Exclusive: Pillow talks to Iman

Posted on Friday, 12 August 2011

News :: Exclusive-pillow-talks-to-iman :: IMANFINAL_584_2000px 2


IT may be the moniker of David Bowie’s missus but Iman is also the name of an up-and-coming artist who is set for success.

Currently working on an album, the unsigned singer/songwriter has three songs on her YouTube channel, including new song Build It All Back, I Hold The Stars and Only You – a track that was written with Ed Sheeran.

“It was really fun. He freestyle raps a lot and he’s really good at it, and he has a lot of humour in the rapping.

“The session in particular, we had four hours together and we wrote two songs and that was the second song. We literally wrote it in 20 minutes.”

Moving to North London as a teen, away from parents who didn’t support her aspirations to be a singer, Iman rented a room, worked two jobs and studied at University, just to try and break in to the industry.

“It took a long time before someone gave me their time. It was three years of banging on people’s doors going ‘can you give me a demo, can you just give me a chance’ and it was always the same story of ‘well, we can’t because you don’t have a demo’ and then me being ‘well, if you just gave me a day then I could have that demo’… so it kind of like a catch 22.

“But in that time I learned a lot, I went to seminars, and song-writing seminars and little charity music workshops like the Prince’s trust … and I continue to do so to really develop myself. I’m interested in being an artist that lasts, and isn’t just this artist that has one album and it’s like the trend, and then the second album flops as it was more about the trend rather than the musical ability so it’s important to me to continue working on my vocals with vocal tutors and going on song-writing seminars, and teaching myself how to play guitar.

Listening to her music – which she describes as Adele meets Noisettes – yOu can tell Iman has something special. She is the pop girl with a soul and not afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve.

“I’m a total pop freak. When I was a girl all I listened to was the radio, so pop is me. My music is alternative pop, it’s not frothy pop. It’s thought-provoking. It’s got depth to it, it’s got integrity, it’s real, all the songs that I wrote, all the words that I write are things that happened. I could never be this artist that sings ‘oh baby, you make me crazy’, and I could never be this artist that sings about ‘being in the club,’ because I just don’t even go out! It’s all real.”

She writes about, “Real-life situations that I’ve been through and sometimes situations that my closest friends have been though and they tell me about it.”


Even turning her hand to everyone’s favourite headline-grabber, “I’ve written about people I don’t know, like Katie Price called One Big Show, saying ‘your machine is running too slow so give me, give me a little something more, and then maybe I’ll love you like I did before’.

“Whenever I sing, I absolutely feel it, I’ve done takes [of Only You] when I have a tear in my eye, I really feel it and the music is really real to me.”

And it’s not just fans who want to listen to her music that want to support the singer. After putting Only You on YouTube, Campbell Morgan an artist from a well-respected animation company contacted Iman’s manager and asked to produce a video for it.

“He asked me to come in for some head shots and said the idea will be ‘you are a puppet, your lover is a puppet and your love story is being acted out by a puppeteer who you also see in the video’ and it will be very ‘cardboard boxy’. That video was free and I’m just so grateful for it.”

So what’s the background of the song? “It’s a song for the lovers, it’s that moment of feeling at total ease, that moment of ‘I’ve absolutely found my total equal, there’s no ego between us, it’s totally real, like this other person is my mirror’. The good and the bad.. you make me stare at myself, you make me look at my ugly parts and my beautiful parts and you’re still really close.”

Iman is part of a new wave of British music that includes chart success for artists such as Jessie J, Tinie Tempah, Chipmunk and Professor Green. She wrote her album last year, and is currently rehearsing with her band and getting ready for her own big break.

“I’ve always been a fan of UK music,” Iman says. “When I was starting out, I was at these music seminars where they would talk about ‘black music isn’t getting anywhere, black rappers aren’t getting anywhere’ and now? It’s everywhere and I just find that so inspiring. The fact that UK music is just going strength to strength, it’s about time. I’m so proud of seeing so many musicians in the charts.

“Years and years ago I wrote with Professor Green, and now he’s in the charts, I wrote with Ed Sheeran and now he’s in the charts, I was in Sweden on a writing retreat with Jessie J four and a half year ago. Chipmunk.. I remember being at a minor showcase with him three years ago. It’s so inspiring.”

So what’s the future for this unsigned artist with undeniable drive and talent to back it up?

“I want to share my music with the world, I want to try and inspire whoever I can with it in whatever way.”

For more information on Iman, click here and visit her YouTube page here.


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