Born to Chilean and Peruvian parents and based in Brooklyn -- though Washington, D.C. is his hometown -- Nick Hakim arrived in 2014 as a purposefully raw and refined balladeer with an old soul. Prior to his breakout year, he appeared on Gizmo's Red Balloon album beside the likes of Gwen Bunn and Casey Benjamin, but 2014 was when he released a pair of warmly received EPs. Where Will We Go, Pt. 1 (July) and Where Will We Go, Pt. 2 (September), both five tracks in length and predominantly acoustic, which pitched him somewhere between Jeff Buckley and Anthony Hamilton, albeit in a strictly low-key, singularly intimate fashion. Hakim steadily grew a fan base through his performances, including a stint opening for Maxwell. ~ Andy Kellman
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 19, 2017 | ATO Records
Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Qobuzism
First of all, that voice. Anything but refined, Nick Hakim's singing is cloaked in a kind of otherness. A distant song, as if from another galaxy: the American who grew up in Washington before casting anchor in Brooklyn unfurls around her a diaphanous soul. And it certainly is soul that lies at the heart of her magnificent first album Green Twins. It is as if Nick Hakim had resuscitated Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, but taking care to make them over a little, with a dash of folk here, or a blush of pop there. Through the melody there runs here an unexpected rhythm or there a surprising instrument: her musical imagination is vast enough to take in South American music she heard at home (her mother is Chilean and her father is Peruvian), or hip-hop from her teenage years... On Roller Skates, a deliberately rickety drum-machine backs up a piercing guitar, itself sickly-sounding, while Nicky Hakim's voice, in a halo of reverb, transforms the song into a waking dream. Every melody on Green Twins is bathed in a softness (never blandness) that reinforces the music's dreamlike quality. Because even if Hakim's voice could thrill fans of Curtis Harding, Cody Chesnutt, Roland Gift and Bilal, the music here is all very much her own, so much so that one wonders if she has in fact invented the gospel music of the third millennium. To be sure, this is the most spellbinding Qobuzissime of the year. © MZ/Qobuz
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