Vancouver-based R&B Singer and Songwriter, Hatim is rapidly growing his fan base with a unique sound that blends his musical influences of Soul, Funk & his African and Middle Eastern roots.
Developing a definitive vocal style, the way he fuses together his essence through his music is now present throughout the rhythms, scales, and vocal styles of his latest work.
Hatim now returns with the release of his highly anticipated EP, 'Facade.' This is a follow up to the 2019 release of his debut EP, 'Magic.' 'Facade' is a deeply introspective collection of eight tracks that weave through themes of vulnerability, the search for love, and empowerment.
It came into existence through Hatim’s tumultuous relationship with the word 'Facade,' and what it represented. With time, however, this prompted more reflection for Hatim and an exploration of the walls we put up between ourselves and the outside world and how we lose out on so many meaningful and authentic experiences as a result.
The eight-track record of 'Facade,' begins with the alluring introductory track, “See, the World (Intro).” Through the warm embrace of the instrumentation, the delicate distortion in the guitar being played adds mesmerizing factors to the striking vocal performance that Hatim delivers. As we are welcomed to the tantalizing, wide vocal range from this artist, we are deeply captivated by the genuine development of where this song commences and where it concludes. As lyrics of pain and question come into play, Hatim takes on the challenge of walking alone to find the once lost soul that he bears. Vanishing into the ease of this sonic venture, you find yourself gracefully riding the waves of Hatim as he sets the glorious artistic tone for 'Facade.'
The title track of the project, “Facade,” features Vancouver based Hip-hop artist, Missy D. Driving home the thesis of “Facade,” we are stimulated to endure the exploration of the numerous walls that we put up between ourselves and others. The sweet harmonious melodies that Hatim provides, soothe our souls as we slip into the intoxicating grace radiated. Missy D adds an empowering drive of her clear and present lyrical abilities to flavor the lyrical blend at hand. The collaborative effort of both artists sits peacefully on the ear as their imaginative talents complement each other in the sonic development of this enticing composition.
“Breathe,” has us swooning over the colossal harmonies that Hatim presents in the saccharine resonance of this record. The earnest, slow-tempo of the instrumentation pulsates through the speakers as you gently glide across your living room floor as you feel the spirit of his music in your core. We start to hear different cultures shine through in this piece as the tempo switches up at the bridge, Hatim presents his Middle Eastern roots as he serenades us in the glorious sounds of the Arabic language and takes us all the way home with note sustaining bliss. The caliber in which he performs “Breathe,” has us all taking this gentle reminder to heart. Sometimes three deep breaths can fix it all.
We all appreciate an indescribable love song; but what if you never took on the challenge to craft one because you’ve never felt that way? Well, Hatim displays immense emotion in showing us precisely that in, “Love Songs.” The warm embrace of the strummed guitar sets the brilliant tones of this nostalgic R&B inspired melody. Taking notes directly from the playbook of the ’90s and early 2000s, we find ourselves instantly drawn towards this creative take of Hatim’s own journaled love song. Dazzling us in the unfathomable resonance of his vocal range, Hatim takes us through the notes of his soul in this love that is not yet dedicated to anyone in particular.
“Are You the One?” has an endless supply of groove radiating from the core. The heavy syncopated elements take us right back to the nostalgia of an era where funk ruled all. The up-beat, vibrance of this track has us feeling unmatched energy that only Hatim can provide listeners. Delving into the questions that can be heavy on our brain when someone is occupying our headspace, Hatim expresses his own vulnerable thoughts that have us relating in the most sincere manner. The way that Hatim pours himself upon this beat, we are captivated by the memorable chorus he delivers in “Are You the One?”
The sixth song on the tracklist is a heavenly pause in the composition that is, 'Facade.' “Boulder (Interlude),” is an a cappella delicacy that is true to Hatim in every style exuded. All of the reverberated vocal hums and harmonies create an enormous atmosphere in which the elements that are fused together have you picking your jaw up off of the floor. When your speakers are submerged in production quality of this caliber, you can’t help but to soak it all in and then click repeat. Hatim’s nimble exhibition in a showcase of his tough exterior proves to his listeners that he wants to overcome the obstacle life puts in his way.
“Life Happens,” draws us into the somber timbre that the arrangement provides. As we take a step back and reflect on the words that Hatim puts into retrospect, we can hear the longing and despair that he puts forth as he hones in on various emotions that happen as time passes us by. With a profound sense of desire backing his every move, Hatim can be heard leaving it all on the table with each empowered expression in the mix. As 'Facade,' approaches the completion, we can appreciate the earnest development that the progression of this record has to offer as our senses remain heightened.
The final installment of this celebrated eight-track project is titled, “For Me.” Commencing with the sanctioning vocalization that Hatim blesses us with, we reminisce on the vulnerability provided. “For Me,” lives up to the high expectations that Hatim set out for himself, and now the high standard to which we hold him to. As he cultivates an authentic dominance in the way that he carries himself, we can hear his last words on the project shining a light on the breaking down of all walls, all facades, and all things not Hatim. As he acknowledges his becoming, in the mature foot he puts forward, Hatim raises all bars with the themes and message delivered.
Bearing a fresh layer of himself on this project, this stands to be the most authentic version of himself that he has allowed his audience to see this far. Hamit wants to drive home that emotional connection with his audience as he stresses the importance of representing the full spectrum of his humanity as a Black male in today’s climate. 'Facade,' says it all.
Hello Hatim, welcome to BuzzMusic, and congratulations on the heartfelt release of your EP, 'Facade.' You shed an immense amount of emotion on this project. Could you please tell your listeners; what moment inspired the thesis of 'Facade?'
Thank you! It feels amazing to have it out there in the world! The word "Facade" itself holds a lot of meaning for me. A few years ago, I was processing a difficult time and saw a therapist for a couple of months. I would sit down and start talking and he would interrupt me 5 minutes in and tell me that I was presenting a "facade" - I promise you it was his favorite word and I hated it! In the beginning, I would get really defensive every time he said that, but over the years I've really internalized that concept and reflected on where it was coming from. I realized that I really did feel the need to project a certain image for other people, even those closest to me. Obviously, my first instinct was to process that through song, so the title track was born and I spent the years following that writing increasingly personal and more vulnerable music.
On the sixth track presented on 'Facade,' you fashion a highly intoxicating creation by using only your vocals on “Boulder (interlude).” We would love to know; how was the creative process for that specific song different than the others on the EP?
That interlude is one of my favorite moments on the album. I was just messing around on the keyboard and found a pattern I thought was interesting and for some reason, I decided to record it with my voice instead of an instrument. I initially thought it would just be a background part for a full song but I kept building on it and suddenly I had this full a cappella demo. I got in touch with Sam Dabrusin, a good friend who was the musical director for the a cappella choir I sang for in a university, and asked him to sprinkle some magic on the arrangement. We went back and forth on a few changes and the final arrangement was born. One of the most amazing parts of that process was recording some of the parts for that song simultaneously with Sam in the studio - we didn't take turns, we just sang it together so if one of us messed up the whole take was messed up! I do my own background most of the time so it was really cool to change it up. I really feel like that song allows me to bring in a part of my musical history that people probably wouldn't have assumed within the context of my broader musical identity
Out of the eight tracks presented, do you have a song that resonates with you the most?
It changes every day, and I will say it's changed significantly since I've released the EP and started getting feedback from folks on the songs that affected them the most. The one that consistently resonates with me though is "Breathe". Lyrically, it talks to a struggle that I still embody every single day - balancing the "hustle" mentality with opportunities to just breathe and reflect on whether I'm striving towards the right things. What makes this one really special, though, is the creative process behind the music. The song started with a groove that I patterned after a Sudanese rhythm (even though I've never lived there, Sudan is where I'm from and I'm pretty connected to the music), and then there's a transition in the end to a section sung in a Sudanese dialect of Arabic, but in a Middle Eastern scale over a Middle Eastern backdrop - I grew up in Abu Dhabi and am also pretty connected to Arabic music overall. So it feels like the combination of all the different parts of my cultural background and it's the most experimental track on the EP - I'm really proud of that one.
What was it like working with Hip-hop artist Missy D on the title track, "Facade?"
It was one of my favorite experiences. Missy and I have known each other since before either of us released our first EPs. She is actually my true, real-life friend. On top of that, she is SUPER talented. She's been inspiring me for years as an artist and when I was making the song "Facade" I knew that she was the person for it. That song will always be special to me and I wanted to have someone on it who would get it. We talked for a long time about the song, about what it means and why I wrote it before she started writing and when she did, she absolutely killed it. I'll never forget that studio session - Missy, the producer David T and I are all good friends so the energy was amazing, we laughed the whole way through and supported each other to make the best song we could.
What would you like your listeners to take away from your music in terms of themes and messages?
Ultimately, I hope that people will be able to truly emotionally connect with at least one song on the EP - even the fun ones! I consciously made sure that even when I was singing about a new crush on "Are You The One?", I explored the insecurities we all feel in that process. I want people to listen to this EP and come away thinking about how they approach their relationships and how much they do or don't let others in. Even if you don't come out with an answer, just acknowledging the feeling is such an important first step!