Naeem is a Baltimore-born, Los Angeles-based artist. He announced the release od the first full length titled Startisha which will be out on June 12th via 37d03d. “Simulation” is the first excerpt which features Swamp Dogg and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver). Watch the official video directed by Scott J. Ross and himself.

Startisha introduces Naeem as a restlessly creative artist. Impressionistic and genre-bending, Startisha exemplifies artistic, daring and emotional intelligence while exploring new ideas and sounds, and philosophically excavating the artist’s histories. This music comes straight from Naeem’s heart, representing the journey he’s taken to get to this point as well as what lies in the future for him.

Studio work on Startisha started four years ago after Juwan linked up with producers Sam Green and Grave Goods in Philadelphia. After sessions in Philadelphia and New York, Juwan decamped to Minneapolis and holed up in Vernon’s home studio, where Startisha continued to come together with contributions from Vernon, Ryan Olson (Gayngs, Polica), Swamp DoggVelvet Negroni, Francis and the Lights, and regular collaborators Amanda Blank and Micah James. 

In Juwan’s words, Startisha presented an opportunity to move on from past work under different monikers, and strike out under his own name, with the experimentation in the music a parallel to the personalization of its subject matter. The challenge was to “write songs from a personal place, and to write love songs – both things I’ve never done before.” Throughout, he sings about the ideas of self-care and the attention economy, the love for his boyfriend, and personal memories of growing up in Baltimore.