A true citizen of the world, Iakopo’s feel ties his vast influences together to create a hypnotic reggae sound. His highly anticipated upcoming album Waves is set to release on February 1st, 2019 off tastemaker label Mensch House Records! The album was recorded and produced by Chaz Rox in Carson, California, and features Bo Napoleon, Yaccahmoe, and Jemere Morgan. Iakopo has also just released a saucy music video for his new single “In the Back,” premiering on Ghettoblaster now!
Iakopo currently resides between Jamaica, Tokyo and Miami. He was born in California, the son of a music teacher, who trained him to play piano at the tender age of 3. After a difficult childhood, Iakopo was eventually adopted and raised by a Samoan family on the South Pacific island of Upolu Samoa, where he lived an island lifestyle in a small village. Iakopo remembers life there as being tribal and close to nature. There were no refrigerators, beds, TVs, or modern amenities. He did not have the noise of pop culture buzzing in his ear and distracting him, which allowed him to connect with, to see, to feel, to understand, and to process the world in an organic, filter-free way. “I think I benefited from my surroundings and the love that I received from the people. And I didn’t face typical Western world pressures - to hurry up and do or be this; I wasn’t on the clock. I was very free to explore and my mind was free to imagine and create,” says Iakopo.
On the making of Waves, Iakopo says, “This album of work is particularly meaningful to me, because of the people I worked with. I worked and recorded with the same people for the entire project, which was dope in the sense that we were able to build a continuity and flow with all the songs. Most of the songs were all created based on real life situations that I had personally gone through. During the recording process it was real and very organic. I wanted to give a certain vibe to the project that could connect the energy of ideas of reggae music, and where it comes from in a real sense, and connect that with the urban listeners in America.”
Waves includes powerful and synth driven tracks like “My Revolution,” where Iakopo gives his lyrical take on the state of today’s world, “They wanna keep our minds in a small box, they don’t want unity they want us all divided.” Other standout tracks on the album include a dubbed out track about spiritual growth “Legends,” the acoustic and soulful love song “On” featuring Bo Napoleon, the skank heavy song “WWYD (What Would You Do),” and many more.
An accomplished songwriter, Iakopo has made Billboard-charting records with his Japanese singles “Break Free,” “Love Like This,” “When I See You Smile,” and “I Believe,” (the latter of which was a top downloaded song on Hawaiian iTunes). He’s worked with superstar musician Shaggy on their charismatic and charming song “Touch Down.” And most of all, Iakopo’s newest material is truly combustible.
Fans will be excited to know Iakopo will hit the road this winter for a worldwide tour in support of his new album Waves, starting with America and the islands. Concertgoers can expect a live show full of energy and dynamics, compared to the laid back and chill smokers vibe on the album. You can keep track of upcoming Iakopo tour dates here, or watch his vibrant new music video for “In the Back” here!