Haiqeem is an Alternative Electro-Pop/Rock Singer/Songwriter he was born in Oklahoma City, OK in 1992. It wasn’t until his family moved to Dallas and he entered a singing contest at the age of eleven where his performing talents where discovered by a school teacher that fuelled his obsession with performance, lyric, and song. Throughout his childhood he took small gigs around town looking for opportunities to compete in local talent shows. At the age of fifteen, Haiqeem decided to pursue music as a career and began writing lyrics for his indie début Nothing Sweeter (2010).
Haiqeem searched the entire Dallas area for songwriters, and joined and went separate ways with four bands (due to the lack of the band members not agreeing on specific terms), before settling into an autobiographical solo career. As the singer refers to as; “wearing one’s heart on your sleeve, and choosing to force yourself into the public eye.” Despite being an eloquent young-man of twenty-two years old, his very own singing voice is quite a contradiction of such; that reminds Rock music fans of Richard Butler of the Psychedelic Furs who seemingly got drunk off a bottle of Gary Numan. Yet, faintly reminiscent of R.E.M. Haiqeem is indeed Nothing Sweeter.
Early 2013 Haiqeem announced his sophomore effort “Finally Over You” available internationally 03.21.13
“Nothing Sweeter” (single) has peaked at #24 on Alt/Pop-Brit Pop charts and #185 on Rock charts Indie-Music charts and #112 as an Artist on Indie-Charts.com The Album; “Nothing Sweeter” at #131.
HAIQEEM released the upcoming single for his sophomore effort “Socialite”, the first single is “Socialite Party” released on 09/13/2010 instantly gaining air-play in local industrial clubs. The album “Socialite” was released on May 1, 2011. HAIQEEM has begun writing and recording demos for his third album.The First Single “The Fact” from the currently untitled third album leaked on YouTube September 5, 2011 with a release date of September 21st, 2011.
Metal Empire: Would you care to introduce yourself for our audience? What is your name and what do you do?
Haiqeem: Hi, my name is “HAIQEEM” pronounced like the name ‘Hakeem’ which is in part my real name; Al Hakeem Muhammad II. I am a singer/songwriter, I can play pretty much anything with strings as a have a background in classical music.
Metal Empire: What are you up to at the moment? Is there something you’re working on currently?
Haiqeem: At the moment I’m recording my fourth studio album, which I’m hoping will be my first “physical” international release, at the moment I’m on my way to meet with a new guitarist; we’re hoping to start another set with a more thrash/ metal influence then I usually go for. The new guitarist may possibly be playing on the new record as well.
Metal Empire: Where are you from? Do you feel your location has any effect on the music you make?
Haiqeem: I was born in Oklahoma City and find myself up there almost every three weeks again, and have lived abroad, however I live in Dallas, Texas. Here in Dallas although in the pop/rock arena no one ever mentions her hardly but we are living under the influence of artists like Kelly Clarkson who’s from Burleson or Jessica and Ashlee Simpson who are also from North Texas (Abilene, and Waco respectively). Despite the fact that I’m clearly a “hard rock” recording artist, I feel there’s obviously some sort of country-twang going on at least in the annunciation in there nonetheless, we can’t hear ourselves like how other’s hear us. I suppose that has fuelled my lust for folksy music.
Metal Empire: How would you describe your music to someone unfamiliar with your work?
Haiqeem: The first three records I’ve made, admittedly bouncing off walls that social norms have had yet to acknowledge so we were always hovering somewhere between post-grunge, noise rock, no wave, and a ton of experimental rock, with a dash of nu-metal. My music is usually placed in the section labeled “Alternative”.
Metal Empire: I hear you have a record coming out in the summer, can you tell us a little more about it?
Haiqeem: This record I’m dedicating it to the people who grew up in Suburbia in the early to mid-2000’s (As from first-hand experience it was ‘the worst’), and to my alter-ego. We’re going for a hard-rock album with intense hip-hop, grunge, and pop influence, with melodic taste. We’re also looking in to a five city tour of such in North America at least
Metal Empire: Can you talk about your production process? How do you go about writing new material?
Haiqeem: As a people watcher, subjectively any experience I have positive, negative, or neutral usually sparks the fire of my song writing process where I usually lock myself in a room with a drum machine, instrument, production, etc and out flies the pen and paper which is usually followed by me finding myself in the studio a few days later attempting to recreate the demo. Unfortunately I feel that I capture the best and most emotive performance the first time so what usually is the expected result becomes something I intensely fall in love with or ends up in the “pile of demos”.
Metal Empire: Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into music?
Haiqeem: When I was eleven I thought I’d screw around at a talent show… and I won. Shortly there afterwards a school teacher was telling me that I had a ‘good voice’ and giving me lessons has been uphill since.
Metal Empire: What and who are some of your major influences? Fans always love getting to know their favorite artists. Please give a few details about what you enjoy about creating music and what inspires you to make it.
Haiqeem: When I’m not listening to myself sing, I’m listening to Disturbed, Black Sabbath, Dido, Alanis Morissette, Hikaru Utada, French Montana, Gackt, Miyavi, Demi Lovato, Laura Branigan, Joe Blow, Tupac, Kelly Clarkson, Lenny Kravitz, Patti Labelle, Do As Infinity, Katy Perry, RATT, or Dir En Grey.
Metal Empire: What’s the worst/best venue or show you’ve ever played? What made it so good/bad?
Haiqeem: I was doing a three song set for my last record at ‘house of blues’ when our music equipment completely failed. Ha- It was preparing for the worst when I thought to do the show a-capella which lead to me making connections with my audience on a more personal level then I’d predicted. The lapped it right up, so that January 2013 show last year is hovering between the best and worst show I’ve ever given.
Metal Empire: Have you played any shows or toured alongside any major artists? Are there any shows that come to mind that you feel make a great story? If so, tell us about it.
Haiqeem: I was invited to play SXSW, but my record isn’t finished so I just pulled out last minute. I’ve opened for what I think is quite a number of acts, nonetheless I’ve been so self-absolved in my own work that I’ve forgotten to gush.
Metal Empire: Is there any band or artist you would give anything to play a show with? If so, who are they and why?
Haiqeem: Open for Metallic, Def Leppard, Marilyn Manson- no I wouldn’t give ‘anything’ so to speak, but those would be fun.
Metal Empire: What are you hopes for the future? Where do you see yourself as an artist this time next year or the year after?
Haiqeem: This time next year, since I’m technically two records in the “hole” so to speak, ‘on top of my game’ for once touring easier and not declining offers due to ill-preparation. The year after next year opening for the a-list.
Metal Empire: If I was to turn up at a show, what should I expect from you in terms of music and showmanship? Is there any crazy stuff you do to pull the crowd?
Haiqeem: It’s always a hypnotic show I warn, before being followed by notorious head bopping.
Metal Empire: I once heard someone say, that to be in a successful band it requires all of you to be like a family or best friends. Do you agree with that statement? Please tell us about your own experiences being part of a band.
Haiqeem: Depends, music in my opinion is an empathetic science. If you cannot learn the ebbs and flows of the individual you’re working with then prepare to make ruckus. When I was first starting out on the professional level I had parted ways with at least ten different songwriters, instrumentalists simply because we could not click When an individual finds that “missing link” so to speak, it’s smooth sailing from there on.
Metal Empire: Do you receive much fan mail, and if so what’s the craziest, creepiest or coolest thing you’ve ever gotten from a fan?
Haiqeem: Where I receive “Haiqeem” mail other acts are usually sending me their demo’s. A greeting card is the creepiest so far, give me something I can use! I hate receiving greeting cards, seems like there should be at least a hundred bucks inside.
Metal Empire: Just for fun, what’s your current ringtone? Why did you choose it
Haiqeem: An electronic industrial song I recorded back when I was 19 called “Socialite Party”; it’s sung in the most minor of minor keys I could transcribe, swathed in dissonant harmonies so it creeps everyone out who plays it. I save a version for black tie events.
Metal Empire: Thank you for taking the time to speak to Metal Empire about what you do. Do you have any final words, or anything you would like to add?
Haiqeem: Thank You Metal Empire Magazine, it’s been fun.
Haiqeem Websites and Social Media
from Metal Empire http://www.metalempire.co.uk/2014/03/haiqeem-talks-metal-empire/