Nick Hakim, June McDoom @ Brooklyn Steel

by | Jan 24, 2023 | Shows | 0 comments

Nick Hakim at Brooklyn Steel (photo by Emilio Herce)

 

The Queens-based alternative soul singer Nick Hakim cast a seductive spell over an adoring crowd at Brooklyn Steel this past Saturday night. Born and raised in Washington DC to a Chilean mother and a Peruvian father, Hakim grew up surrounded by a wide variety of musical influences. He started singing in a friend’s church choir and taught himself how to play piano at the age of seventeen, eventually attending the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. He recorded his first two-part EP Where Will We Go in 2014 while still a student at Berklee, and has continued to develop his own unique style of R&B ever since, releasing his third full-length album, COMETA, this past October. To promote the record, Hakim has recently toured to London, Paris, and Acapulco’s Tropic Fest. But on Saturday, he was making a triumphant return to New York City, and his hometown fans could not have been more enchanted.

 

The evening began with Temporary Residence Ltd. artist June McDoom working her own sonic magic on the crowd with whispery soft vocals over a unique mix of folk-rock, soul, and reggae. I’m a big fan of June McDoom’s eponymous EP (also released this past October), and her live set more than lived up to the beauty of her recordings. She began with “By June,” a wafting, texture-filled ballad with lyrics of pure devotion: “I can’t even find my way / without your hand in mind.” After the first song, her guitar pick-up battery died, but she kept her cool and bantered playfully with the audience through the technical difficulties. A new battery was located, and Nick Hakim joined his opening act onstage after McDoom spoke effusively about how much his 2020 release, Will This Make Me Good, meant to her during the early months of the pandemic. It was during the lockdown that she and partner/collaborator/guitarist Evan Wright began to write and record the gorgeous collection of songs they shared on Saturday, including the lilting dancey vibes of  “Babe, You Light Me Up,” which closed their set.

 

 

When Nick Hakim returned to the stage with his own band (bassist Kyle Myles, guitarist Joe Harrison, and drummer Vishal Nayak), the fans up in the balcony VIP section erupted into cheers of adoration, in both Spanish and English. Hakim smiled and launched into the first half of his set, featuring songs from COMETA, and a few older selections, including “I Don’t Know,” a favorite from his aforementioned double EP, Where Will We Go. At his set’s midpoint, Hakim invited McDoom back onstage, and she provided perfect harmonies to his soulful crooning for the rest of the show (excluding the encore). Other special guests were Hakim’s brother Danny, who played guitar on “Perfume,” a seductive song about a lover’s lingering scent. Multi-colored lights swirled as the couples in the crowd held each other close and Hakim’s velvet falsetto drifted over it all. 

 

 

Both June McDoom and Nick Hakim entranced on Saturday, and it was a joy to see how much all of the musicians onstage respected and enjoyed, getting blissfully lost in playing music together, bringing an ecstatic audience along for a very smooth ride.

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Emilio Herce)

 

JUNE McDOOM

June McDoom performing

June McDoom performing

June McDoom performing

June McDoom performing

June McDoom performing

June McDoom performing

June McDoom performing

June McDoom performing

June McDoom performing

June McDoom performing

June McDoom performing

June McDoom performing

June McDoom performing

 

 

NICK HAKIM

Nick Hakim performing

Nick Hakim performing

Nick Hakim performing

Nick Hakim performing

Nick Hakim performing

Nick Hakim performing

Nick Hakim performing

Nick Hakim performing

Nick Hakim performing

Nick Hakim performing

Nick Hakim performing

Nick Hakim performing

Nick Hakim performing

Nick Hakim performing

Nick Hakim performing

Nick Hakim performing

Nick Hakim performing

Nick Hakim performing

Nick Hakim performing

 

 

 

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