The 22-year-old South London-based singer Imen has signed to New York based record label, icons+giants. The company was launched by chart topping industry figureheads Billy Mann and Benton James as a global joint venture with ADA / Warner Music Group.
Imen is currently working on new music with the Grammy-winning artist, producer and songwriter Tiziano Ferro, who she has long admired. Hailed as the modern face of Italian pop music, Ferro is a superstar in his homeland with countless #1 hits and Platinum discs to his name. He’s also an in-demand collaborator, having worked with everyone from Ed Sheeran to Kelly Rowland and Andrea Bocelli.
The deal represents the latest development in Imen’s remarkable journey. Born to a family with Moroccan heritage, the artist (whose surname is Siar) was born and raised in Italy before moving to London in 2017. Auditioning during off hours from her job at Nando’s, her first break came when, during the pandemic, she reached the semi-finals on Britain’s Got Talent in 2020. It was an experience that also earned the unexpected support and approval of her father, an Imam at the local mosque who Imen had previously hidden her talents from.
After the show she returned to working at Nando’s, but her dream hadn’t died. She posted a video to TikTok of her singing into her broom while on shift, which Mann and James chanced upon. They fell in love with her voice, and their respect for her only grew as they discovered her unique story by piecing together links, online performances and singing posts. Now this multi-lingual artist, who stands for diversity, tolerance and inclusion, dreams of becoming the first hijabi artist to sell-out arenas.
Imen is managed by London based BPureSounds and expect new music from her soon.
Imen commented, “I am truly overwhelmed to be working with Billy, Benton and the team. It’s unimaginable that the same people who have worked with iconic artists such as P!nk and Kelly Rowland are placing their belief in me and to have the simply incredible Tiziano Ferro, whom I have been a fan of my whole life, as part of this dream is almost too hard to believe. I am so very grateful to them all and also to my management team at BPureSounds who first found me waitressing in Nando’s. They are all showing me that dreams can come true, though I am still pinching myself!”
Billy Mann and Benton James added, “In an age when ‘paying your dues’ for a new artist can too easily be reduced to digits and data, everything about Imen tells a deeper story. She’s shown so much resilience through every chapter in her young life, from her family’s journey from Morocco to Italy to the UK, to going from singing in secret at home to glowing up on Britain’s Got Talent, and still believing in herself when she went back to working in Nando’s. Our passion for Imen starts with the firepower in her voice and the halo around her humility, and that made it so important for us to try to sign her.”
Tiziano Ferro said, “I met Imen through Billy Mann, a friend and American music guru.
It was thanks to him that I had met Kelly Rowland and it was always thanks to him that my collaboration with John Legend was made possible. When Billy sees talent, you can trust what he says! Imen hypnotized me immediately. Her knowledge, talent, dignity and integrity together with a mature vocality are a punch in the stomach. A girl of 21 that thinks with the wisdom and depth of a woman. Her voice touched me from the first moment, her story and her sweetness bewitched me permanently. It is truly a privilege to work with a young artist, daughter of a break generation. Antagonist of blind prejudice and obvious predictability. Imen is talent, period. I am certain that the world will soon realize it!”
Mann is a Grammy-winner songwriter and producer, who has worked on albums which have sold over 110 million copies. Best known for his long-term creative collaboration with P!nk, his discography reads like a who’s who in international music varying from Take That to John Legend to David Guetta to Celine Dion. Mann has also served as President of International and Chief Creative Officer at EMI Music Global as well as President of Creative at BMG North America.
James started his career producing alongside major talents such as RedOne and Mutt Lang. He discovered and signed the Grammy-nominated Supah Mario (Drake, Lil Uzi Vert, Tory Lanez) and Ciscero. And during his time as Head of Urban A&R for Red Bull Songs, he signed K-So Jaynes, Mike Gazzo and TwhyXclusive, and delivered fresh hits for Trippie Redd, Drake, Wiz Khalifa and Kelly Rowland.
The duo’s mission with icons+giants is to deliver innovative strategies to achieve success for the artists, brands and corporate partners who have stories to tell. The team is committed to supporting all of their projects by executing fresh, creative, detail-oriented strategies that deliver positive outcomes.