Wed | Feb 8, 2023

IzyBeats flexes muscles on the microphone

Debut album ‘Edgehill’ to be released in 2023

Published:Sunday | November 13, 2022 | 12:06 AMStephanie Lyew - Sunday Gleaner Writer
Producer-composer IzyBeats is convinced there is no better time than the present to push his brand and name as a recording artiste.
Producer-composer IzyBeats is convinced there is no better time than the present to push his brand and name as a recording artiste.

His debut album, titled ‘Edgehill’, is slated to be released in 2023.
His debut album, titled ‘Edgehill’, is slated to be released in 2023.
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‘Yo Izy, are you kidding me?’

“There is no joke about it,” IzyBeats answered in an interview with The Sunday Gleaner, alluding to his debut album Edgehill, which is slated to be released in 2023. In 2017, IzyBeats joined the roster of international music group Creative Titans. The label has partnered with UK-based Believe Music to release and distribute the project.

With songwriter credits on Koffee’s W, a Grammy Award already under his belt, and a cargo-load of successful productions with international stars like Mesego, H.E.R., Burna Boy, Jorja Smith, and Alicia Keys, the music industry will agree that IzyBeats is not trying to ‘kid’ anyone. He expects people to question his reasons for wanting to become a recording artiste at this stage of his career, especially after having first-hand knowledge of the challenges of breaking into the mainstream.

He said, “Over the years, working with a lot of artistes, I realise how difficult it can be when you don’t have the financial resources, a label backing, or the connect – of having more people around with the right connections – to get features with artiste you want to work with, but I feel like I am in a position to pursue this.”

The producer-composer shared that the success he has seen sometimes feels surreal but that years of trial and error and failures have kept his motor running. He is convinced there is no better time than the present to push his brand and name as a recording artiste. He said that production is his “bread and butta,” and stopping or pausing in that arena after investing more than a decade to become a sought-after producer is not an option.

“I just don’t want to look back and say, what if. I know I definitely gotta keep the engine fuelled up and helping other persons to get their projects off the ground as well as collaborating with others in the industry, but I’m taking some of the energy to put my project into the mix,” he said. “My personal opinion is that it’s equally time-consuming for a producer as it is for an artiste. It took me approximately 14 years to get into the position I’m in right now, and that’s with dedication and consistently working towards achieving that goal. So it’s important for me to take advantage of the time I have now to get my voice out there as an artiste and add another byline.”

Singing is nothing new for the Hellshire Beach native and long-time Miami resident. IzyBeats, born Andron Francois Cross, envisioned himself as a vocalist before he began making beats for his stepbrother, singer David Lyn. More than just a beatmaker, vocal coaching and writing is an integral part of IzyBeats’ creative process with the artistes he produces. In fact, his melodies can be heard in the vocal mix on nearly every track he has produced. On Friday, he officially released the lead track from the Edgehill album titled Up Deh, which features dancehall star Konshens. It sees both creatives taking turns lavishing praise upon their respective love interests, with the sounds of a Spanish guitar adding flavour to IzyBeats’ smooth island pop rhythm. The song is a mild teaser of what is to come from IzyBeats, who flexes his vocal muscles and shows impeccable range as a singer.

“I want people to understand that even though I’m a producer, I can do the artiste side as well. I mean, I’ve been giving everybody the sauce, laying melodies and even singing for others. This is just a formal introduction from me and a chance to be on the other side of creativity. The EP itself is special to me because I challenged myself,” IzyBeats said.

“The title is where I’m from, a street called Edgehill within the Hellshire Beach area where I was raised. It connects me to my father, who passed a couple [of] years ago, and I want to have something etched into my first production that connects me to him. I know if he was here, he’d be very happy to see where I’ve reached and see what I’m now doing,” he continued.

stephanie.lyew@gleanerjm.com