We met singer Iyaz at his record offices in Manhattan recently. He sings one of our favorite songs, “Replay.”
What do you hope to accomplish over the next few years?
The next 10 years, I hope to be very successful and have my own business and be a part of the label that made me, which is Warner Bros.
Did you always want to be a singer?
Not really. Actually I use to rap. I always wanted to be an entertainer, music, entertainer whether it’s rap or singing whatever. Singing works out best.
Where do you find inspiration for your music?
My mom. My mom sings. The whole family sings. I actually listen to a lot of gospel music, sometimes. It all goes down like that.
If you didn’t have music what job would you want to have?
Digital recording. Still recording music. Once it has to do with music, I’m down for it.
Do you have an iPod, and what songs are you listening to?
Right here . I have the iPhone, and I listen to a lot of Miley Cyrus; I love the Green Day. “Replay,” of course. Justin Bieber. Do you guys like Justin Bieber?
How has success changed you as a person?
It hasn’t changed me. I’m still the same one, and you could ask anybody that be around me. I’m the same, but as far as how it has changed me success. It showed me a lot of the ins and outs of the music business. It just helped me — gave me a little bit more knowledge about what I’m doing.
What was your inspiration for “Replay”?
My girl. She is my inspiration for “Replay” because she’s like a melody in my head.
What do you miss most from your hometown.
My mom’s cooking. I miss mommy food.
What did you feel like when you heard your song for the first time on the radio?
I was happy. I think I almost threw the driver out of the car because I was kicking the back of his seat. I was like what? I heard it first in New York on 92.3. It was a good feeling; you got to love it!
Our class really loves your song “Replay.” Are you releasing any other singles?
Yes I have a couple more singles coming. I have a remix to replay coming soon. Do you guys listen to Flo Rida. You listen to Gucci Man? No. You’re going to love the remix. Coming soon.
How does your family feel about your success?
They love it. My mom loves it. She just called me because she just watched the show I just did, “Good Day, New York,” and she just called me as I walked out of the studio. And she’s like, “Aah, baby boy, I’m proud of you.” My whole family, everybody supports me 100 percent.
Have you met any celebrities that you wanted to meet?
Yes, I have. I met Wyclef [Jean]. I met Miley Cyrus. Both them two.
Who do you thank the most for your success?
God. And then my mom and then Sean Kingston. You know God blessed me with the power to sing and the power to have that connection with music. And my mom was the one that coached me in the right direction through church; and Sean was the one who found me and has me where I’m at today.
We heard that you and Sean Kingston were really close. What do you like to do together?
When we do have spare time, we like to race ATVs; we both have ATVs. So we like to race a lot. Or we would just clown, like do pranks on each other. . . We put hot sauce in a guy’s mouth. We did some crazy stuff.
What was your first big purchase when you made it big?
I think it was my car. I got an ’08 Escalade.
Is there any artist that you would like to hopefully record a song with?
What about Justin Bieber?
Him, too. That’s my dude.
Iyaz is such a unique name. Were you always called that, and what does it mean?
Actually I was always called that. I was called mini Iyaz. It’s actually my godfather’s name, and it means the one in charge, the one calling all the shots, the big daddy. So they called me mini Iyaz because I was always with him. As you can see, I’m not mini anymore. So I just took the name from him. That’s cool.
We heard you were discovered on MySpace by Sean Kingston. Is that true?
Not discovered. I was stalked by him. When he hit me up, I blew him off for like a whole week. Probably like four or five days. I didn’t answer his messages because I didn’t believe it was Sean Kingston. But when I finally did take him on, he gave me his number, and I called him. I saw what? Sean Kingston’s talking to me on the phone right now. It was a very good feeling. A very good experience for me.
Do you have any advice for kids out there who want to follow their dreams?
Don’t ever give up. Don’t let anybody tell you that you cannot because you can see I’m an Island boy. And all you have to do is just be focused, stick to what you do and just be creative with your music. In whatever you do. It could be music, it could be acting, could be anything. Just be creative with it, stick to it. Don’t let anybody tell you no.
What are your favorite TV shows?
I love to watch “Wizards of Waverly Place,” “Hannah Montana,” “Phineas & Ferb.” I live on the Disney Channel. My TV is always on the Disney. So that’s me.
How old were you when you started getting interested in music?
Interested in music from young, young. I was probably like 5 or 6, but I took it seriously like five years ago. And now everything is working out for me.