Newcomer Imen Siar is proof that greatness can be found in the most unlikely of places. The 23-year-old dreamed of a music career while working in Nando’s in South London, her only creative outlet being to post videos of her singing into a mop during breaks from work.
Her talent was discovered by the New York label icons + giants, which had just been launched by two influential hitmakers Billy Mann & Benton James, whose previous credits include P!nk, John Legend and Supah Mario.
Suddenly Imen was gaining the traction her talents deserved, signing a deal with icons + giants and Warner Music’s ADA, and then making a huge debut as a featured artist on the Arabic remix of David Guetta’s ‘Family’ alongside Ty Dolla $ignand A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie.
Now Imen Siar continues her inspiring ascent as she shares her debut single ‘Lonely People’. ‘Lonely People’ is a brilliantly beguiling introduction to Imen’s talents.
The song’s strengths are undeniable - Imen’s stunning, world class vocal gift delivers an instantly memorable song that conveys a universally relatable theme in the most direct way possible. There’s no need for chasing trends, just a truly great artist performing a song of equal stature.
‘Lonely People’ was produced by Isa Machine, who is best known for her creative contributions to Florence + The Machine, and it was written by Jeff Franzel (Rhys Lewis), solo artist John Adams, and Shelly Poole (Mark Ronson, Jack Savoretti).
Imen says, “‘Lonely People’ touched me the first moment I heard it. Probably the only thing more contagious than Covid right now is isolation and loneliness, so the idea of ending loneliness spoke to me.”
The ‘Lonely People’ video expresses the song’s moving message in an understated but beautifully uplifting style. Referencing her own story, Imen is shown working a thankless shift in a cafe where the majority of its customers are immersed in their own thoughts or staring silently into their phones.
After a power cut plunges the room into darkness, Imen steps up for an impromptu performance. Inspired by the power of her voice, the customers enthusiastically share a moment together just as soon as the lights come back on.
The video was directed by rising filmmaker and photographer Josh Gallo. Imen adds: “I still work as a waitress in Nando’s and all this started with me singing into a mop on my coffee break and my label and Tiziano Ferro seeing the post and then signing me.
“We weren’t sure how we’d make the video during Covid, but I flew to America on the very day the travel ban lifted and the following day I was in a small New England town still singing into a mop, trying to add a little positivity into the world.” Imen Siar’s story was remarkable even before she was discovered.
Born to a family with Muslim faith and Moroccan heritage, she was raised in Milan before moving to London in her late teens. It was a background that required her to become truly multilingual, and she can now sing in six different languages.
Her music also earned the unexpected support and approval from her family, who Imen had previously hidden her talents from. Despite her talent, Imen remains modest.
She enjoys the tranquillity of meditation, while her social media content is highly relatable as she shares accessible fashion tips and beauty tutorials.