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Nick Hakim is new to New York. Now a resident of Brooklyn, it almost seems like he’s glided past some of the hiccups many talented new artists face in the city. What’s even more interesting is that the soulful R‘n’B musician has made waves on and off the web, all whilst maintaining a pretty low-profile attitude. It’s a good sign; proof that his music – soulful, intricate, and utterly perfect for a lonely winter morning – speaks for itself. Hakim strikes one as soft-spoken on stage, maybe even a little bit shy. It’s when he begins performing, that his music is warm and rich with meaning, and firmly plants itself inside the loneliest crevices of your heart. Fresh off of his debut EP, Where Will We Go, Hakim is ready to premiere its sequel, Where Will We Go Pt. 2, this week.
On moving to New York, Nick points out “the part of Brooklyn I live in is quiet compared to most places I’ve been in Manhattan. The loudest it gets outside is when folks are blasting soca or r&b jams, which doesn’t bother me at all. I think adjusting to this city this past year has been weird enough both good and not so good.” This comparitively quiet setting may work well for Hakim, who prefers being alone when making music, admitting under-confidence is one of his weaknesses as an artist.
Fader magazine describes songs like “Pour Another” as ‘music for the lonely and intoxicated.’ In many ways, it’s an apt description. Songs like “Cold” touch upon themes of disillusionment and heartbreak, a sound that Hakim says is “a product of my environment, for sure.” Hakim also gave an in-house performance of “Cold” to Yours Truly, an independent music and video company, known for its “French-kiss-intimate story-telling” artist profiles. Was it weird having stranger film him in his own apartment? Hakim answers with firm and resounding “NO they are nice people!” Opportunities to step inside an artist’s private world are rare. Still, even on stage, each of Hakim’s performances touts an air of intimacy.
As far as the rest of Hakim’s bandmates go, each one is clearly talented; they’ve “been around for the past few years… and are all good friends.” Of all the guys, Jake Sherman (keys) has been playing with him the longest. What’s more Hakim notes “Andrew Sarlo (bass) actually co-produced and mixed the “Where Will We Go” songs. Vishal Nayak (drums) is one of my favorite drummers around and is just a good friend. Joe Harrison (guitar) is actually my roommate… Jaime Woods and Daniel Woods played in the band, they’re two of my favorite musicians. Jon Nellen is another one who played drums on all the recordings online along with Kyle Miles, one of the baddest bass players around, who played bass on all the recordings that are out. Also, my friend Joe Manzoli was playing for a bit.”
What about the musicians he has on his iPod? Hakim says that George McCrae, Delfonics, The Love Potion, Shuggie Otis, and The Stooges have been on repeat lately, and that if he could see anyone perform, it’d be Nina Simone live at Monteux 76’. Hakim’s ready for a European Tour, and what looks like an exceptional follow up EP. Hakim tells listeners “If you’re an early bird, listen to it while the sun is rising. Most of it was written during those hours of no sleep til the sun came up, so the sunrise is always nostalgic and makes me remember this phase.” For more info on Nick Hakim, visit his Facebook or Soundcloud.