change as he heralds the release of his U.S. debut single "Touchdown," which will be
followed by several additional singles and an album.
His musical footprint is global, reflecting his unusual upbringing. He is a true citizen of
the world who draws from the two richest and most honest source materials there are:
his personal life experience and his passion for music.
While iakopo's background is reggae, his music is not singularly defined by genres or
parameters. Although his music is pop reggae, his unique sound is truly groundbreaking.
The global singer/songwriter currently resides between Jamaica, Tokyo and Miami
where he’s taken on the enterprise of writing for his U.S. debut album.
To fully understand iakopo's music, his backstory provides the roadmap he was born in
California, the son of a music teacher, who trained him to play piano at the tender age of
After a difficult childhood, iakopo was eventually adopted and raised by a Samoan
family on the South Pacific island of Samoa, where he lived an island lifestyle in
a small village iakopo remembers life there as being tribal and close to nature. The
villagers all survived on fishing and farming and family disputes were solved by the
"Fa'matai"system, comprising of benevolent and wise village chiefs.
There were no refrigerators, beds, TVs, or modern amenities. He did not have the noise
of pop culture buzzing in his ear and distracting him, which allowed him to connect with,
to see, to feel, to understand, and to process the world in an organic, filterfree way.
"Probably because of growing up without a TV, I was able to let my mind wander
to different places instead of caring about the next great show or the latest video
games," he fondly remembers. "I think I benefited from my surroundings and the love
that I received from the people. And I didn't face typical Western world pressures to
hurry up and do or be this? I wasn't on the clock. I was very free to explore and my mind
was free to imagine and create."
He continued, "On one side, I was more into nature as I didn't have typical American
influences but on the other, I struggled with not having a Mom or a Dad or someone
who was there continuously who loved me. That affects you."
iakopo worked hard to buy his first guitar at the age of 13 and would play for the people
in the village, who would gather around and listen to his hauntingly melodic voice. "I
lived and breathed to the rhythm of my music it became my life, my heartbeat, my joy,
my soul, my world."
He attended high school where he sang and played in a band, on weekends he
adored the excitement of performing live at a local nightclub and was exhilarated by the
effect that his music was having on the audience and the positive feedback.
He eventually graduated and left Samoa for Hawaii, without a dollar in his pocket. He
just boarded the plane and bolted."I had to go find my way," iakopo admitted. And find
his way he did!
His musical career took off as he shuttled around the world. "I moved to Hawaii, then to
America, and frequently traveled back and forth, writing my own music and recording,"
he explained. "I sang in a reggae band and toured around. I had No. 1 hits in Hawaii. I
got an offer from Universal Music Japan in 2009 and they brought me to Japan. I had a
fiveyear contract in Asia. I was writing, recording, performing and releasing albums in
Japan and beyond"
iakopo's music during this period was marketed solely for Japan, where he was a
bonafide star. His songs were islandoriented pop reggae geared for a specific fan
base. As much as he treasures his Japanese fans, he knew that, going forward, he
wanted to make his songs more universal so that could reach a wider crosssection of
He moved to Jamaica in February 2015 when his contract with Universal Music Japan
expired, where he composed and recorded his last single, “Supernatural” a pure
reggae homecoming. The song was produced by Gramps Morgan, of the legendary
Jamaican Morgan Heritage Family, and has the streets shaking from Kingston to
New York CityOnce
he was back stateside, he was able to seek a new deal in America. "We are
getting ready for my introduction to the world on a major scale," the artist said, his voice
fired up by enthusiasm for what will be his breakthrough. "It's like a coming out party to
the rest of the world."
"Touchdown" is the song that will serve as his introduction to the mainstream market.
Produced by Rvssian (much respected producer of Nicky Jam, Sean Paul, Vybz Kartel,
and Dizzee Rascal) and featuring international superstar Shaggy, “Touchdown” is a
record with irrefutable charisma and charm, coupled with an unforgettable melody
that will truly kick open the door for his U.S. debut. Rvssian knows a thing or two about a
hit record as he’s responsible for the current #1 song, Farruko’s “Sunset,” featuring
Shaggy and Nicky Jam and three other records all in the Top 20 at iTunes.
While iakopo enjoyed respectable American airplay and Billboard chart action with his
Japanese singles "Break Free," "Love Like This," "When I See You Smile," and "I
Believe,” the latter of which was a top downloaded song on Hawaiian iTunes, his
newest material is truly combustible.
iakopo's entire life has been about preparing for this moment. His experiences are all
reflected in the pen of a master songwriter. His music is being brought to life by the
industry’s brightest hitmakers.
“iakopo’s music is a Touchdown!”