images by Lennon Gregory
What better way to start a Monday than with a cool sound? So take a few minutes break from your work or whatever you are doing right now and turn up the volume for Iyamah’s fabulous track ‘Won’t Work’. The video was spontaneously shot in India and in our chat Iyamah tells us all about this experience: “It’s one of the most spontaneous and challenging things I’ve ever done, planning the whole thing, performing and directing it all.”
What or who influenced you in your decision in becoming a musician?
I think it was a mixture of the people and the place I grew up in. Being raised in a creative town around creative people, music playing all the time, festivals… my childhood was inspiring so I was lucky my creativity was encouraged
Describe the vibe of music in three words.
Rootsy, raw, soul
The song ‘Won’t Work’ is about…?
The rejection of the princess, almost like a rebellion against the idea of royalty, worth and tradition. It’s like pushing away expectations and having your own boundaries. Stepping into your own power, and making your own decisions.
Why did you shoot the video for it in India?
I was in India anyway with my mum, we like to go different places together just to explore. I met a guy out there in Varkala who had a camera, and said he was going to Goa to shoot some content for a villa there. He hadn’t shot a music video before but loved the song and I wanted to go for the experience, so I thought, why not! I couldn’t let the opportunity go, it’s so beautiful there and the meaning behind the song resonated with the place so much. I wanted to speak up for all the woman that are fighting for their freedom, restricted and unable to be who they want to be. It’s one of the most spontaneous and challenging things I’ve ever done, planning the whole thing, performing and directing it all. I styled it too, and literally had no makeup apart from some eyeliner!
“I like being where there’s no one else to be seen. I just SING until I feel like there’s nothing left in me!”
Your best creative place to write songs?
Probably when I’m walking, in a field somewhere quiet! I like being where there’s no one else to be seen. I just SING until I feel like there’s nothing left in me! Near where my mum lives just outside of Brighton, there’s loads of green and hills, it’s pretty there.
How important is fashion to you?
I love fashion. I’m still figuring mine out, my style etc. It takes confidence, and a unique mind, which makes it exciting because everything looks totally different on everyone else.
I read that you found a sense of belonging in London, where you currently live. Is it also a city where you can imagine to grow old?
I don’t know really. Sometimes when I think of the future I just imagine myself travelling, touring and singing, going to different places making music. Eventually ending up somewhere hot for most of the year! I don’t think I will ever just be stuck in one place. I hope that’s not what happens, but I’m sure I’ll always return to London, like I will to Brighton. It will always be a place of memories.
“Sometimes I really wish I could go back to when I was 17, and just do it all again.”
If you had a free wish, what would you change about yourself or your life?
Sometimes I really wish I could go back to when I was 17, and just do it all again. Knowing what I know now, things wouldn’t have been so difficult, if I just trusted in the process, stopped worrying about the future and enjoyed the present much more. Because you will never get those moments back!
What’s next for you?
Keep writing, keep singing, releasing…. building! I’m currently adding to my home studio so spending a lot of time working on my craft recording at the moment. There’s lots coming.