Interviews Music

Kaleem: On creativity, maturing with his art and how he stays true to his passion.

We recently got a chance to speak to the Miami-based creative, Kaleem, who was previously known as Phresh James. We came across Kaleem’s music through digging for music online and we discovered some work by Mr.Manuvers who happens to be Kaleem’s frequent collaborator. Through Mr. Manuvers we came to discover Kaleem’s musical work and the first song we found was the 2012 released single called ThinkingHat. The visuals and the lyrics of the song are a true personification of the song’s title and one could get a sense of the candid but hard-hitting nature of the song which is packed with incredible truths and stories. Our introduction to Kaleem on a music note, no pun intended, entails a story of a man hell-bent on creating work that will inspire, teach, motivate and build people. He boasts other incredible songs which have visuals such as Indigo, Chasingkarats and many more which you will get to find as you start to journey with the man’s music.

It would be a crime to tag Kaleem with the “up and coming” title because his work and time spent in music stands to speak volumes about his capability and what he has offered to the game and what he will offer to the game in the future. Speaking to him opened up a window into his life and how he creates. Our writer and editor, Nkululeko, connected with Kaleem online and the conversation can be peeped below:

We would like to thank you for giving us your time and we always make it our mission to extend our gratitude and appreciation. Let’s jump straight in. Who is Phresh James?

Kaleem: First and foremost I thank you all for the chance to speak with an untapped audience; it’s definitely a pleasure! Well, Phresh James is an artist/composer; father, brother, curator of just that classical yet original feel, and lover of all things awesome you could say. Lol

We’ve noticed that you have gone through a name change. Can you take us through what prompted the change?

Kaleem: Life in all honesty. As I got older it became harder to separate the persona as an artist from my everyday realities which began to take a toll on my creativity. As time moved on I couldn’t relate to the attributes associated with the persona so I decided to drop the name.

For someone that may not be familiar with your music and other creative efforts that you are involved, how would you describe what you do and why it’s important?

Kaleem: If I had to sum it up, I would say my music contains positive messages for the masses. Not trying to call it gospels or anything but I do feel like the lyrics throughout my works contain life lessons that I’ve gone through in which my audience can relate to.

How and where did your musical journey begin?

Kaleem: Well I fell in love with music at a very young age. I was really into sound when I was younger. Over the years I adopted harmonizing, got so engulfed with certain tunes- it felt like an escape. My mother whom was an English teacher got me into creative writing. Eventually it all just clicked after high school; the passion stuck.   

When it comes to music and creativity, who would you say has had the most impact on how you create?

Kaleem: That’s a tough one honestly.. Specifically not one person in particular but many artists in different genres that I was introduced to over the years. A lot of the underdogs coming up.

What does creativity and unbounded creative expression mean to you?

Kaleem: Everything! Especially in today’s industry. There’s so much accessibility at our fingertips, that getting our ideas out to the masses isn’t as difficult as it used to be.

When it comes to working with other artists, how important do you think it is to collaborate with other artists?

Kaleem: It depends. I’m all about building with the individual if/before collaborating with them…Just to establish a connection; otherwise certain joints wouldn’t have happened let alone sounded good. It creates a new opportunity for both artists to connect with there respectable audiences so I believe it’s important.

What keeps you creating and working on music and all the other creative endeavours that you’re involved with?

Kaleem: That passion I spoke on before. Life, my babies, friends. The love that I have for the art. People who tell me they want/need me to make more music for them. That keeps me inspired, that keeps me motivated.

Do you have a particular philosophy in how you choose to live your life?

Kaleem: I do actually! Keeping my faith strong. Taking things one day a time. Living and doing to the fullest extent. Staying true to my loved ones and being as honest as possible with the universe.

Do you have any recurring messages and themes that you always aim to include in your music?

Kaleem: Yes of course! Just stay true; keep progressing, and know that if I can get through it, so can you.

Given a chance, where would you like to perform in the world?

Kaleem: Awwwmann.. If given the opportunity I know I’d love to perform overseas. Ideally in the UK; London, France, Italy.. I hear it’s lovely and residents are more receptive to the music there.

How would you describe your music to someone who may be coming across it for the first time?

Kaleem: Let me see.. The best way to describe MY music.. Lol, Hmmm. I suppose in a sum up I’d categorize it as timeless, soulful, hip hop, experimental funk. Yeah! I like that.

Can we expect some new music or a new project any time soon?

Kaleem: Of course! I’m constantly building my catalog, writing references, experimenting. 2017 will be consistent- on kings! I’m really excited to for you all to hear what I’ve been brewing over the past year and a half!

In closing, where can people find you and your work online? Do you have any words for the people that have been supporting you and the ones that are going to get to know you?


To reach me, just mention me on twitter
Instagram: kaleem305

Or to get a hold of any of my previous works just check my soundcloud

To my listeners and supporters, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking around as long as you have. I look forward to the progress for us all and can’t wait to showcase the passion; as always two fingers to the believers.

Kaleem is set to impress in 2017 and the Nusoulhub Radio team will be following up on his movements for latest information about new releases and prospective dates for project drops. Be on the look out. Follow him on social media to support his music.