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.”