With every new song, video, and show that she performs, Iyla keeps finding her fans, and the only disgruntlement they could bear for the artist is that they didn’t discover her early enough. As an introvert, you can understand why she took her pretty time trying to figure out how she can fit in her personality with the music industry, but she’s got music flowing in her veins, and you can’t deny that if you’ve ever come across her catalog.
“As an artist, you feel like you’re going and working so hard and you’re putting your heart into your creations. Putting yourself on the line like that is having an appetite for disaster,” she says of the reason she chose the bold name Appetite For Disaster as the title that will represent the seven songs on her latest EP – a record inspired by her unwillingness to settle.
Slightly departing from her R&B and Soul sound to blend genres, the songs on the EP ooze with empowering lines like, “I don’t get mad, I get pretty,” “Put some respect on my name like I said,” and “Leave me alone/Don’t wanna know” – a reflection of rising above her struggles within the last few years. “These last few years, in certain ways, have been a constant state of a reminder of what’s important and valuing those things more,” she said of her state of mind when she started working on the songs that would make it into this EP. But instead of creating a body of work that only talks about her experiences; she also wanted to get the message out that we can all go through hard times where we feel like moving on has become impossible and yet still get over it.
The focus track on Appetite For Disaster, “Impala” featuring Symba – a song about leaving a relationship that’s no good for you to return to a place you really love – sees the star connect the feeling of breakup and recovery with her hometown. “I was thinking, how can I tell a story of going back to myself,” she said about leaving behind a toxic relationship that made her lose who she was. “I really wanted the story of “Impala” to be this message of finding myself but doing it through going back to LA and going back to where I’m from.” Her imaginative spirit came to life on “Impala” as she says she pictured “falling in love with someone who was from somewhere totally different from me” and “envisioned going on a road trip back to myself and the heart of who I am” when writing the track. And on this journey, she imagines taking it alone.
If you asked her which song she most relates to on the EP, she’ll tell you it’s “Sad Bitch Bad Bitch,” because it reminds her that no matter how hard things get, there’s always a bad bitch inside of her that’ll help her get through it.
Working with her favorite and longtime producer Kadis on the songs we hear on Appetite For Disaster, she boldly calls her first materials “gibberish.” But no matter how bad she thinks they are, they do prove useful in helping her to figure out the emotion she wants to tap into on the track, even though she isn’t always sure what she wants to sing about at the beginning. Her love for live instruments is evident in her recordings, which feature live bands, but perhaps one of the most remarkable things about Iyla as an artist is that she isn’t sticking to a sound that works. Most artists fashion their music around the idea of what has worked for them, whereas Iyla is always looking forward to making something new, and guess what, they’re always beautiful.
As an extension of her music, her videos have been wildly praised by fans so much so I was curious to learn how involved she usually is in the making of these very beloved videos. “Very much,” she quickly replies, surprisingly revealing that she’s her own creative director. “The music is meant to touch people, it’s meant to be raw and connect with people, but I think the visual side of it can bring a whole new aspect to a song and tell a whole new story.”
As the last record that will round out her trilogy of EPs, she wanted each of the songs to inspire people to embrace their uniqueness and see their differences as strengths. In the same vein, while working on the EP, she learned to embrace her own uniqueness by owning the “parts of me that I shy away from.”
Appetite For Disaster is a wonderfully empowering record at its core, and it drives listeners through themes of strength, sexuality, confidence, and love.