Speaking on his musical and personal journeys.
“I try to write in a vague sort of way so that you create your own story to my vibes.”
Hailing from Abuja, Nigeria, Tay Iwar has been hailed as a frontrunner in his self-described style of ‘Afro-fusion’. The artist mixes a distinctly African musical palette with more Americanised RnB, pop and, more recently, even drill to create a true fusion that cleverly remains sounding organic.
A true musician, he is someone who feels comfortable in the studio as he can engineer, produce, song write and seemingly do everything from the conception to the release of a song. It is a skill he developed from a young age, with his parents having enrolled him in classical music lessons, which he resented initially, and through making music since the age of fourteen. Now aged 24, the fact that the artist was sharing his music through BBM before the streaming revolution took over the industry is indicative of how long his love affair with the art form has been.
One of many artists flying the flag for Nigeria and bridging the gap with its diaspora, he has found himself rubbing shoulders and appeared on songs with the likes of Wizkid, Odunsi (The Engine) and Santi. He is a member of the new crop of African musicians who are quickly gaining worldwide recognition.
Our Music Contributing Writer, Gracey Mae, caught up with the artist to discuss his journey to creating music, doing a TEDx talk and his poor yoga skills. See the full interview below.
Hi Tay, welcome to Pause Magazine. How are you?
I’m good. I’m just living, you know, trying to explore new things daily.
Love that. Congratulations on your latest project Love & Isolation; you’re given us like Afro Pop and Afro R&B. What does that phrase mean?
The way I make music, I don’t necessarily love to attach so much meaning to names and my music because I feel like the meaning will come from the audience. You tell me what it feels to you. People just pick different things when they hear music and then relate it to themselves. Also, the way I write, I try to write in a vague sort of way so that you create your own story to my vibes.
Aside from Drill, what else can we expect for the rest of 2021?
I’m working on shows and videos and possibly some merch. I don’t want to give too much away! Possibly more stuff from Gold.
Yes – it’s the content we deserve. London loves you by the way and I hear you love us too…
My most iconic performance was actually Somerset House; that was Soulection as well. That was a beautiful show. The crowd was lit. 4000 people, all gassed. Beautiful! London Soulection energy is different. Their crowd is a different type of crowd. That’s one thing I noticed.
Any parting words for your friends, your family, your following?
Just keep at it because there’s no point in not. Whatever you’re doing that you love, keep at it.