Let me introduce you to Los Angeles based music artist, Iman Europe. Iman is a dope rapper, singer, writer, women’s empowerment and wellness advocate, and overall creative spirit. To guide your journey through her music catalog and enhance the experience, I’m going to help you get to know the artist a little better. Instead of writing the typical third-person artist bio, I decided to share her story through the lens of some of her best friends, myself included, because as the saying goes, “you can understand a lot of a person by who they hang out with.” In gathering our friend’s input on Iman’s journey thus far, several themes arose in the process. Some include describing her innate musical talent, duality & versatility, vulnerability & depth, and growth. Let’s dive into those.
Innate musical talent
“She changed how I heard the music”
Iman’s identity as a music artist didn’t fully form until college, but her innate musical inclination was apparent to anyone that spent a significant amount of time with her. Iman has always been musically inclined because it’s in her blood. Her father has worked in the music business as a producer in New York for decades and her mother’s appreciation and love of music set the foundation for her path long before she recognized it. Music permeates every part of her life including her friendship. Many of her long-term friendships were solidified through music with countless hours listening to music in her white car, finding new artists, and making music with rudimentary equipment in the early days. One friend shared how she first noticed Iman’s ability to match pitch and harmonize with any song, then later heard how Iman always pointed out the most obscure instrumentation or background adlibs that the average listener missed. She shared how just being around Iman listening to music, changed how she heard the music. She also shared how Iman’s perception and intuition when it comes to how people receive and interpret music is a skill that is hard to teach. Her natural talent mixed with her ability to spin words beautifully allows the audience to pick up exactly what she lays down.
Duality & Versatility
Iman doesn’t always have to do that gutta…she can do smooth I wanna love you rap, that’s kind of how Commitment is.
Iman was born in New York and raised in Los Angeles. If you know anything about the East coast and West coast, you know that the music and culture can be very different. New York is known for a gutta, grinding, and blunt culture resulting in a rough confidence, hustle mentality, and pride at the core of every native New Yorker. New York music is known for it in your face and relentless sound. On the other hand, Los Angeles is known for its smooth, laidback, artsy vibes resulting in a swaggy coolness every Angelino exudes, even the gang bangers. Similarly, LA’s music is underscored by bouncy melodic rhythm like its homegrown residents. Iman has flawlessly integrated that into herself and her music, making it versatile and relatable to many tastes. When asked, her friends had difficulty placing her music into one genre but described its influences as R&B, rap, hip-hop, soul, alternative, pop, and rock. Iman often expresses the duality in her personality in a single song, like Sometimes or in a single album. For example, on the internationally released album, Nami, she recites stories about love and relationships in Shift and hyping her friends and boo up for the turn-up and repping the Westside in High Tonight. She can also switch from sweetly serenading listeners about the Simple Thangs, which was featured in the Netflix movie, Nappily Ever After, to grittily rapping about her determination for success in Bound to Fly from an earlier mixtape entitled Caterpillar. Iman understands the different parts of herself and uses that to connect to different people.
Vulnerability & Depth
“Her reality pours into her music and her music wouldn’t exist without it…Her music is a direct reflection of who she is.”
You get the full human experience of a millennial Black woman when listening to Iman. You can listen to her music and hear the heartbreak, the joy, the hood, and the college-educated. You can hear a woman valuing self-love and self-care and falling in love. Her life influences her music because it is a direct reflection of her in real-time. One friend shared how Iman often pulls lyrics from her actual journal entries. In each mixtape, album, and song, she gives you a glimpse of her personal and her artistic journey. One friend dubbed Nami her best body of work because it is a musical mirror candidly depicting her life during a specific time. The parts of Iman that aren’t explicitly heard in her music, she shows on social media. On Twitter, you can see her providing commentary about societal issues and speaking life into others with positive affirmations. We can also see her comedic side, sensual side, and the ways she is approaching self-development and improvement. She definitely doesn’t have it all figured out, but that is real, that is 30, that is Black women. “We all can relate to Iman because she puts herself in the music and she is a very real person.”
Growth and Intentionality
“She talks more about her own personal experiences and her own growth…instead of just tapping into things that are more surface level.”
It wasn’t until freshman transitioning into junior year at UC Riverside, California that people, Iman included, started to recognize her music career potential. However, once she did start working the growth never stopped. Her friends humorously recall the humble beginning of her artistic journey when she was recording songs on her laptop, to recording songs on a mic in the corner of her bedroom, to a mic attached to a shoebox in the closet, to now recording in infamous studios like Red Bull Studios in LA. Iman has also grown in her ability to network and position herself in the connected and affirming circles she needs to be in. Seeing her name included in bigger conversations and celebrity spaces is exciting for her friends. She recorded in Dr. Dre’s studio, her song was placed in Netflix’s Nappily Ever After starring Sanaa Lathan, another song played on HBO’s Insecure Season 4 Episode 4, and performing on the Freeform TV show, Good Trouble, all exemplify the growth in her focus and drive. Friends also articulated the growth in her lyrical content. When you listen to her earlier music, you hear the thoughts of a woman in her early 20’s figuring life out, experiencing angst, and dipping her toe into the waters of love and relationships. Now in her late 20’s and early 30’s, her lyrics reflect the lessons gained from infatuation, the comfortability and self- acceptance, and her dedication to not just making it in the music industry, but thriving in life period.
Everyone around Iman can sense that she is on the precipice of a life-changing shift. Her friends predict her becoming a household name with the level of celebrity that feels uncomfortable because it comes with the constant scrutiny of the public eye. Her friend is also manifesting her presence at the Grammy’s as a performer and award recipient, with themselves as her entourage of course. The sky is the limit for Iman and as she continues to open herself up to tap into the full breadth of her talent and creativity she will surely be flying high for a long time.
To catch the Nami wave, check out her new song Commitment, recent release FWM! and other releases on all streaming platforms. Stay up to date on all things Iman Europe here: