Multi-talented recording Nigerian-American artist Obie Iyoha has finally released his long-awaited, BumbleBee EP. If you’re not familiar with Iyoha’s work, read our posts on his earlier singles; “Flying Nimbus” and “Lilly.” These smooth tracks served as an introduction to the body of work that Obie titled the BumbleBee EP. I sat down with Obie and we briefly discussed this project, what it means for him and what he wants it to mean to listeners. Read the interview below and check out the “BumbleBee EP” available everywhere!
Why the title BumbleBee?
Obie Iyoha: A week after I got back from Nigeria in mid-2017, my car broke down and I was salty. I had big plans to launch my newly founded production company “Llama Haus.” Salty because I could not afford another major set back if I had any hopes of breaking through the noise with this new wave of music stirring around in my soul. Momsi blessed me with a phone call about a week and some change after my car was pronounced dead, and she said: “I bought you a car, its a gift, but you’re going to pay me back!”. I could barely contain my excitement…but then I saw the car and my heart dropped into my bowels. A bright yellow hatchback with four doors and low mileage. I’m like, “They’re about to clown me in these streets,” but turn by turn I fell In love with this car. This EP is an ode to the vehicle that stuck it out with me and my squad around the country for my first Pop-up tour and through my journey creating my forthcoming album “PNKMN,” set to be released later in 2020. I named her ‘Bumble Bee’.
2. What was your inspiration going into this project?
My inspiration was to get my sound out to be honest. I finally feel ready as an artist to start sharing my music with the world, so it’s like, ain’t no time to waste at all. I felt eager to meet the world, and this EP is that introduction.
What do you think your music is about? Or what do you want your music to be about?
I think my music is a collection of experiences and misadventures in southeast Michigan through the eyes of a young Nigerian-American man trying to make it over. I try to keep my word as honest as possible, even when I’m channeling other people’s experiences through me.
I think my music is a collection of experiences and misadventures in southeast Michigan through the eyes of a young Nigerian-American
Sonically, what type of sound are you going for? I love the soulful, jazz-fused production all over this joint.
I’ve always oscillated between both the culture that raised me growing up stateside, and It’s been crazy watching that influence manifest itself through my music organically. I’d say my sound is at the nexus where these influences intertwine.
What’s your favorite track on the EP? Mine has definitely got to be “Lilly.” There’s just nothing wrong with that song. Just vibes.
(Laughs) I don’t know bro they all slap in my opinion…I think the process of writing “Streetlights” was really enchanting. and I felt very liberated getting that sound out into reality.
What led to your hiatus before this EP’s release? Because you were steady releasing videos.
Around the time of the 2nd video release (Lilly), I had visited DC to meet with some gentlemen from E1 Entertainment who wanted to help my career, so I chose to halt the release to give the music a better platform…So now we move!
African artists in the states have a unique perspective…We have commonly been alienated from the conversation of African artists globally but I think all that is changing.
What’s your take on African artists in the States?
I think African artists in the states have a unique perspective that hasn’t really gotten to take the stage yet. We have commonly been alienated from the conversation of African artists globally but I think all that is changing. The time is ripe, I feel.