HIGH FREQUENCY Vol. 1: "REALLY LIT!" by Iman Europe

Channeling Aries season, Iman Europe unleashes an unapologetic, fiery hype track, “REALLY LIT!”. The latest addition to HIGH FREQUENCY: The Compilation Album,REALLY LIT!” flaunts the resident web3 queen’s skills as a rapper, vocalist, and wielder of words. Setting the tone with a mantra of affirmation, Iman raps with effortless flow: “I ain’t into playing cool. I ain’t into playing games. I say what I gotta say, and I stay up out the way. I got power on my tongue. I'd be manifesting things. I get everything I want. I got favor. I got grace.”

Having established her footing, Iman breaks into a sensual proposition, asserting herself as self-possessed and in control. “I always make songs that are very intentional. I'm spiritual and deep, but I wanted a fun, braggadocious song,” says Iman.

Produced by longtime friend and collaborator Mikos Da Gawd, the beat brings a bouncy, west coast feel–the perfect backdrop for Iman’s bewitched, playful vocal performance to shine. “The beat feels very Missy Elliott, Timbaland,” says Iman. And she brings the energy to match. Making no bones about it, she declares, “Bitch I’m really lit!”

Shuffling between raspy, vibed-out rap and cheeky, yet sensual singing, “REALLY LIT!” presents Iman Europe versus Iman Europe–and the competition is fierce. Iman’s confidence emanates from self-awareness, inner strength, and intentionality. The key? Believing in herself as an artist. A practice Iman continues to find ways to cultivate along her musical journey.

“My dad is a bass player and a producer, and my mom has always been into poetry and lyrics. They met at an album release party in New York,” says Iman. “That's how my story starts.”

Born in New York and raised in Los Angeles, by age three, Iman’s natural talent was evident. “I was riding in the car with my mom, and she could hear me singing all the background to Tevin Campbell. She was like, ‘What are you hearing?’ I was telling her all the background sounds. She calls my dad, and says, ‘We gotta get her in music lessons, she's hearing things I've never heard in this song.”

After taking piano lessons from age seven to 18, Iman paused her formal music training in order to pay for college at UC Riverside. Initially pursuing a degree in psychology, Iman switched majors after discovering the school’s creative writing program. Thriving in her writing classes, Iman began performing on campus. “I started to test the waters at school events,” says Iman. “And people loved it.”

After graduating with a degree in creative writing, with a mixtape and her first EP in tow, Iman moved back to New York where she crashed on her stepbrother’s couch and connected with producer Mike Spitz. Offering her studio time and mentorship, Mike produced Iman’s second EP before she moved back to Los Angeles to finish recording her debut album.

Working as a substitute teacher to support herself along the way, Iman accepted a full-time position to teach AP English. At the time, her album had been picked up for distribution in Japan, but was still unreleased in the US and worldwide. While teaching a lesson on her favorite book The Alchemist, one of her students posed a poignant question: “Miss Europe, you're trying to teach us to follow our dreams. How come you aren't following yours?” Iman recalls. “You got to make stops along the way, and they understood that, but it stuck with me. I took that as the push I needed to get my music off the ground.”

Iman then launched a Kickstarter to raise the money needed to self release and promote her album, exceeding a goal of $10,000 in 30 days. “That was really my first introduction to the framework of web3, because it was about creating a community around a goal.”

The campaign elicited label interest including an offer that entailed a 360 degree deal and a $10,000 advance in exchange for the rights to the album in perpetuity. “I was in no position to walk away from an extra $10,000 boost,” says Iman. “But I knew I deserved more than that.”

Listening to her intuition, she turned down the deal and released the album, Nami, independently in 2018. “That album has now been synced on HBO, Disney, Freeform, and Netflix. I'm grateful that I believed in myself.”

On the heels of the album release, she left teaching, went on tour in Japan, and sold out shows in Los Angeles. But by 2020, she faced another fork in the road. The pandemic temporarily shut down the cycling business she was building with her mom, and streaming royalties were not providing a sustainable alternative. On the brink of relinquishing her musical ambitions, Iman learned more about web3. She went all in. “I finally saw the value of my work,” says Iman.

She has since been featured in Bloomberg and Fortune Magazine as a web3 innovator, and taken on the role of Head of Artist Relations at Sound, all while recording and releasing her music simultaneously. “It's hard to balance both. It was a sacrifice I was willing to make because I wanted to help build Sound. I'm proud to be a part of it,” says Iman. “This year, I've set an intention to make more music and be who I'm really called to be.”

Recently featured in Vibe Magazine’s Top 10 Best Performances list at this year’s SXSW showcase and slated to perform at Coachella alongside Thurz, 9th Wonder, and DJ Battlecat, her intention is already becoming reality. With a LNRZ drop also in the queue, an EP in the works, and having just returned from a ten day writing camp in Jamaica, Iman continues steadfast on the path of her truest self’s mission. Seasoned, with ten years of experience under her belt, grounded in her sense of self worth, and supported by the music community in both web2 and web3–Iman Europe’s moment is coming. She knows she’s really lit. It’s time the rest of the world knows it, too.


Collect Music NFTs from HIGH FREQUENCY Volume 1.REALLY LIT!” is the sixth track to be released from NOISE, for HIGH FREQUENCY Volume 1. There will be 25 editions of “REALLY LIT!” available for 0.05 ETH on Sound.

HIGH FREQUENCY Volume 1 is a compilation album curated by NOISE, with 16 tracks released over the course of 16 weeks on Sound. The album features new songs from artists we believe represent the values of web3 and whose work will be essential to every music NFT collector’s set in the future.

Collect and add HIGH FREQUENCY writing NFTs to your digital library. There are 10 editions of this article available for 0.01 ETH on Mirror.

Article by Wallace Morgan for HIGH FREQUENCY, NOISE’s weekly newsletter. Subscribe for more.

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