Interview: IMAN

Updated: Sep 25, 2018

Singer/songwriter IMAN on bonding with Ed Sheeran in McDoanld's and their unreleased song


London-based artist IMAN returns after her last independent release which peaked at #3 on the official UK Urban music week club chart.

New song ‘For You’ is an upbeat and gentle track in which she reflects on the decision she was forced to make as a teenager to leave her family in order to pursue her music career.

Having grown up in a household where music and creativity were feared rather than encouraged, the track is about having the strength to follow your calling, take chances and risk everything to follow your own path despite potentially losing everything you know and love. This is reflected in the gentle, sympathetic, and empathetic tone overlaid with a strength of vocals. 

IMAN - who has been named New Momentum Artist for 2018 by PRS foundation - has recorded with Ed Sheeran, Wilkinson and the producer Mike Dean (Kanye West, Jay Z, 2Pac, Frank Ocean).

In an EXCLUSIVE chat with Lizzie's Lowdown's Lizzie Baker, the star tells all about her new song, the lyrics she wrote with 'Shape of You' hitmaker Ed that are still waiting to be recorded and how they bonded over a McDoanld's...

Tell us about your new single 'For You', has it been like therapy for you letting out your difficult past through music?

Yeah I guess they are, there are some songs though that I still can’t sing live. I can't help but write about things that have really happened and I guess in the middle of all that it helps.

Tells us about the line, 'My selfishness a curse, I wish could reverse, but if you had the chance would you do the same?', who is that aimed at?

That’s aimed at me! I think leaving the way I did was selfish - but it was something I absolutely had to do for my own sanity. It’s basically me saying I wish I didn’t have to be this selfish and asking for compassion from those I’d hurt.

Have your parents warmed to your music career yet, would they attend a concert now?

I havent had my parents attend any of my shows together but I’m sure at some point they’ll make it down.

If you could give 16 year old you any advice what would you say?

I’d say believe in yourself. For a long time I doubted myself with low self-esteem and I realise how much time was wasted as a result. Looking back I was good but was way too hard on myself.

What did you learn from the writing sessions you did for Kanye's album? Are you excited for his new music, he's said to have been in the studio with Drake?

I learned that networking and always being professional is key.

The reason I got that gig came from me being in LA two years previous and networking.

Obviously I must have left a good impression on someone as they remembered me later and called me down to the studio.

Kanye is an icon and his work is always well thought out and hightly artistic. If him and Drake have been collaborating for an album then I know it's going to be incredibly strong music!

What was it like working with Ed Sheeran and just being in the same room as him?

Ed is like a tap of creativity, he goes on and on with it and its of such a high calibre.

Do you have any songs left over from your sessions with Ed that could be released?

We write two songs, the other never got recorded but I have it scrbbled down somewhere.

Is it true you went for a McDonald's with Ed, can you remember his order, was there lots of ketchup?

Yeah haha. We both had burgers, if there was loads of ketchup that would’ve been for me!

Which other British artists are you inspired by?

I love Ray BLK, Disciples.

Getting a number three single on the Urban chart is a big feat, what else is on your bucket list?

I would love to fit in more travelling every year, have sold out shows and bungee jump!

IMAN's new single 'For You' is out now.