Check out our interview with LA-based independent singer/songwriter IRIS who will release her new song “Today” on September 30th.
The stunning new single flaunts IRIS’ stunning vocals and offers a “seize the day” message. “Today” was written by IRIS alongside Trey Campbell (Celine Dion, John Legend) and Malay (Frank Ocean, Lorde, Sam Smith) and produced by Malay.
Follow IRIS @iris
Hi IRIS, please tell us a little about you?
Hi! I live in Los Angeles, but I grew up in New Jersey and will always be a Jersey girl at heart. I’m a singer/songwriter and have been doing music for as long as I can remember.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Loyal. Nerdy. Fun.
We’re sure you have been asked this a million times, but how did you get in the industry?
I always knew from a young age that I wanted to be an artist as in the music business, so I just involved myself with anything that involved music. I moved to Los Angeles from New Jersey to go to musical theater school and ended up staying here because there is such a strong network and community of people in music here (now more than ever). I met people by chance and just immersed myself into the community and got lucky enough to meet Malay through my best friend and longtime collaborator Paul Phamous… and we’re still here doing it now. 🙂
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Ambient. Raw. Inspired.
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
Growing up, my parents were big influences in my life. They always supported what I wanted to do, and when I told them I wanted to make music and do that as my career they were behind me all the way. I guess there’s something inside me that always knew that music was the only thing that I wanted to pursue and I’m still here doing just that.
Do you play any instrument?
I have dabbled with guitar and piano, but I am definitely not good at all! That’s something I want to work on. I can play a mean tamborine though. 🙂
Do you ever get nervous?
All the time! But I think the nervous energy is more like excitement for me.
Tell us about your new single “Today”?
It was written with Trey Campbell and Malay. I wanted to write a song about not being afraid of who you are, to just go for the things you want in life. Trey really helped me channel that message with this song.
What’s the story behind this song?
It started out with a lot more of a darker sounding production and also it was a slower tempo. After being in lockdown for the quarantine, I talked to Malay about wanting to change the production to something faster and also more of an uplifting sound, because the message is so strong and positive. Malay got his hands on it again and it became what you are hearing now.
How was working with big names in the industry like Trey Campbell and Malay?
It’s such a dream honestly. They both are the easiest people to work with. They’re honest and humble. They really channel each artist as an individual and help create something that is truly unique to them.
Did you have plans/concerts planned and cancelled because of COVID? If so, have you done any online concerts or interaction with your fans?
Definitely pushed back a lot of plans unfortunately. I wanted to book many more shows and release more music but I kind of took a step back in the beginning of the pandemic, because the world felt so unsure to me (it kind of still does). I did a couple Instagram live things and then decided it’s time to put the music out. I’m glad I’m finally getting more material out there.
Which project is still on your bucket list?
I definitely want the opportunity to perform again and if festivals are back on then I would love to be a part of that too.
What is fun and rewarding about what you do? And what’s not?
I love what I do, so I think that is the most rewarding thing that you get to do in life. I also get to make music with my husband which is amazing because I love sharing that with him. It can be challenging though at times because you put so much heart and soul into the songs you create, and you’re just hoping that people love them as much as you do.
What’s next for IRIS in the last months of 2020?
I’m hoping to possibly release another single… I was a part of a music seminar last summer, ‘Mix with the Masters’ with Malay and Manny Marroquin and they are about to release the video that they filmed during the seminar. Malay and I did a song from the beginning stages (which we had started in Los Angeles and wrote with Trey Campbell) and we went through the process of production to vocals in front of a group of about 20. It was such a fun experience. I’m hoping to release that song as a bonus track to the other releases that I have scheduled for next year.
What is your favorite song? And why?
“Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac — I just think it’s the perfect song sonically and lyrically.
Any loves other than music?
I love wine haha, but I also love interior design and fashion. I love animals too, especially my two little dogs Boo-T and Coco.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would have loved to meet Frank Sinatra. I love his music and he’s a good ol Jersey boy.
Best advice ever given?
You don’t have to get ready if you stay ready.
How’s a typical day in your life?
I try to work out (Pilates or some form of cardio), take care of my dogs, go to Starbucks, and practice singing for a while. I’m a neat freak so I’m usually cleaning while I’m practicing. I also like to cook and I’m trying to get better at it (Malay is the chef in the family).
Name one of your strengths?
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Pre-Pandemic I love to go to brunch and/or spend time with friends and family. I like to have chill Sundays. I love Sundays in the fall/winter, because I love watching football.
What is your favorite song to belt out to in the car/for karaoke?
I’d have to say anything Adelle or Britney Spears.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Doing the things that make you happy and finding your own inner happiness. I think being true to yourself and living with no regrets are the ways I always find myself to be the happiest. Also, surround yourself with people that bring happiness to you but don’t depend on others to make you happy.
Do you support any charities?
I always try to support charities for Parkinson’s Disease (The Michael J. Fox Foundation), animal charities such as the ASPCA, and if I see someone that needs help in a GoFundMe I will do what I can to support them.
What is your favorite healthy food?
A nice big salad or some fresh fruit.
And your favorite cheat food?
Pizza or anything that involves bread and cheese.
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
If someone was rude to the staff at the restaurant. I don’t appreciate rude people!
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
Happy and creating.
How would you describe your fashion style?
Trendy, but also basic (I love a good pair of jeans and t-shirt any day).
What do you think of social media?
It’s good and bad. Take it with a grain of salt and use it for what it’s there for. Don’t let that define your real life.
Where can we follow you?
Quote: The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
Movie: Moulin Rouge.
Travel Destination: Italy and New Zealand.
Sports Team: New York Giants.
Photo Credit: JV Agency