If I haven’t made it clear up to this point, I absolutely love when I discover new artists whose music really clicks with me; part of what makes year-end season so fun, aside from compiling my own list of favorites, is getting recommendations from friends/connoisseurs whose musical taste I admire.
What I also love — and perhaps this is just the music nerd in me — is when I get hip to an up-and-coming artist who is on the cusp of making it big.
My most recent discovery came via a retweet onto my timeline by a friend. Upon stumbling across this tweet, I was introduced to the music of up-and-coming artist Iyla Blue. I was immediately intrigued by the music and the video, and decided I was going to check out her music myself. Let’s just say I’m definitely a fan. And based on the virality of the tweet, she seems poised for imminent widespread success.
Iyla technically isn’t a “new” artist; under the stage name Bella Blue, she featured on the 2014 chart-topping song “Walking on Air” by Anise K. But there seems to be very little information about her career prior to and following that song; in a way, War + Raindrops — her first real project, 4 years later, under her new name — serves as a sort of reintroduction to the world. And what a reintroduction it is.
Iyla’s sound draws heavily from hip-hop/alt-R&B/pop influences, in the same vein as artists like Doja Cat, Kehlani, NJOMZA, etc. Buoyed by her pillowy pop vocals, iyla’s music provides enough rosy vibes to fill a room. My only regret is that I didn’t catch this in October of last year, when it originally dropped. But of course, as the age-old adage goes: “better late than never.”
Enjoy War + Raindrops below