When Iyaz received a message in his MySpace inbox from Sean Kingston, he initially thought it was a joke and ignored him. But when Kingston didn’t stop pursuing the artist, Iyaz reconsidered.
“I ignored him for like a week,” chuckles Iyaz, 22, during an interview with andPOP. “Come on, that’s like Jay-Z messaging you and telling you that he’s interested. I just thought he was a fake or a knock-off, so I even gave him a bogus number at one point. He was in Japan at the time, and eventually I gave him my real number, and he flew me out to see him.”
The rest was history.
The two soul-infused artists clicked immediately, and within two weeks, Iyaz was subsequently signed to Kingston’s freshly-formed company, Time is Money Entertainment.
J.R. Rotem, the talented songwriter and producer behind most of Iyaz’s tracks, subsequently signed Iyaz through Time Is Money/Beluga Heights, which has a new label partnership with Warner Bros. Records.
In fact, Iyaz doesn’t even consider the label in business terms, rather just with affection. “It’s like being a part of a family. I don’t even consider it a label, I consider it my family. We love producing music together, performing together. It’s an amazing atmosphere, we have a lot of fun.” He even laughs that Kingston’s mom is just like his.
Iyaz, whose actual name is Keidran Jones, was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands but raised in the British Virgin Islands in Tortola. He attributes much of his musical passion and talent to the influence his home and family had on him as he grew up. Son of two extremely musical parents, the talent has apparently passed on to their children. He describes his sound as “reggae infused, with pop, and R&B. You never really know what you’re going to get. There’s that island sound as well.”
Iyaz, which essentially means “the man in charge,” has been singing since he can remember.
“My whole family was extremely musical,” Iyaz elaborates. “My mom sang, my dad sang, my sisters sang. I sang in church, and that’s where I grew as a musician and developed such a passion for the art. I was surrounded and influenced by the power of music daily.” While gospel is not Iyaz’s focus, his lyrics are pleasantly clean with a lot of emotional depth. His island-infused single, “Replay”, is one that appeals to all age groups, and its infectious melody is guaranteed to get stuck in your head after one listen.
“Replay” has recently moved to number two on the iTunes playlist, and is currently ranked 12th on the Billboard. While the success excites and pleases Iyaz, he says that performing his music for the fans is his favorite part of being a musical artist. “It’s all about that stage,” he says.
“It’s when you get out on that stage in front of thousands of people, and all I need to do is sing ‘Shawty’s like a melody in my head…’ and then I hear thousands of fans singing the rest of the verse back to me. That really gets to me. It’s so crazy.”
In fact, the prequel music video for the song is available (the real video will be released this month), and Iyaz’s pure voice and enthusiasm to the catchy song are evident in the production. The beach, background graffiti and Iyaz’s joyful presence all mesh together to create an atmosphere that has you dancing along with the video.
Like a lot of artists, Iyaz likes to sing about women. The Rotem-produced “Replay” is about the obsession people get when they like a girl, and a couple of the other tracks in his upcoming album delve into the world of romance as well. Unfortunately for the young artist, touring and recording have not left a lot of time for his own love life. “I’m usually going all day, and at the end of the day I’m always pretty tired. It’s all worth it though, of course.”
Iyaz’s pop-friendly productions are sure to be a big hit, as already proven by his early success with “Replay.”
To follow this up-and-coming artist, check him out at his MySpace or his Twitter account. His twitter account is IyazLive, and his MySpace page can be found at http://www.myspace.com/iyaz.