Exclusive: Interview with Aleem

Aleem is a name you’re going to want to remember. A singer-songwriter with a twist of his own “hip pop”, he has been touring with heavy hitters such as Fifth Harmony and Little Mix. We sat down with the singer to talk about his particular sound, what the best part of touring was, and everything in between.

How would you describe your music?

I kind of coined my own term “hip pop” mixed with singer/songwriter. The biggest of my sound is pop but it’s a little more modern but with more of my sound coming in as singer/ songwriter.

Who are some of your biggest influences?

Bruno Mars, John Mayer, The Script. They are the trilogy for me, I’ve been following them pretty much since they started. For them and for me, following their path and career learning from them.

If you could work with any of them, who would it be?

It definitely has to be Bruno Mars, that would be the coolest thing ever. He came out on top at the Grammys, right? Best Album, Best Record, Song of the Year, he’s something else.

What made you want to become a singer?

Well I knew from a young age, that I had some sort of musical gift. I never really thought it would turn into anything. When I got to college, I was working in a studio and just writing and recording, immersing myself in the industry. I kind of realized I loved doing this and I’m pretty good at it. I started from there, I took it slow and I was learning, just working on the craft. Then I started touring with Fifth Harmony, Little Mix and it’s been awesome to see it all come to life.

What is your method for songwriting?

It depends on what kind of song you’re trying to write. I always try to say songwriting is basically storytelling. First you have to find the mood that you are writing about. Then for me it’s usually messing around on the guitar, finding a melody that fits the vibe of the mood I’m trying to create. From there I try to lay lyrics onto whatever I created. Lyrics sometimes shapes the sound off of those and I like to create paint off of that canvas. It just depends.

You just came off tour with Little Mix, what was the highlight of that?

The highlight was definitely sold out arenas every night. It’s one thing to play clubs and play your way through bars. But to get to go out and play sold out arenas every night all over Europe is pretty remarkable. It’s something I will never forget. The sheer amount of crowds, noise, lights. It’s pretty fun.

Since you’re from the States, where do you like playing more, America or Europe?

It’s interesting for me, I got my break in Europe/UK with the Fifth Harmony tour. Before that, I was just playing small shows around the States, nothing big. When I got my chance to go out overseas, I realized there is such a huge market for pop. The fans are incredible and the overall vibe comes to life. I don’t have too many experiences in the States but so far but Europe/UK has been absolutely incredible.

Tell us about your single “So Damn Good”

So Damn Good was written with a very talented team in Nashville. It’s basically one of those songs that you know you probably shouldn’t take a bite of the apple so to speak. But you can’t help it. It’s a natural instinct to keep going for it. Even though it’s bad for you, it’s one of the situation that you just can’t help it and keep falling for her tricks. It alludes to a relationship that I was in which was kind of not healthy but there was something about it that kind of pulled me back in. We all can relate to that at some point in our lives.

Do you have a favorite song you’ve ever written?

It definitely has to be a song I’ve written called “Inside Out”. It was the second single I released once I got off tour with Fifth Harmony. That song just completely blew up. I think it now has about 4 million streams on Spotify right now. It’s one of those song that you’re writing it and you have that notion that it’s something special and to see it come to life and see it blow up was pretty amazing. Just the story behind that song is very special to me.

You just released your “Open Letters” EP. What can you tell your fans about that?

Open Letters was an EP that I wrote as I wanted to put myself in the shoes of the listener. Each song is an “Open Letter” so to speak for a specific someone or a specific time or topic or subject of my life that a lot of people have gone through. Love, heartbreak, friendships, relationships going wrong. It’s a true record just about what we go through on a daily basis.

What would you fans to know about you?

I kind of getting into the whole cooking thing. I’m pretty good at it. I’m adding that to my repertoire of talents. Cooking is definitely something new for me.

Any upcoming plans?

I’ve just performed a headline show in London, but stay tuned.

To find out more about Aleem, check out his website.

Fan of Aleem? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix

Written by Lauren Ann Butler

Traveler, Music Junkie, Writer, and Dreamer.