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An Interview With Haiqeem

A new single released from Haiqeem breeds elements of classic grunge and alternative rock with a boundless energy that becomes quickly infectious as the song boasts a massive drive and tone that turns your head from across the room.

"Wrath" has everything you want in a hard-hitting rock banger but also somehow clings to that almost nostalgic late 90s underground feel as well and does it with such a Perfection that you know it's genuine.

This band shines with presence and character as the influences that inspired them to create are always evident and present in the music.

All the while, you have something refreshing and new at the same time which is not something that you hear often in any genre, not just rock.

This band doesn't reinvent the Wheel by any means, but they take it, and they make it their own and as they do that, they are able to give off such a heavy love for their craft that it bleeds through every note.

Because of all this you have heart.

The guitar tones are killer, and the drumming is nailed but still with a loose undertone like the drummer from the Deftones for example. The vocals are packed with character and its own Swagger in the performance making them unique and memorable.

But, again the most important thing about this is that it's got tons of heart. When you have any art form that brings together a group of people or even just one person that wants to do something or create something as a passion project from the heart, you have the best art that you can see or hear.

This track has a certain boundlessness to it that makes it alluring and because of its textures and soundscapes, yes it has those hints of nostalgia in there.

But those aspects are also incredibly welcoming.

One of the other great things about this track is that it's got such a lively energy as if the song was actually recorded live on the floor.

It almost sounds like the players are feeding off of each other's energies the entire time which makes the record special.

It makes you want to see these guys perform live in your face just because the energy they captured on the track itself is so immense.

This was a great single that boasts feels and sounds in alternative rock music that we just haven't heard in a while, and it feels great to hear them now.

With such an impactful release, we wanted to have a sit-down with Haiqeem to find out where this came from and what might be coming up next for the band.

Buzz Slayers: Okay, let's start with "Wrath"! This track classic alt-rock feel, and it was addictive and vast! How did this single come about?

That single, I wrote it back in 2016 when I hit a rough patch in my life in my 20’s- It led me to fathom about divine punishment by way of deviating from one’s true will. We got around to recording a studio version in 2021. It’s inspired by several passages from the Quran and the Old Testament. I fathom it as a kind warning from divinity. I picture a sublime throne obscured with a sort of brilliance where it isn’t properly visible, issuing the vocal and the backing vocals are their angels chanting “holy holy holy”, and no I’m not a highly religious person, at all, but it’s a very interesting topic I think on sometimes.

Buzz Slayers: How did this all start for you guys as a band? When did you get together?

We got together about 7 years ago when I offered a ‘seat’ to anyone who’d Tour with me to help evolve my act, in contrast “HAIQEEM” as an artist has been around since 2010 when this project initially was an Electronic Noise Rock project, reference the first record “Nothing Sweeter”.

Buzz Slayers: What kind of things really inspire songs for you?

Break Up songs or love songs by powerhouse vocalists who know restraint are the ones that really get me, like “It’s not right, but its okay” by Whitney Houston, “Solitaire” by Laura Branigan, “Ahwak” Abdel Halim Hafez, “Sweet Dreams” by Beyonce, or “You are not Alone”, Michael Jackson

Buzz Slayers: This single has some great styles on it! Can you give us some of your biggest influences musically?

Musically some of our biggest influences are bands in Modern Rock like Disturbed, Korn, Hoobastank, and artists like Alanis Morissette, Hikaru Utada, Patti Labelle, Warda Al-Jazaira, and Aretha Franklin. In a nutshell you get this strong North American Alternative Rock sound of yesteryear that’s been flirting with some aesthetics of nu-metal with some acute soul leanings with a very Arabic-scale inspired delivery and voila. My brain is kinda wired like that.

Buzz Slayers: What are you all doing when you're NOT working on music?

When I’m not working on music, I’m usually traveling, blogging, working in or on tech, doing my contribution to society.

Buzz Slayers: Who's in all your headphones right now?

Wow, I just discovered a gem “Let there be love” by Christina Aguilera, recently I was listening to the new ‘Rock Version’ of Demi Lovato’s “Heart Attack”, “When I see you” by Fantasia, and an Alternative Hip-Hop artist called Nothing.Nowhere, Luther Vandross singing “All the Woman I Need”, and I also just discovered Taylor Dayne with “Love will lead you back”, and of course the present Taylor, Taylor Swift’s song “Karma” gets several spins from me weekly these days, ’karma is a queen…’

Buzz Slayers: Are you all doing any live performances right now?

Yes, we’ve got a show at Club Bahia in Hollywood on the 26th of this month, we’ll be giving out some tickets on Instagram soonish…

Buzz Slayers: Did you record yourself or hit a big studio for this?

We used Audio Dallas, Paul Osbourne the owner, head engineer and producer has sold millions of records out of there, so it’s somewhere in the middle of a big studio and ourselves as I did the vocal in that five star studio- but in the smallest room, and we did lead guitars at home and the producer Murray Yates (Forty Foot Echo, Juno Award Nominee) and myself gave direction to some session players in his hybrid studio Echoman Studios in Vancouver, Canada. So we mix the diy processes with the big hit studio processes to help craft our unique sound.

Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?

The next LP is called “Without My Permission” drops (finally) this summer, and our first Spanish language record called “No hay secreto para tener una vida buena” should hit the market shortly thereafter. A lot more shows, a lot more music is what’s coming soon.

Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?

To fans of our music, I want to thank each and every one of you who’s rocked with me from the early days of “Nothing Sweeter” until now, and to the fans of the newer discography. You’ve followed us from the dissonance to the melodic, words cannot express, as you know. We consider ya’ll our “extended family”. Thanks, and three-fold karma goodness to you all. Bright blessings!

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