- Words Notion Staff
We caught up with iyla to discuss her new music, having an ‘Appetite For Disaster’ and being open to expressing life’s ups and downs.
The wait is finally over for iyla’s new EP, the Californian rising artist having spent the last few months teasing fans with a string of singles. ‘Appetite For Disaster’ is quintessential iyla, telling personal stories of womenhood and femininity wrapped in soulful vocals and honest lyrics.
Since the release of iyla’s debut EP, ‘War + Raindrops’, she’s amassed more than 100 million streams across all platforms. Having started out in the early 2010s as part of an R&B trio, it’s clear the artist has continued to evolve her sound whilst staying true to her roots. Citing influences including Destiny’s Child, Brandy, Aaliyah, SZA, Kehlani and H.E.R, these sounds can be heard echoing throughout her new music. Welcoming a new and distinct chapter, her latest EP was produced by her longtime collaborator Kadis, and in iyla’s words represents her “quest for the ‘impossible’” and an “unwillingness to settle”.
This week also saw iyla drop a video for the EP’s lead single “Impala”. Featuring fellow artist Symba, the trippy concept is evident of the other-wordly visuals that fans are coming to expect. We caught up with iyla to discuss her new music, having an ‘appetite for disaster’ and being open to expressing life’s ups and downs.
Hey iyla, how are you doing? Glad to see the back of January?
It’s clear that you have an incredible eye for detail. Both throughout your music videos and artwork, you bring a very innovative vibrance. Can you talk to us a bit about where you draw your visual inspiration from? Are creative visuals an important factor to bringing your song’s story to life?
That means so much to me. One of the most fun ways of expressing myself is through the music videos. Often when I’m in the studio writing or recording I’m already conceptualising what the song might look like. Colours, movement, moods, wardrobe, scenes, etc. Some ideas may never get used, but they often help complete the records because it brings a new life to the song. Having thought provoking visuals that really make the viewer think and analyse is important for me. Finding new ways to tell my story and, most importantly, to connect with others through the art is always the goal.
Throughout this project you feature collaborations with Benny The Butcher and SYMBA. What was the process like working with both artists? Were there any standout moments?
I feel truly blessed to have been able to have both Benny The Butcher, and SYMBA on this project. I’m a fan of both of them, and I absolutely love how they approached “Lost Me,” and “Impala” with their verses. Above everything, SYMBA and Benny were amazing to work with, kind, supportive, and creatively open which is super dope. I mean, the fact that SYMBA was down to get into a 10ft long hoodie with me says it all.
Is there a song on this EP in particular that you absolutely love the most? And/or cannot wait to debut live because of the vibe it gives off?
That’s so hard! I feel like each song is like my little baby, so it’s tough to pick a favourite but right now I’m really loving how “Mona Lisa” makes me feel. That is going to be so fun to perform live. I’m so proud of this body of work.
And lastly, you’ve achieved some great things so far. You’ve amassed 65 million streams across various releases, and have proved that you’re a star collaborator. What’s on your bucket list for this year? Perhaps a tour? Festival slots? What are you itching to tick-off this 2023?
I’m really excited for whatever 2023 holds. Some kind of a tour is definitely on the horizon. I find so much connection and joy in performing the songs live, and getting to meet the people who are supporting my music. It always feels like a dream come true no matter how big or how small the stage. I’m already back in the studio working on new music too so diving into what comes next is energizing. Currently I’m working on embracing the moment and curating what the next phase of my art will look like. I’m lucky to do what I love.