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We Plug to You… IYEOKA

div style=”text-align: left;”div style=”text-align: justify;”div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”a href=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tuLLr6GYHG4/Tgn4tz0px2I/AAAAAAAAAtM/_P-FWekirFA/s1600/iyeoka.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”img border=”0″ height=”325″ src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tuLLr6GYHG4/Tgn4tz0px2I/AAAAAAAAAtM/_P-FWekirFA/s400/iyeoka.jpg” width=”475″ //a/divbr /Powerful, passionate and talented are the words that come to mind when asked to describe the poet and artist that goes by the name bIyeoka Ivie Okoawa/b. bIyeoka/b pronounced ee-yo-kah means “iI want to be respected/i” – a name originating from her native land of Nigeria – and respected she is or very well should be. Iyeoka is a seasoned and incredible artist and performer by all accounts despite the lack of mainstream popularity and it is with great pleasure and delight that we’re able to share her with you…/div/divdivdiv style=”text-align: justify;”br /The Nigerian-American poet, recording artist and singer began her musical career by founding the group bThe Rock by Funk Tribe/b and was able to blend her poetry with genres like Jazz, Blues, Funk and Gospel with the aid of this collective of musicians to create a beautiful bridge between poetry and music. In 2004, she released her first album of poem-songs (fusion of poetry and music) called biBlack and Blues/i/b followed by her second albumnbsp;ibHum The Bass Line/b/inbsp;in 2007 and thennbsp;in 2008, she recorded a live album in Hawaii called i style=”font-weight: bold;”Live @ KTUH – Honolulu/i. Later that same year, she beautifully covered the U2 hit song “Desire” for the compilation album i style=”font-weight: bold;”In The Name of Love: Africa Celebrates U2/inbsp;which also featured Grammy Award-winning and nominated African artists such asnbsp;bAngelique Kidjo/b,nbsp;bLes Nubians /band bSoweto Gospel Choir/b./divdiv style=”text-align: justify;”br //divdivdiv style=”text-align: justify;”In 2009, bIyeoka/b transformed her sound and songwriting approach from poem-songs into more traditional song forms with the help of new producer bDavid Franz/b and original collaborator bFrancis Phan /bandnbsp;released two EPs that year – biThis Time Around/i/b and b style=”font-style: italic;”Run Into the Rain /b- with a more “electronic soul” sound fusing more Pop, Ramp;B, Dance and Hip-Hop into her music. In November of the following year,nbsp;Iyeoka released her third album biSay Yes/i/b. Outside of the music, the list is endless when it comes to what this Nigerian-American singer/songwriter, poet, educator and b2010 TED Fellow/b has accomplished but for this here feature, we focus on the music and plug to you… IYEOKAbr /br /a name=’more’/a/div/divdivdiv style=”text-align: justify;”b”Say Yes”/b, thenbsp;title track from her current album is one of my favourite bIyeoka/b songs. With it’s alternative sounding Pop/Soul feel, it distinctively and instinctively remind you of a sunny day by the beach hand in hand with a significant other and it feels like that song that should fill the speakers at yournbsp;favoritenbsp;coffee shop. The backing strings played over an acoustic guitar is the sealing point to the track accompanied by soft sounding harmonies by bIyeoka/b. Ironically though – as hippie as the track sounds, “Say Yes” has a slightly sad tone to it as Iyeoka sings about being torn between a lover who wants her but isn’t willing to make the move. I especially like that it’s not the typical love song of a scorn woman drowning in her own tears of self-pity but rather standing empowered [cues “Who runs the World” by Beyoncé] and conveying the message that you can’t learn to love until you love yourself. Listen to the track below./div/divdiv style=”text-align: justify;”br //divdiv style=”text-align: justify;”bspan class=”Apple-style-span” style=”font-size: xx-small;””Say Yes”:/span/b/div/divdivdiv style=”text-align: justify;”object height=”81″ width=”100%”param name=”movie” value=”http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F17609364″param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”embed allowscriptaccess=”always” height=”81″ src=”http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F17609364″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”100%” /object/divdiv style=”text-align: justify;”br //divdivdiv style=”text-align: justify;”b”Breakdown Mode”/b is a fast-paced record telling a story of broken up emotions with the catchy sing-a-long chorus housing lyrics like “iIt’s like a merry-go round we go […] I need to take control before my heart goes to breakdown mode/i”. It’s a very upbeat song easily fitting into an “electro-funk” box complete with synths, a funky bass line and drum kicks, drawing near similarities to sounds of onenbsp;bJanelle Monae/b. The groovy song is portrayed as a narrative from the singer’s point of view of an ended relationship, her needing closure, being lonely and emotional while trying to stay in control of herself. Listen below:/div/divdiv style=”text-align: justify;”br //divdiv style=”text-align: justify;”bspan class=”Apple-style-span” style=”font-size: xx-small;””Breakdown Mode”:/span/b/div/divdivdiv style=”text-align: justify;”object height=”81″ width=”100%”param name=”movie” value=”http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F17609196″param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”embed allowscriptaccess=”always” height=”81″ src=”http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F17609196″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”100%” /object/divdiv style=”text-align: justify;”br //divdivdiv style=”text-align: justify;”This final track we’re featuring from Iyeoka – b”This Time Around”/bnbsp;- is taken off of her 2009 EP of the same name. The song’s very subtle sounds and instrumentation give the distinct impression that Ramp;B/Soul legendnbsp;bSade/b must be one of Iyeoka’s idols as it bears quite a huge similarity to the music icon’s music style. Regardless of the comparison, this song holds it own. It is beautifully sung, definitely one to listen to with a poignant message of believing in one’s self despite facing adversity and is currently nominated in the Ramp;B category at this year’s forthcoming Independent Music Awards./div/divdiv style=”text-align: justify;”br //divdiv style=”text-align: justify;”bspan class=”Apple-style-span” style=”font-size: xx-small;””This Time Around”:/span/b/divdiv style=”text-align: justify;”object height=”81″ width=”100%”param name=”movie” value=”http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F17679432″param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”embed allowscriptaccess=”always” height=”81″ src=”http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F17679432″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”100%” /object/divdiv style=”text-align: justify;”br //divdivdiv style=”text-align: justify;”A very worthy mentionnbsp;amongstnbsp;Iyeoka’s back catalogue is the very stellar b”The Yellow Brick Road”/bnbsp;which is off of the biSay Yes/i/b album; it’s an upbeat track with lush bass guitar and horn arrangements accompanied by thumping drum patterns and probably her most popular song to date. The track was featured in an episode of the hit bHBO/b series, biHow To Make It In America/i/bnbsp;and is the theme song for bUSA Network’s/b new TV series biFairly Legal/i/b. It’s quite a catchy song which includes a clever reference to the popular movie ibThe Wizard of Oz/b/i. Also from the same album, comes the poem “bI Travel Home”nbsp;/bwhich is also certainly worth listening to – it paints a picture of Iyeoka’s transition from being a child in Nigeria to blossoming to a woman in Boston. Refreshingly, it lets us understand the pride within her as she embraces her culture choosing not to let go of her identity./div/divdivdiv style=”text-align: justify;”br //divdiv style=”text-align: justify;”Her albums undoubtedly give a very holistic musical experience and perspective into who bIyeoka/b is as an artist, poet and an educator as it shows from her songs and music and the words and messages behind them that she painstakingly wants to reach her listeners with that authenticity and inspiration. I personally appreciate Iyeoka’s ability to create beautiful and poignant music that fits every mood plus if you enjoy an eclectic mix of artists fromb Corrine Bailey Rae/b to bSade/b to bNina Simone/b, then Iyeoka’s albums are essential to your collection.br /blockquote style=”text-align: center;”bispan class=”Apple-style-span” style=”color: #a64d79; font-size: xx-small;”“My goal is simple… I just want to move the world one poem at a time”- Iyeoka.nbsp;/span/i/b/blockquoteInclude the word “music” into that quote and Iyeoka does exactly that on her records./div/divdiv style=”text-align: justify;”br //divdivdiv style=”text-align: justify;”Purchase: a href=”http://www.blogger.com/itunes.apple.com/us/album/say-yes/id398139190″Iyeoka – Say Yes (iTunes)/a/div/divdiv style=”text-align: justify;”br //divdivdiv style=”text-align: justify;”Keep Tabs on Iyeoka: a href=”http://twitter.com/iyeoka”Twitter /a// a href=”http://www.facebook.com/iyeoka”Facebook /a// a href=”http://www.iyeoka.com/”Website/a // a href=”http://www.youtube.com/user/IYEOKA”YouTube/a/divdiv style=”text-align: justify;”br //div/divdivdiv style=”text-align: justify;”TemiY/div/div/div

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