In honor of Earth Day, we are bringing you iEzra’s newest single “Mr. Imposter” a brutally honest and pointed track that shines a light on just how badly our leaders have handled looming disasters, whether it’s the current pandemic or the impending climate crisis. Front man of the band Black Taxi, iEzra uses his solo moniker to experiment more freely and genre hop, giving the project a limitless feel. “Mr Imposter” is interestingly one of his most experimental efforts just by being a straightforward and accessible pop jam, with the subject matter more of what tests the listener’s preconceived notions on what mainstream music can cover.
The results are great; twisting and dancing keys merge with brassy, blistering horns over a fat boom-bap kick. No matter the style, there is always production prowess and songwriting mastery to whatever iEzra touches. iEzra’s voice is on full display here too, whether it’s his smooth and bright, soulful croon, or the second verse half-rap, he paints a bleak picture with a peppy attitude and spirit. For a moment, as you get sucked into the chorus hook and just enjoy the music, you almost forget the wild is in crisis.There’s no denying it, this track has a bit of dark realism to it.. but there is certainly an air of hope to “Mr. Imposter”, an anthemic pop jam who, at the heart of it, is really trying to tell the world that we still have a chance to turn things around. We still have a chance to make things not only acceptable but possibly even better than what came before.
-How important is the climate crisis to you personally, and what inspired you to put it into song?
I became a father four months ago, about the time this song was written, and that has further radicalized my position on the climate crisis. For me it’s become more than just a moral issue, more than a “do-the-right thing”, more than science, because now I have a very personal investment: my daughter, whose life will unquestionably be affected by this issue more than mine. As humans we have behaved criminally for some time despite knowing the damage caused by our actions and we have a huge responsibility to resolve things. It took a while for me to “own” my shitty habits, from the amount of waste I create to my eating choices, and it took education from friends and other sources. Now, in attempting to pay it forward, I’ve employed the megaphone of music. “Mr. Imposter” grew from my frustrations with the lack of action my country was taking, particularly from individuals in positions of power.
-You have a lot of different sounds you employ as iEzra, Mr Imposter is particularly accessible. Does genre concern you as a songwriter or do you just follow where ever creativity leads you?
For many years, as the lead singer and a principal songwriter in Black Taxi, I wrote with the expectations of fans in mind, trying to remain true to our bands signature sound. It was an insanely fun project and a good challenge but it’s been refreshing to have no guard rails and genre-hop freely, reacting without rules to the challenges that each song presents. I understand fans like an artist to sound a certain way—usually the way they sounded when the listener discovered them—but I’ve realized that if I want to convey a feeling properly, get deep into a character or the story I am trying to tell, then I have to have absolute freedom to find what serves the song best. On my tracks you will find folk influences hand in hand with electronics, or in the case of Mr Imposter, a Big Boi-esque beat paired with radio broadcasters, gospel choirs, horn stabs, and samples.
-We can probably guess who the “Imposter” in this song is, but if you’d like, tell us more directly who you’re writing about.
As I address our ex-president, I am also addressing every adult with the capacity to make decisions. We can’t go on like this. Now is the time to be bold, incremental changes will not do. The survival of future generations and the fate of all species is in our hands. That’s a crazy power and with it comes great responsibility. The lyrics are inspired by The Ministry of the Future, a novel set in the near future where the effects of climate change are deemed to be the most consequential obstacle in humanity’s quest for survival. The book details the ambitious steps taken by a select few to combat these effects, despite the gross lack of leadership from the world’s leaders, banks, and major institutions. Kim Robinson writes “The dead hand of the past clutches us via living people who are too frightened to accept change” and that is the situation we find ourselves in now.
-What is next for iEzra, what should we keep an eye out for?
I am always most excited about what I am currently writing. Presently I’m mashing up some tracks that team swaggering riffs with a cool R&B feel and hooky-ness: Royal Blood meets The Weeknd and a smattering of Tower of Power. But that is coming late 2021 at best. In the next few months I plan to release the rest of my album, “The Underlying Condition” from which Mr. Imposter is taken. I also hope to complete the “Music In The Wild” tour I had to cancel when COVID first hit. I had been sponsored to play unique “one-of-a-kind” shows on mountain tops, beaches, caverns, and national parks. The portable speakers and the rig I play with are entirely solar powered and the goal of the tour was to encourage people to get outside and experience music in unexpected places, while also pushing fans to participate in sustainable engagement and tying my shows into recycling efforts, tree planting events, beach cleanups, and solar power initiatives. We will see what COVID, and my daughter, allow me to get away with this round.