Neemz Understood the Assignment, No Limits Only Endless Possibilities…
Neemz’s Palestinian heritage has constantly brought politics into the conversation. Her choice to wear her heart on her sleeve by being a proud Muslim – Hijabi shows how extraordinary of a woman she is. At the same time, Tusneem Abuhasan is a devoted fighter for individuality, something she manifests daily in her multi-creative pursuits which she passionately spoke of during her talk with Arab America.
What Describes You Best Rapper, Model or Creative Director?
“I don’t like to be only one thing, because I feel like all my passion points work as one entity. The modeling goes with photography, the latter goes with the music, and finally the music goes with creative direction, then [they] all fit into the producing. I like to be just known as an artist because I don’t like to be limited into one category. An artist can be a painter. An artist can make clothes. An artist can be a graphic designer and [an] artist can be a musician. The word artist doesn’t limit you. And I like to be known as a multi-creative artist because I’m in very much all different lanes.
I love to be a model because you not only portray yourself and your emotions, but you are also able to put on a character for photography and to direct. I have a lot of creative direction. I like to direct a lot of what I do. My videographer understands my vision and then execute[s] it. As for the music, it’s kind of the same thing. It’s like you’re doing both creative direction and modeling because modeling, is kind of like acting, you just have to put on a face, you have to be in your zone, you have to feel yourself. You have to be able to smile when you can or just be straight face.
So, acting and modeling and photography and creative directing and music, are all tie into each other.”
What’s New with Neemz?
“I’m releasing a new record, ‘Damaged Feelings’ on Friday, October 15. Damaged Feelings is really a song that kind of highlights after doing so much good and just like being in my zone, and you think you’re just doing really good things for people. Sometimes you start to kind of encounter jealousy and envious people.
I feel like Damage Feelings was inspired by a lot of that hate and the lessons that I’ve learned over the past year about different feelings, and sometimes you just have to let it go.
You can’t even, like, address it. You just have to see it and just walk past it. You can’t engage because once you engage, you become what they are and you become that person, and you become that energy that you don’t even want around you. So it’s just more so learning that lesson of letting go and being able to just push yourself and kind of like, you’re stronger than that. You’re better than that. Keep it pushing. You’re able to move past those feelings and emotions.”
How Do You Incorporate Your Palestinian Identity into Your Art?
“I’m Palestinian because I and my community exists, you know?”
“I am passionate about doing what I am doing as a Palestinian woman. Palestinians have always been denied their identity. They’ve always been denied their basic rights, which made me very much passionate about when I do [and how I] approach my careers and arts, I always make sure that I’m known. So for me to be a Palestinian and being able to succeed in different aspects of my life is a statement on its own.
I did a shoot recently, where I made it so much about the Palestinian dress ‘Thob’. I also did shoots wearing my scarf, that Palestinian keffiyeh, in different color variations.”
“I like to incorporate subtle Palestinian drip that people might not know, but it’s cultural to me. And I feel like it highlights me because, again, I don’t have to say [it] in Palestinian if, you know, you know, and you see it. But I don’t like to kind of showcase it as, like, I’m in your face, like, type of vibe it.
I want it to be subtle because the same thing with my religion, I don’t want to be in your face like Hijabi. I’m like, no, Neemz is an artist who does this and that. And she is also Muslim, and she’s also Palestinian because when you kind of put too much in their face they only want to focus on that. And then they forget about your art.
They want to trap you into a box and they want to put you in a limited format. I’m like, just notice me as a human first and then notice my assets.”
What Does the Future Hold for Neemz?
“I’ll continue to do what I do with modeling, photography and also mak[ing] music. Obviously, music is my main focus right now, but everything else ties into it. When I do get opportunities, I will take them if they make sense and align with the vision that I’m working on.”
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