Nick Hakim arrived during the mid-2010s with a dazed folk-soul hybrid sound rendered psychedelic by an evident affinity for echo. Signed to the ATO label shortly after he made his recorded debut, the earnest singer/songwriter and guitarist released his first album, Green Twins, in 2017. Since then, he has issued Will This Make Me Good (2020) and Cometa (2022), as well as the intermediary Small Things, a collaboration with saxophonist/poet Roy Nathanson.
Before his breakout year, the Brooklyn-based native of Washington, D.C., appeared on Gizmo’s Red Balloon album beside the likes of Gwen Bunn and Casey Benjamin. In 2014, Hakim released a pair of warmly received EPs. Separated by three months, Where Will We Go, Pt. 1 and Where Will We Go, Pt. 2 — primarily acoustic recordings he began making while attending Berklee College of Music — pitched him somewhere between Jeff Buckley and Anthony Hamilton in a strictly low-key and singularly intimate fashion. Hakim steadily built a fan base through his performances, including stints opening for Maxwell and King. Meanwhile, he worked on his debut album; Green Twins, made over the course of three years, was released on ATO in May 2017. The next year, Hakim and Onyx Collective — fellow New York City dwellers who appeared on the Green Twins song “Those Days” — put together a collaborative 12″ for Record Store Day. “Vincent Tyler,” the Hakim-headlined side, also featured strings and background vocals from Kadhja Bonet.
Entering the 2020s, Hakim connected with Onyx again on the group’s version of the Rodgers & Hart standard “My Funny Valentine.” In May 2020, he issued Will This Make Me Good, a set more surreal and turbulent than his first album. Remaining a keen collaborator, Hakim then linked with Jazz Passengers leader Roy Nathanson to cut the succinct Small Things, released in April 2021 on Onyx Collective’s NYXO label. Hakim returned in October 2022 with his romantic third solo album, Cometa, some of which he produced on his own, while the blissful preview single “M1” was produced beside longtime associate Andrew Sarlo and DJ Dahi.