Gearing up for the release of her new single, singer/songwriter Reema will tell the ghost story of an old man who kept a dark secret which died with his former lover, in the haunting track ‘What The Whisper Said’. We got the opportunity to put some questions to Reema to find out all about her music, ambitions and more…
For those who may be new to your music, how best would you describe your sound?
Honest, minimal, ethereal and delicate song-stories. It has its roots in folk but dips into other things like jazz. I like to capture moments, so I usually present live performances.
What challenges have you faced in the music industry so far?
The biggest challenge for me was keeping to the way I like to make music. I love full performances; I’m not into edited vocals and the copy/paste way that many producers are used to. When finding people to work with, there was always that conversation to be had. I’ve got no problem with other people doing it, but for me I’m chasing the most emotional performance, not perfection. Once I had found like-minded people, it was much easier. I also found keeping my independence, while at the same time needing help and investment really tough, and I’m sure most musicians today struggle with that. Again it was about not rushing decisions and finding the right people who really understood what I was doing.
How difficult would you say this career path is in terms of making a name for yourself?
I would say that we’re living in uncertain times for music. The industry is changing all the time and people are consuming music so differently. It never was easy to make a name for yourself, and now is no exception, but we do have the tools to self-publish, create and get things out there. There are no shortcuts but consistently playing, creating and putting things out there means you at least have a chance of reaching communities of lovely music lovers and making friends and fans. I think enjoying the journey rather than seeking success is essential.
How important is it for you to have creative control over the work you produce?
For me, it’s the most important thing. Compromising and trying to please others is a slippery slope that can lead to being really unhappy with your music and feeling detached from your own project.
Where do you draw influence and inspiration from for your work?
All kinds of places! Conversations, people I meet, drawings I like, the beautiful old destroyed parts of Berlin, where I live. If something makes me feel something, it makes me write. I love going back to Suffolk where a lot of my family are and feeling the quiet and the ancient quality of the landscape. History and time passing interest me a lot.
If you could collaborate with anybody going forward, who would you choose and why?
Stevie Nicks because she's just an incredible emotional force of nature, but also because I print my own fabrics from my drawings. I'd love to give her a silk scarf to wear. Ethan Johns is my hero producer but I also love his music for his personal project. I'd love to sing with him too.
Tell us a random, funny fact about you that not many people know.
I used to rescue birds. I started with a pigeon, who became my friend for a while until he got better, but I hand reared doves and even 2 cockatiels. I love creatures!
Do you have definitive aims or goals for your career?
I try to just be happy and surprised by each step. I would love to travel the world playing music though!
Where do you hope to be this time next year?
Playing lots of live shows.
What should we expect from you in the coming weeks and months?
There will be more new music very soon. Watch this space!
Reema’s brilliant new single ‘What The Whisper Said’ is officially released on December 8, via LowSwing Records.