Show: Saturday at Songbyrd Music House. Show starts at 8 p.m. 202-450-2917. songbyrddc.com. $13-$15.
The kind of experimental R&B that neo-soul singer Nick Hakim makes often feels amorphous, stretching and pooling before listeners like a strange, deconstructed dessert. Think of it as an Al Green album positioned in front of a funhouse mirror engineered by David Byrne. Hakim’s sounds are deep and soulful, but touches of jarring reverb and eerie synths throw his work into a uniquely beautiful state of unbalance.
The 26-year-old artist grew up in Northwest Washington. Some of his influences come from being reared in an eclectic Peruvian-Chilean family; he lived in a household in which his parents would play folksy nueva canción records while his older brothers blasted local punk and hip-hop. Hakim was a student at Boston’s Berklee College of Music when he began dabbling with the constellation of quiet, minimalistic songs that make up his debut EPs, “Where Will We Go Pt. 1 & 2.”
After graduating and moving to Brooklyn, Hakim holed up in his apartment and dedicated his time to creating honest, confessional tracks that read, as he describes them, as “self-portraits.” These include his recently released single “Bet She Looks Like You,” where Hakim tests just how high he can take his falsetto. He’ll show off his latest work on May 19 when he drops his anticipated studio album “Green Twins.”