Relentlessly creative and artistically astute, Naeem has amassed a great many accolades having worked with the likes of Bon Iver, the Avalanches, and Big Red Machine as well as taking part in a 37d03d residency in Berlin. As he gears up to release his debut record Startisha next month via 37d03d we caught up with the Baltimore-born and LA-based artist to talk Prince, dim sum, and his dream gig.

The latest single from his upcoming album, ‘Simulation’ follows on from his striking rendition of Silver Apples’ ‘You and I’, and sees Naeem team up with Swamp Dogg and Justin Vernon. There’s something innately heartfelt and sacred to Naeem’s creations, tangible in the deeply emotive, soulful intonations he crafts. On ‘Simulation’ Naeem offers delicate swirling instrumentation fusing elements of R&B, gospel, and hip-hop with intricate experimentalism.

Speaking on the track Naeem (full name Naeem Juwan) details, “I had been reading a few books, such as Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth, and Art, and they helped me solidify feelings I’ve had all of my life about surviving a society of institutions that presents fictions as fact, and often use these fictions to diminish my worth, or to convince me to join their gangs,” says Juwan. “I wrote this song to remind myself, and hopefully everyone that hears it, that nothing is real, and our greatest defense in this life is our own creativity, and finding great faith in whatever sigils and icons we choose to guide us”. With Startisha out soon, Naeem is fully carving out a creative legacy of his own design.

Get to know Naeem In Short…

Three words to describe my music…

Aloof, Ableton, Soul

Last photo on your phone…

A photo of Baltimore club legends  Rod Lee and Ms Tony from 1994

Favourite instagram account…

@catatonicyouths

The best venue I’ve played…

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

Earliest song you remember…

“Delirious” – Prince

The worst job I’ve ever had…

Smoothie stand in the Baltimore harbor

Favourite food on tour…

Dim sum

My Favourite word…

Wassailing

Things that cheer me up…

Under The Cherry Moon movie

If I could play a gig anywhere it would be…

At the bottom of the ocean

I think you should listen to…

Gamelan Degung

If I could see anyone play live it would be…

Sly stone

‘Startish’ is due out 12th June on 37d03d. Pre-order here.