Who is Iyaz? This fresh-faced newcomer is the latest arrival from the Virgin Islands tapped to join producer J.R. Rotem’s Time is Money/Beluga Heights (Warner Bros.) roster. He was discovered by current label mate Sean Kingston via Myspace and took the music scene by storm with his hit single “Replay.” Iyaz, sits down with Singersroom and gives us insight into his journey from college student to recording artist, insight into some of the new things he’s learned, how his style differs from fellow island pop singers, and of course his album’s overall theme: Relationships. So, come along with us as we get to know Iyaz.
Singersroom: So I know you went to college. Prior to receiving your record deal, what major were you studying in college?
Iyaz: I was studying video and audio production and I was about to get my bachelor’s in digital recording arts.
Singersroom: Did you like it?
Iyaz: Yes, I liked it a lot.
Singersroom: Did you want to finish college once you signed your record deal?
Iyaz: I did want to finish college but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, you know?
Singersroom: Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. So you’re signed with Sean Kingston and both of you have a similar style. How do you differentiate yourself from him?
Iyaz: I’m more island pop and Sean is all pop. I’m more like an island pop, people say we sing alike but the only reason they think that is because of the accent. You know, like anybody with an accent is Sean Kingston. But we’re not really that similar. I guess just the way we go about and carry ourselves can make people think that.
Singersroom: What did learn from Sean Kingston and J.R. Rotem as being the key to your musical success?
Iyaz: Everything that I’ve done so far wasn’t really much [different from] what I’ve learnedâ¦this is stuff that I knew from in school. I’ve been singing from a very young age, but the one [new] thing I’ve learned is a few tricks in how to keep my voice, from J.R. you know; like when you’re singing not to stress your voice. Just a few tips. But mostly, everything else was kind of natural to me.
Singersroom: Your album ‘My Life’ talks about ladies, but what other topics do you address?
Iyaz: It’s mainly about the relationship stuff I’ve been through, stuff I’m going through. The whole album is about me, relationship-wise. There is a lot of stuff, but most of it is all about the ladies.
Singersroom: On ‘Replay’ your lyrics are about how a lady has your heart, was there a young woman that inspired that song?
Iyaz: Yes, there was one at that point in time. It was about her, the whole song was about her.
Singersroom: With “Replay” becoming a hit, are you nervous about making more hit records?
Iyaz: I wasn’t nervous about “Replay” becoming a hit, so I definitely am not nervous about coming up with another hit. I just love making music. Just put me in the studio, put me behind the mic, let me just make music because that’s what I love to do.
Singersroom: That’s great. What do you do during your down time?
Iyaz: I don’t ever get down time. This is my downtime right now.
Singersroom: So you have no other hobbies rather than this?
Iyaz: Yeah, I have hobbies but I don’t get to do anything. My hobby before all of this was riding motorcycles.
Singersroom: If you were to cook a meal for a special lady, what would it be?
Iyaz: It would be macaroni and cheese.
Singersroom: Is that one of your favorite things to eat?
Iyaz: Definitely and tuna fish, tuna casserole.
Singersroom: What qualities do you look for in a female?
Iyaz: She’s gotta be smart, she’s definitely gotta be down to earth, she’s gotta know her business. I like long hair. I don’t know what it is but I like long hair. My mom cut her hair and I stopped talking to her for like three weeks.
Singersroom: That’s kinda mean.
Iyaz: Yeah I know. Umâ¦ long hair, that’s about it.
Singersroom: What’s one thing no one really knows about you?
Iyaz: I hate needles, definitely hate needles.
Singersroom: So you’re not into getting shots or giving blood?
Iyaz: Only if I have to but if I don’t have to I don’t do it. I hate needles. Like I had a seizure a few years back so I had to take a lot of shots around that time so I really hate needles.
Singersroom: So you’re not the type of guy to get a whole bunch of tattoos?
Iyaz: I don’t even have one. —— By: Interview By Shaniece Thomas