Emerging singer-songwriter I.M the artist talks individuality, motivation, musical highlights and her latest release ‘Bleeding Blue’

What inspired you to begin a career in music?

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t surrounded by music, as both a listener and performer. I’d always collect albums of my favourite artists, and spend hours just scrolling through those little lyric booklets that came with them. I very quickly grew passionate about not just singing, but storytelling, in all it’s forms. Going to concerts always reminds me of why I do this. That connection and energy you share with the audience, and the impact your work can have on others, is the most inspiring to me. There’s no real specific time stamp or singular source, this has just always been the dream – to be able to create stories from my own life and the world around me.

What differs you and your sound from other upcoming artists in the music industry?

I think for artists there’s often this pressure to find your “sound” or your image. When I was 16/17, I was also stuck… questioning, “what makes me me?” but I quickly realised that the moment I stopped trying so hard to figure it out, I started making music that could speak for itself. I gave myself permission to create art that feels real to me, regardless of how that sounds to others. I pride myself on being authentic. I take influence and inspiration from an array of artists and genres. I’m drawn to experimentation, and that allows me to constantly progress. I write like poetry, so I’m not bound by structure, but instead, free to create music that shifts and moves, and is alive. My sound is different, because it’s my sound.

Your latest release ‘Bleeding Blue’ is out now. Can you please describe the creative process and explain the meaning behind the single and graphic video?

Creating ‘Bleeding Blue’ was really therapeutic. I was going through a rough time with a friend, and I needed to get things off my chest – but I also wanted to write from a broader scope. As a 23 year old, I feel like I’m in that phase of life where I’m growing apart from a lot of people, as I’m sure many can relate to. I wanted to speak on those growing pains. We don’t really ever talk about how hard that transition can be. Everybody hears about relationships and heartbreak, but losing somebody, platonically, especially if you’ve been good friends for a long time can be just as difficult. If I remember correctly, I finished writing it in a night, and then began building on the production and recording/mixing, with my producer (Alex Dopierala) in our next session. The artwork and graphic visual really just plays on the concept visually. They portray how it feels to hold on to somebody who’s drifting away from you – the rope starts wearing thin. It’s draining.

Everyone experiences good days and bad days, as a musician, when you have a bad day, what motivates you to keep moving and look ahead to the future?

I think about how far I’ve come. There will be days when you feel dishearten and like you might just give up… and when that happens, I try to sit with my younger self. I think about the little girl who was too shy to share her work or sing in front of her classmates. The little girl who dreamed so big that people told her she was crazy, and sometimes, they still do. She pushes me to keep going, because I’m just in love with it. It’s really that simple. I can’t not create. So we keep pushing. I’ve learnt that you have to celebrate the small victories too – they’ll give you fire.

In your own opinion, what is the most meaningful song you wrote? What makes you say that one?

‘Therapy’ will always have a special place in my heart… not only was it my debut single, but it’s also deeply personal. I speak about my complex relationship with music, the hardships that come with dream chasing and the importance of erasing the stigma around mental health. I always hoped it could offer some comfort to those listening, and companionship to those who feel alone in their thoughts. I’d also give an honorary mention to ‘Real Talk 2.0’ which is a collaboration track I made with Alex Dopierala and Jack Light. I really wanted to address the current climate, and bring awareness to the brutal reality that so many people are facing.

Throughout your musical career, have you experienced any ‘wow’ moments? Those moments that you stop to reflect and can’t believe you are where you are?

I had my first radio play a few days ago, and that felt pretty major to me. It was real special to hear myself being presented and played, and I’m sure I’ll always remember that moment. Every message of love from my listeners really touches me too. You go from creating in your room all alone to people actually listening and engaging and bringing new meaning to your art and damn it feels powerful. I’m grateful, and hopeful that the best is yet to come.

What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?

I’d have to say you gotta love it more than anything. Because it’s fucking tough. It’s irregular schedules and self-investing. It’s learning to balance your life and stand on your own, because more often than not, most of your friends can’t relate. It’s having the courage and faith to take the road less travelled. You gotta be committed to you craft. It’s like being in a relationship with your art. Stay authentic to yourself, always. Follow your own timeline, and trust your journey.

What does the foreseeable future hold for you as an artist?

More music making, for sure. That’s always at the centre of the hustle, and it’s an everyday thing. I want to get more visually creative in my projects, and I hope for an array of future performing opportunities at bigger venues, with bigger audiences – but I know that the world is in a rough place right now and it’s all so uncertain, so I’m taking it a day at a time… trying to be patient. In the meantime, I’m glad to be able to focus on my writing and connect more with my listeners online.

Did you learn any new skills during lockdown?

Amidst the madness, lockdown gave me a lot of time to reflect and spend time doing the things that I hadn’t had time to do. I was able to practice more piano & guitar and get back into painting and just generally focus on my mental health.

Anything else you would like to add?

I’m currently working on some records, and I’m aiming to release something in the autumn-time, so go follow me on my socials to keep updated. But until then, ‘Bleeding Blue’ is out now on all major streaming platforms – go check it outttt!

Connect with I.M the artist

Soundcloud | YouTube | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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