As the colourful atumn leaves dance around in front of my window, I listen to Iyamah´s fantastic new single “Seasons”, where the Brighton origin artist sings about her own experiences, reflecting feelings of loss and moving on. And while the song repeats in my ear I ask Iyamah about her early piano lessons, her fashion style and her dreams.
Your new single “Seasons” is about Autumn teaching you the beauty of letting go. Is it your own story? And what does autumn teach us on how to deal with a lost love?
I guess so yes, I always write from my own experiences as a reflection of a certain feeling or emotion I’ve had. I think because I felt loss for the first time at quite a young age, it’s something I had to learn to do early on in my life. Now I’m able to move on from things a lot easier, and even when it hurts, I know that I’ve accepted that once you let go of something, you never know what might come to fill the empty space that’s there.
You started playing the piano at the age of 13. Did you enjoy it that time or it was something your parents told you to do?
My mum never really told me to do anything, she only ever encouraged me to pursue things I was naturally drawn to. Someone was giving away their piano so we took it and that’s when it made sense to start getting lessons, but if I’m honest the lessons kind of put me off! I wasn’t interested in learning chords or theory, and I didn’t want to read music. I just wanted to be able to accompany myself singing, so I could write my own songs and do whatever I thought sounded good by ear. I learnt enough chords to do so and then left it there!
“I’ve accepted that once you let go of something, you never know what might come to fill the empty space that’s there.”
How is your song writing process – do you need to be alone to focus on that or you get more inspiration when surrounded by liveliness?
It depends, sometimes I really need to be alone to work out how I’m feeling and write it down, but I rarely finish songs alone. I might start an idea or write something down, then take it to a session and finish it in the studio. Sometimes I could be jamming with my guitarist and then suddenly a song just comes out, or a beat which triggers an idea. Could just be a baseline, or it could be a song playing in the background in a shop which makes me record something on my voice notes. It really is different every time.
Your dreams career-wise?
I wanna travel the world and sing. I also want to give back in any way I can, share my stories and experiences, inspire generations after me.
Music you listen to in order to wake up?
This morning I listened to Ari Lennox.
“My mum used to design prints and sell them to brands in East London in her 20s, so I remember dressing up in her clothes and always snooping through her clothes and jewellery.”
Love your style – how important is fashion for you and where do you take your inspirations for what you wear?
I probably got a lot of inspiration from Brighton where I was raised, the hippy bohemian bits and the silver jewellery. Then the more sportswear and braids from London. My mum used to design prints and sell them to brands in East London in her 20s, so I remember dressing up in her clothes and always snooping through her clothes and jewellery.
3 things that you love about your home Brighton?
The sea, the vibe and atmosphere, the many interesting things to look at!
The world needs more of … and less of…
More kindness less greed!
Photography by www.instagram.com/bychrisreid