Photo Credit: Jacub Koziel

Continuing our tradition of speaking to artists in the infancy of their careers, WFA recently spoke to IMAN; a London-based artist who has big plans for 2017 and beyond. Have a read below and why not listen to IMAN's latest track Wishing - above:

I first saw you at a Sofar Sounds gig in March last year, but for those who don’t know you: who is IMAN?

My name is IMAN, I am a London based artist. I write my own songs and sometimes direct and co-edit my own music videos that are on YouTube.  I have my new release called Wishing available to download and stream now on Spotify and Apple Music  

You have opened up about the conflict between doing what is right for you and doing what others expect you to do; why was it so important for you to follow what you felt was your path in life?

I’m curious about life so am always optimistic about what could be around the corner. I’m a strong believer in taking responsibility for your own life and decisions; I always knew that if I did anything other than music, it would have only been to satisfy someone else’s needs and that’s not something that would have sat well with me.

You recently released your new song: Wishing - how did the sound for that track come to be? 

When I first wrote the song it was a ballad and had a totally different chorus. That original chorus can be found on one of the remix’s for the song on Soundcloud. I felt like it needed more so took it to my genius producer Robert Rosiji and we decided to take it down the house route and I love it!

Going back a bit, you also directed your music video for an older song: Naive, tell us a bit more about why you decided to do that?

I’m an artist that tends to write in a visual way so for some songs whilst writing, I’ll have visions of the videos. I think it’s important to be involved in every aspect of my art and it was my first go at directing anything. It was so rewarding watching it back for the first time and I still get people telling me they enjoyed watching it. 

What does it mean to be an independent artist in 2017? And is this what pushed you to start your own label: ShopFrontRecords?

Being an indie artist right now means knowing all aspects of not just recording music but understanding what goes into releasing the music in order to make sure the music is given the right platforms for it to stand a chance of even being heard. With more and more artists releasing their music, it’s important to know about things like distribution and licensing deals etc. I’m still learning my way and I’m enjoying the process.

I started my own label because I have never signed any record or publishing deal before and was done waiting for a label to offer me something. So, I was like its time to just get on with it and learn from mistakes along the way.

You’ve worked with some of the biggest names around, from Ed Sheeran to Rudimental - what did you learn from those experiences?

That it’s important to always stay humble and never forget that creating the best music I can is what’s at the heart of it all.

Without giving away too much, what can we expect from you in 2017?

2017 is a big year for me. My single Wishing is available for download and streaming now. I feel like after all this time quietly behind the scenes developing myself, it’s time for me to showcase properly what I’ve been up to. I have a 15-date UK tour and will be releasing numerous singles throughout the year to coincide with it all. I’m already writing songs with 2018 releases in mind. 

Growing my fanbase and getting them involved in my journey is going to be fun, I want to grow more artistically, write new songs and collaborate with other artists. Lots and lots more to come, stay close to me here – where you can also get a free download to a totally new and exclusive song.

Lastly, this is a question WFA likes to ask all interviewees: what does success mean to you?

Feeling at peace with you are and where you are in life.

If you want to hear more about Iman's story, have read of her bio