by Philip Moss
Relationships are a key subject matter in songwriting – but it is more often than not the woe of a ‘break up’ that triggers the muse. On Stone Harbor, Naeem’s final single before the release of his Startisha LP, it is the joy of being happily coupled that brings his inspiration.
Love can also be over analysed in song – with emotions ripped and torn apart – but to Naeem it is simple: ‘There was nothing much to do, so I decide to fall in love with you.’ His relationship, which seemingly began through a mixture of chance and choice – something to fill the time perhaps – then led to his boyfriend becoming his everything – ‘Every word I read I think of you /Every song I hear I think of you / Every love I have I think of you.’ And it is the addictive melody of this chorus line, and its juxtaposition to the song’s cut up beats, that makes Stone Harbor an infectious taster for Startisha.
Signed to the 37d03d label, it was on a mix tape sold at their PEOPLE Festival in Berlin that Naeem first released music under his own name. But since then, the Baltimore native headed to Justin Vernon’s studio to complete his record with the likes of Ryan Olson (Polica), Velvet Negroni and Francis and the Lights. Startisha is out now on 37d03d.
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