menu

IYAMAH: BETWEEN BORDERS

Seasons ~ Iyamah

In Conversation with IyamahBetween Borders

The deep, dulcet tones of 23 year old songstress Iyamah are powerful and profound. This Interview comes just after the release of her third Studio project – Seasons. Iyamah, through the lyrics of Seasons, describes humans and in particular our emotions as being akin to seasons, subject to change and constantly in flux. Instead of  viewing changes as something to stop, to battle against we should learn to accept them as part of life. Read our full interview with Iyamah below, and give Seasons a listen. 

BB: Name?

My name is Iyamah

BB: Age?

I’m 23

BB: Location?

Right now, London!

BB: Where are you from, tell us a bit about your family background?

My mum is English and my dad is Nigerian but I grew up with just my mum in Brighton, and moved up to London when I was 19.

BB: Tell us a bit about the concept behind Seasons?

Seasons isn’t just about love, it’s about everything, because a part of life is learning to let go, and that’s something we all have to learn at some point, whether that’s early or later on in your life, it could be a friend, family, a job, a lover, a place or even a pet, we all have to learn to let go. Comparing us to the weather made me think about how naturally we do adapt and evolve, just like the seasons. It’s not forcing anything but accepting that we might not feel the same way we did about things a year ago, and that’s ok.

BB: Where do you draw your musical inspiration from?

A lot of the sounds I’m drawn to come from my childhood from the music my mum used to play and also living in Brighton, where it’s so diverse with a lot of music and culture. The reggae scene was big and there were a lot of parades, festivals and was just a relaxed way of life. I didn’t grow up with my Father, but he used to DJ and my uncle is a reggae MC still to this day, so I know it’s in my blood. Most of my Mums friends were creative which encouraged me to be creative too, and I had a lot of strong females around me growing up so I think that’s why I was always drawn to empowering female soul singers when I first started singing myself. All these things had a huge impact on the music I make today.

BB: What would you describe as the biggest contributing factor to your identity?

I think I always struggled with identity, cause I was a mixed race girl and the only one in my school with an afro, I was always different and tried everything to fit in. But then when I got older, I realised a big part of my identity was that I was different. So when I moved to London, I tried to find ways that made me stand out and separated myself from everyone else but that just gets difficult too. Now, I’m just me, I don’t really try to be anything but authentic to myself. It could be the places I’ve been, the people I’ve known, the way I dress and the way I walk and talk that define me… but then again, I don’t know. I think we’re sometimes made to feel like we have to be something to be liked or perceived in a certain way but the alias Iyamah represents the idea that no one really knows, so you might as well be what you want!

BB: Is your identity something you see consciously reflected in your work?

Well the fact that I was confused about my identity growing up has most definitely had a big impact on who I am today, and reflected in my work too. A lot of the songs I write are about feeling lost, or missing home, or feeling misunderstood…so I guess that all comes down to identity in a way. I think the feelings we experience when we are young will always stick with us, and Identity is such a big thing for young people, cause all we wanna do is fit in – but I definitely think things are changing. That’s why I’m always so happy to see social media promoting peoples differences and quirks, things that make everyone unique and their own.

BB: 2018 has seen three projects from you, what else can we expect from Iyamah in 2019?

I’ll be doing more shows, hibernating over the winter writing a load more songs and preparing myself for the new year! It’s going to be a big one. I can feel it!

 

Follow Iyamah on Instagram: @iyamah_artist

Check out her latest releases Here