duffy, and Take That.
Of your new material, which song are you feeling the most and why?
I love ‘You Better Know Who I Am.’ It’s just full of attitude and truth. A lot of the women who hear it seem to find it really empowering and I really enjoy singing it. I also love ‘Another Name.’ That’s one of the songs that has an electro vibe, quite James Bond actually. Also ‘Am I Ever’ is cool. It’s really chilled with lyrics that I reckon people can really relate to. It’s about chasing after your dreams and coming to a point where the light at the end of the tunnel don’t seem so bright any more and you wonder just how much fight you got left inside to push past the wall.
Now let’s get down to business. Is Amy Winehouse really off of crack?
LOOOOOLLLL. God knows!!!!