Meet Haaris Muneer, a 26 year old from New York.
“I had recently subscribed to Spotify and wanted to create a playlist I could just put on shuffle whenever I couldn't decide what to listen to. Hip hop has always been one of my favorite genres so I'd almost always be down to listen to some more relaxed and laid back cuts.”
What music did you listen to growing up as a kid?
My older brother listened to a ton of hip hop in the 90s - he introduced me to the genre when I was pretty young and I was hooked pretty quickly. My parents tried to shield me from profanity as much as possible so I have lots of memories of going on Limewire and trying to download clean versions of my favorite songs - trying to do this for some of the more obscure songs was pretty much impossible. Eventually I gave up and just started listening to everything
Besides that, I loved "alternative rock" like Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and White Stripes when I was a kid. I also had a really angsty emo phase during middle school and early high school - I still get hit with a ton of nostalgia when I revisit stuff like Taking Back Sunday, The Used, My Chemical Romance, and Coheed & Cambria.
Do you play an instrument? If no, what instrument would you love to learn?
I would love to learn to play the keys. I produce a little bit and I feel like learning the keyboard would help with that a lot. Being able to improvise and jam would be super fun too. Just gotta find the time which is easier said than done!
What is the best concert you've ever been to?
Definitely Roots Picnic NYC in 2016. I got to see a ton of dope artists perform throughout the whole weekend but the headliner from the first day blew my mind.
The Roots performed first and when they played a song that featured Common, he came out for his feature and then did a surprise solo set. The Roots came back out as the backing band for John Mayer who impressed me and did an amazing job. They all then left the stage and came back out as the band for D'Angelo who's one of my favorite singers of all time. The energy was unreal and I'm not sure if I'll ever experience a set like that again.
If you could interview any artist, dead or alive, who would you interview and why?
Can I cheat and pick 2 artists? I'm going to say Questlove and Mac Miller. Both of them have worked with countless artists and seem to be universally well-loved by everyone they've interacted with. I imagine they'd have some incredible stories to tell.
What is more important to you, music or lyrics? Why?
This is a tough one - lyrics are definitely incredibly important to me and every rapper in my personal Top 10 is there partly because they're a top tier lyricist. (Mandatory plug for one of my other playlists, The Art of Storytelling - if you like lyrical hip hop, you'll dig this playlist.) But at the end of the day, I'm a huge fan of instrumental music of all kinds and would gladly listen to beat tapes all day. I don't find often myself going back to spoken word stuff without any backing music so I'd have to go with music here.