What is your name?
My name is Owen Egharevba, but my stage name is Iyare
Tell us a bit about yourself/background
I was born in Brooklyn to an Edo father and Yoruba mother. I am the oldest of 4 children. I went attended school in Brooklyn from elementary school to high school. I got a degree in marketing at Saint Peter's College in Jersey City, NJ.
When did you start doing this (art/music/production/design etc.)?
I started playing talking drum at the age of 2. My great grandmother sent it to me from Nigeria, which gave me interest in it. I was in a rap group in college called the "140 Boyz". It was a group of friends and roommates. I wanted to do my own style of music after my mother passed so I chose Afrobeats. I felt that doing Afrobeats allowed me to be true to myself and exploit my talent as a talking drummer. I started producing and my first song was "Ewa Ba Mi Jo".
How was the reaction/feedback from those around you (family/friends)?
I had mixed feelings from people with their feedback. People would tell me I'm doing a great job but I feel like the people I expected most to support me did not. I would ask them to repost a song or video and they never do, but they are quick to say that we need to support each other. People pick and choose whom they want to support. I feel in our community they would rather support someone who is already established
What inspires your art?
What inspires my music is my life. I like to touch on things that I've gone through or things that I like.
What is your favorite piece and why?
My favorite song that I've made is "African". The song was created to help promote the t-shirts made by Nygerian. The song ended up being my most popular song and that song had opened so much other opportunities for me. I was able to perform at the United Nations and the African Diaspora Awards.
Who would you like to work with /who inspires you/ which artist do you admire?
I would love to work with Tekno, Selebobo, Wizkid, Yemi Alade, Tiwa Savage, Chief Dejjy, Sudan, and Balaish.
In the near future, I plan on putting out an EP this summer entitled "God Given".
What advice do you have for anybody out there who wants to be an artist like you?
The advice I would give an artist trying to follow in my footsteps is to never compromise yourself and keep the right people around you.
Soundcloud: Owen Egharevba