A Q&A with Imen Siar
Adele-inspired ballads, from London, via Italy and Morocco…
What’s the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
The title of my latest release is ‘Lonely People’ and I think just by the title alone many people can already relate, even before listening to the song. It is unfortunately a very universal and timeless feeling which is also why the idea of possibly ending loneliness through a song truly spoke to me. From the first moment I heard the song I knew it was special, and I always had this idea in my mind of me singing it live in front of thousands that once felt lonely, and show them how many people in the audience also feel lonely, and hopefully make them all connect to each other. Another reason that makes this song even more special is the fact that I have recorded it in English, in Arabic and in Italian, so that it’s able to reach even more people.
What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
The hardest part about this release was making sure that all three versions of the songs had the same message and at the same time sounded right. Also this being my first release I was being very picky and a bit of a perfectionist and I have had to learn to let it go at times, and let my heart decide more than my brain.
Who produced the release – what did they bring to it?
The single was produced by Isa Machine (former member of Florence and the Machine) and she totally brought magic into it. The song sounded very different after she did her magic on it and I couldn’t be happier. It sounded so classy and theatrical and felt like it belonged in a movie. She also was there with me when I recorded the final vocals and she was so much fun to be around and she was truly inspirational.
What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
I want them to always know they can come back to listen in a safe place where they won’t be judged, where they will be unconditionally loved and I want them to feel motivated and uplifted. I want them all to feel empowered, and I think me coming from a simple waitressing background and making my dreams come true could really be great inspiration for some. I used to once listen to other people say that dreams can come true and I found it hard to believe it at times. But I truly want them to know that they should never stop trying to be happy and achieve the things they truly want in life, so if my music and my story can help them do so, then I’ll be extremely grateful.
How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
I am a very new songwriter and I have had less then 10 writing sessions altogether, and one thing I’ve realised so far is that there isn’t always just one way of doing it, the process varies and there’s no rule. Sometimes the idea starts from an existing beat, sometimes it comes from a melody in your head, and other times it comes out as a joke or a mistake. I remember on my first ever session someone said something and I completely misunderstood the word, and when I sang it I actually liked it and it even became the title of the song. Overthinking too much at the beginning doesn’t help me, I tend to go with the flow and put down ideas and then, by the end, you can revisit certain words.
What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
The artist that has influenced me the most since the start of this release is probably Adele. I really wanted a slow ballad to introduce myself to the world first, and the queen of ballad to me has always been Adele. But then I also wanted to make sure it had something unique about it as I have always been told from people that I remind them of her and I don’t want it to look like I’m copying too much.
What countries would you like to tour? Are there any standout venues you’d like to play in?
I would like to tour Europe first as I’m more familiar with it and I’d be more comfortable starting from there. I then would like to explore the Middle East too, as well as any country possible in the world. If there’s a venue I’d like to start at it is definitely Brixton Academy and is very much around where I’ve lived since I moved to the UK, although my ultimate goal is selling out big arenas. I like to set specific goals along the way, and the first milestone for me will be selling out my headline show at the Brixton Academy.
If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
At the moment I only have one single of mine out, but it is a single that truly represents me, so I think listeners would already be able to tell what music I like. But I also will be releasing soon more uptempo songs and I don’t want to be defined by one sound/genre only.
What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
My ambition is just to inspire as many people as I can during my journey and bring them along on my train of peace.
Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
My parting words will definitely be “don’t be hard on yourself” and “be kind”. No one knows what people go through and you should feel guilty for feeling the way you feel. Everyone has their own journey with their families, with faith, with their passions, and the last thing we should do is to be too hard on others as well as being too hard on ourselves. Breathe and take one day at a time. There’s so many things I feel like saying but there would never be enough time. So instead I will be putting them into songs over the years.
For more info visit: bpuresounds.com/artists/imen