by Ayanna Jacobs-El
Soulful singer-songwriter Nick Hakim harnesses a sense of longing in an eclectic mix of songs about love on his debut album Green Twins. I was first introduced to Nick Hakim’s music through his smooth R&B jam “I Don’t Know” which featured his polished and earnest vocals drifting on top of a downtempo, jazzy groove.
Nick Hakim was born in Washington D.C. and raised in a musical household in Brooklyn, New York. His parents would sing and play nueva canción, which is a style of folk music from South America that has social and political messages, and his older brother introduced him to the D.C.’s punk scene. Hakim later went on to study Music Therapy at Berklee College of Music and released his first EP’s, the two-part Where Will We Go project. The Where Will We Go EP’s featured a soft and intimate sound that explored how isolation and intoxication affect each other.
In Green Twins Nick Hakim explores a warmer and more energetic tone with songs that range from slow drifting ballads to experimental electronic tunes. His songs still sound completely authentic and allow the listener to gain an inside look into his mind and world. Hakim’s latest release took 3 years to create, and showcases some of his best work to date. The album starts out with the title track “Green Twins,” which is a wistful song about the family he could have had. The song has elements of psychedelic rock and funk, and feature Hakim’s signature falsetto vocals intertwined with layered vocals towards the end of the track.
Another notable track off of the album is the heartfelt “Bet She Looks Like You” that features a classic soul sound with heavy reverb and an overall washed out sound. With a aural aesthetic similar to of some of Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s tracks, Hakim still manages to make the song uniquely his with his strong and emotional vocals. Another song that utilizes a cool washed out sound through the use of filters and phasers is “Roller Skates.” This song has a chill summer-like vibe that treks along steadily with chunky guitars and cool knocking percussion.
Towards the middle of the album, Hakim explores a saxophone filled sound with “Miss Chew.” This song features saxophone playing from fellow Berklee graduate Jesse Scheinin of Jesse & Forever. Throughout the track, the saxophone can be heard playing anything from beautiful melodic lines to honks and squawks over the tight groove and Hakim’s processed vocals.
I like that Nick Hakim has the ability to create a rich, emotional atmosphere with his music. I found his soothing voice layered on top of interesting musical arrangements to be particularly intriguing as well as his ability to share his vulnerability through his lyrics. Many artists create a completely new image for themselves through their music, but Nick Hakim gives us his true personality and genuine feelings in Green Twins, which is very refreshing in today’s music industry.
With musical influences like the soul singers Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, Nick Hakim is able to blend ideas found in classic soul music with his own modern sound. The result is a beautifully crafted album that is filled with honesty and emotion. Green Twins is currently available to purchase and stream on all major music sites. Be sure to follow Nick Hakim on his social media sites and check out his upcoming tour dates.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SONG OFF OF NICK HAKIM’S GREEN TWINS? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS!