Emerging star Aleem is a character who seems unfazed by his recent fame.
Currently touring with girl group Fifth Harmony on the back of the release of his first single, ‘Find Out’, MM sat down with the American to find out all about him.
And one of the first things he tells MM is that he’s not the type of person who gets nervous, even playing huge arenas.
He said: “I’ve been performing for the past two years so i have my routine down. You get a few jitters going up in arenas but once you get out there it’s just another day at work.”
Home for Aleem is Chicago, the city where he discovered music teaching himself the drums from an early age before turning his eye to playing guitar and writing songs.
Despite being fairly new to the music industry, he’s already worked with the likes of Jon Levine and Ryan Stewart, pop producers who can boast the likes of Carly Rae Jepsen, Owl City, Cher Lloyd and Selena Gomez as artists in their phone contacts:
“Whenever you get a chance to work with producers who have multiple top ten hits on the radio it’s great to get their expertise and direction on the project. It was an absolute pleasure to work with industry professionals on this record.”
Recording albums can be, though rewarding, one of the more time consuming and difficult elements of a songwriters life, and for Aleem this is certainly the case. But, intriguingly, short and sweet seemed to be the prevailing philosophy behind the writing and recording of his upcoming record:
“It’s an absolute grind, but my new record was actually created in ten days. We recorded the album in Toronto and I only had two weeks off to get into the studio and record it all so we wrote and recorded a song every day for ten days and that turned out to be the record.
“It’s a tough process but I love it and I can’t wait to get back into the studio and doing it again.”
Ten days, even for musicians more experienced than Aleem, is an impressively short amount of time to produce any album. But the draw of Aleem’s music, looking beyond the gloss of high-end production, lies in the skill that songs like Find Out are written:
“My philosophy is that when you’re writing a song you’re not just writing a song, you’re telling a story. I like to be able to put myself in the shoes of the listener and write on topics that are easily relatable, you know heartbreak, love, friendship, everything that we go through in life.”
Find Out itself, Aleem tells MM is a telling example of these musical values. A catchy pop anthem about cheating, Aleem’s striking vocals stand out amongst the slick production to make a song that you can’t help but tap your foot to.
Talking about the songwriter’s influences, it’s clear which stars Aleem draws from to create his sound.
“My go to artist is Bruno Mars. That cat can write pop, golden hits and still be relevant today, hes my biggest idol, I love John Mayer, the Script. Those are my top three and I kind of think you get the pop vibe from Bruno Mars the singer songwriter vibe with John Mayer and the rock vibe with the Script.”
With a record coming out after Aleem finishes his European tour soon, it’s difficult to see where the songwriter will find any down time, although he tells MM that there will be a break before heading back to the studio:
“I will take a little break but I can’t take too much of a break. It’ll be nice to go home as its close to thanksgiving time in the states and so everything will be winding down, I can spend some time with the family and then head back to work.”
There is little doubt that the work never stops for an aspiring songwriter, and that Aleem is certainly an artist to keep in mind for the future.