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Iyaz Creates ‘Island Pop Lane’ With Hit Single ‘Replay’

IyazWith the help of Sean Kingston and one infectious single, newcomer Iyaz is adding momentum to the “island pop” genre.

“It’s a new movement,” Iyaz told the BoomBox when he recently stopped by to preview his tracks and meet the staff. “We tryin’ to make this so big that we got our own little spot on iTunes, you know.”

Iyaz — his name given to him by his godfather and self-defined as “the one in charge, calling all the shots ” — was initially hit up by Kingston on MySpace, but ignored the messages in his inbox. “I mean, who would think Sean Kingston is hitting them?” Iyaz said in his defense. “I was like, ‘This is not Sean Kingston.’ So I didn’t even give him the benefit of the doubt. I was like, ‘Delete. Delete.”

Soon after, Iyaz figured out Kingston was in fact for real when he flew in from the Virgin Islands and started working with him. Thanks to the catchy debut single, ‘Replay,’ things have been burning up for the singer ever since. The song feels fresh, but Iyaz cites Bob Marley as an inspiration to his own direction and career.

Watch Iyaz’s ‘Replay’ Prequel Video

“He made his own lane, you know? He stuck to his lane [and it] made him the best at what he do … So I’m trying to create this new lane, this island pop lane,” Iyaz said of the mix of pop, R&B, reggae and island influences in his sound.

Holding strong at the top of iTunes and radio charts, the accessible, feel-good tune about a girl being “stuck on replay” in his head is speaking to listeners of all kinds.

“I was at a Chinese restaurant, and this three-year-old girl was singing the song, over and over, for like 45 minutes,” recalled Iyaz. “We went outside, and now she’s swinging on rear view mirrors, on street signs — swinging, and singing the song. If a three-year-old can catch on to this song, I think that’s probably why everybody else loves the song.”

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Iyaz Visits the BoomBox
Iyaz visits the BoomBox on Nov. 3, 2009.
Max Orenstein, AOL

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