At Motown recording sessions there was a strict dress code–suits-and-ties, dresses, snazzy shoes–befitting its professional, workmanlike approach to crafting hits. The Brooklyn-via-D.C. singer Nick Hakim takes some influence from Motown, but his songs are born from an entirely different atmosphere. He leads a pretty typical twentysomething lifestyle, full of late nights and questionable decisions. But he started documenting his relationships in song form, writing and recording in the early morning. “Dunkin Donuts coffee was my friend, Hakim quips. “I would set up a mic, record, and later make sense of whatever came out.”
On his debut EP, Where Will We Go Pt 1. (out July 14), those late nights and early mornings ooze from the speakers. Amps buzz in the background and everything is closely recorded–you feel like you’re right there inside Hakim’s headspace. On “Cold,” he pulls heartache from a gentle groove, with subtle accents turning the song into a jazz and soul lullaby. For a moment, it feels like time stops, just before the day unfolds yet again.