We recently, got a chance to tap in with artist Irie Reyna. Check it out below:
Walk us through your background- Tell us more about you and what you do
My path to music was interesting to say the least. Looking back on it now, I’ve always loved to sing and knew it was what I wanted to do since I was a little kid. I was just never put in a position where that could be all my focus. I never took lessons and learned the majority of what I know through my church choir and school choirs. I always wanted to sing but felt really distant from having my own sound. Throughout high school I started writing poetry and as I transitioned easily into spoken word poetry, I still couldn’t write a song for the life of me. I spent about 3 years failing terribly at it also. Granted, I am my worst critic. It takes that honesty to really grow. After hundreds of attempts of trying to find a flow, I finally felt that I landed on something special with my debut track “The Message”. It just felt like me. I’ve been depending on that chemistry in my craft since and I believe as long as I stay true to that love then I’ll never fail my music. It’s my favorite instrument of expression.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by life. It’s funny because I’m a very private person but if you listen closely enough you’ll realize I’m actually an open book. I keep the details of what I experience fictional in some cases but a lot of my inspiration is pulled from feeling myself out, those I love, and those around me. I could be inspired by a lover or a stranger, sometimes they’re one in the same.
What are some of the obstacles you've faced and how has it made you better?
I’ve had my share of adversity but I think the biggest obstacle I had was believing in myself. I grew up being told that I should be a doctor or a lawyer, or if all else fails marry a rich man. I always thought that was such a boring approach to life. I was always hungry to figure things out myself and conditioned to think that I was making things more difficult than they had to be. What’s difficult for me is being confined by someone’s interpretation of me. I had to stop feeling bad for wanting more and just learn how to control my ego along the way. I’m afraid if I didn’t give myself a chance to see things through my own eyes than I would still be very far from myself.
What do you think makes your music different from other artist?
I can come off as aggressive and most of the time it’s just me trying to keep it real. I’m either on or off. I think the only thing that keeps me different is my transparency.
It's important to give yourself credit; What do you feel is/are your biggest accomplishment(s) to date?
I think my biggest creative accomplishment was working with other creatives internationally. I really find something beautiful about how that chemistry translated with no meeting in person or prior exchanges. Networking so organically at that capacity is so exciting.
What are some things that you still want to accomplish?
I want to be able to collaborate with new creative circles. I want to experiment with different sounds, especially those in healing backgrounds like sound bowls and meditation bells. I love the Caribbean culture and ease in the sounds as well so I’d like to continue to find more producers who can help me chase a tune that feels good. I think that’s what people need now more than ever.
What new music do you have coming up?
Right now I’m working on expressing a different side of myself. It’s been a while since I’ve opened myself up to love and I had to find it in myself before I could truly understand what it is I wanted to translate. I think these days I’m coming closer to that and I’d like to share what I’ve learned.
What do you want people to takeaway from your music?
I just want people to feel comfortable in their own skin.
Finally, If you had a message to give to any artist coming behind you, what would it be?
If an artist were to ask me for advice then I’d probably start with trying to analyze whatever is on their mental first. You gotta sort through the immediate thoughts you have. Everyone creates differently so some people thrive in chaos, and some thrive in order. You have to figure out who you are and what you pull your creativity from. Then you have to exercise it like a muscle. Be patient if you’re not making something tangible in the moment, sometimes taking time to feel through things can take hours, days, or years. You have to respect the experience. I think my greatest revelation was finding inspiration in something other than pain. Sometimes what we rely on may not be healthy and a lot of people aren’t ready for that conversation.