Forget the British Invasion — are we in the midst of a Caribbean music invasion? Coming down a road paved by Rihanna, Sean Paul and Sean Kingston is Virgin Islands native [artist id="3224931"]Iyaz[/artist], who is tearing up the radio and iTunes waves with his infectious island-infused single, “Replay.”
“I’m actually trying to catch up with ‘Replay’ right now,” Iyaz told MTV News. “It’s like a roller-coaster ride that took off without me — I’m actually running behind the roller-coaster, trying to get in, you know? ‘Replay’ took off — it was released in September — and it’s been nothing but uphill since then.”
Iyaz said that making music was just something he did “for fun” while attending school for digital recording. He would then post his songs on MySpace for his friends and family back home to hear. One of those songs, “Island Girls,” became a hit in Caribbean, and soon after, Sean Kingston contacted him through MySpace, signed him to his Time Is Money label and took Iyaz on tour with him.
Iyaz described his and Kingston’s style as “island pop.” “Island pop is a mixture of R&B, pop music, reggae music, and the islands have these types of music named souk and soca — it’s a mixture of all them.”
One of the most surprising things Iyaz has discovered about his fast ride to fame is how the audience responds to his music. “When ‘Replay’ started out, Sean Kingston — who I’m signed to — used to bring me out in the middle of his set and I would do like two or three songs, and ‘Replay’ would be the last song ’cause that was the single. And you went from seeing people [reacting] like this: ‘Hey that’s a nice song,’ to now where I’m doing my own shows, and I just say [sings], ‘Shorty’s like a melody’ and then boom! You got [thousands] of people singing along to this song that know it better than me!”
Iyaz’s debut LP is scheduled for release in early 2010.