Living in Berlin, Germany, but born and raised in London…New folk singer-songwriter Reema, shares her thoughts on her new release ‘What The Whisper Said’, out on 8th December. The standout track is lifted from ‘The LowSwing Sessions’, a dazzling collaboration between Reema and producer, composer and arranger Guy Sternberg, as part of his analogue label initiative, LowSwing Records…
Hi Reema! Please introduce yourself to our readers:
Hi! I’m Reema. I’m a song construction worker, fabric designer and illustrator who makes hand made, heartfelt, bitter-sweet music.
What’s your new single ‘What The Whisper Said’ all about?
What the Whisper Said’ is a dark ghost story about an old man driven mad by a secret that he and his former lover kept until she died. He hasn’t spoken since.
You’ve been compared to the likes of Beth Orton and and Lisa Hannigan, would you say they’re fair comparisons?
I’m very flattered! I love those two ladies very much. I think my music is definitely along those lines.
If you could collaborate with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Stevie Nicks because she’s such a powerful inspiring musical force, but also because I print my own fabrics from my drawings. I’d love to give her a silk scarf to wear. Ethan Johns is my hero producer but I also love his music for his personal project. I’d love to sing with him too.
What was it like working with Guy Sternberg on your new vinyl release ‘The LowSwing Sessions’?
Guy and I both share a passion for capturing a moment with live recording and are both analogue recording enthusiasts. The idea to record something live to tape without the use of any computers excited me so much. Guy’s avant-garde and jazz influenced arrangements of my minimal, hand made folk songs was a special collaboration that we both had so much fun with. It was very nerve-wracking to record because I had up to 14 musicians playing live with me and we were recording to tape so we were not editing out mistakes. It was a huge rush to play together with such wonderful musicians and to hear my songs in a different light with Guy’s stunning arrangements. It came to life in real-time for me!
Tell us a bit about The LowSwing Sessions:
The Lowswing sessions is a completely live, analogue recorded vinyl that was created 100% computer free. The artwork is hand drawn by me and it’s a hand-numbered limited edition. It’s a beautiful collaboration between my delicate folk-inspired songs and Guy Sternberg’s dark avant-garde and jazz influenced arrangements. We recorded in Berlin with up to 14 musicians at a time including trombones, trumpets, cello, flute, viola, bass clarinet, Wurlitzer, clarinet, piano, hammond organ, bass, drums, electric guitar.
What do you love about vinyl?
Of course the sound quality but the beauty of a record as an object. The artwork, the feel of it and the ceremony of putting it on. You hear the music as one continuous piece and can discover new favourite songs amongst those that immediately hit you.
What’s your favourite vinyl record?
I have many that I really love but my favourite at the moment is my copy of The Wailers ‘Catch a Fire’ with it’s 1973 Zippo cover. It’s pretty damaged unfortunately but it’s still so beautiful! My copy of Ethan Johns’ ‘The Reckoning’ is also a favourite.
Any advice for newcomers making their way in the music industry?
Don’t wait for anyone! Nobody is going to do it for you. Don’t waste your time trying to catch the eye of industry folks, build a following, play shows and put yourself out there. Slow and steady creates the healthiest of long-term careers.
Any live dates coming up?
Yes! Watch my Facebook for details of when I’m playing near you! – facebook.com/reema – Come along and don’t forget to say hi.
And finally, where can we find you online?
I’m on Facebook with new videos, news and some live streams from shows – facebook.com/reema – and join me on Instagram if you want to see what I’m up to and for little music performances or you’re interested in pictures of my large fat cat, Gomez. (instagram.com/reemamusic).