Naima McLean is an enormously talented performing artist, writer, poet and vocalist born in New York City and raised in numerous cities across South Africa. As a vocalist/poet, Naima’s writing skills and approach are brilliant, impressive and emotive by any standards in the industry. She infuses jazz, R&B, spoken word, and hip hop among other genres to create a distinct style that she calls “Poetic Soul”. Her lyrics are highly personal and throw emotional challenges in the face of the listener causing you to think while at the same time enjoying the story being weaved before you. She has just completed recording her debut album – Things I Wish – debuted at the Cape Town Jazz festival 2011.
Naima’s performances as poet include a tour facilitated by the British Council – Verbalized 2010 and various corporate events. She has also performed at Urban Voices International 2009 and The African Leadership conference 2010 in Ethiopia with the collective Rite 2 Speak and returned in personal capacity in 2011. Naima’s TV roles have included cameo features on one of South Africa’s most watched TV dramas “Generations”, presenting for South African Coca Cola game shows. She served as a feature character in the internationally renowned UK TV series Wild AT Heart and has just completed shooting a feature film as leading lady in Vehicle 19 Starring Hollywood celebrity Paul Walker to be released in 2012.
Naima’s social awareness agenda is central to her work. Some of these activities/initiatives include but are not limited to a collective called Rite 2 Speak, Brand ambassador to the Levis South Africa Believe Campaign and Up The Sound, an initiative to inspire youth activism.
Naima is a presenter for the 2012 Youth Rising for Peace Summit.