Newcomer Iyaz doesn't have an album out yet, but, through the success of his hit single, "Replay," which is currently No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the artist already feels like a star.
"Justin Beiber ran up to me and he was like, 'guess what? I just bought your song 'Replay' on iTunes today'," the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, native says. "I went out there and I'm like, 'my homie Justin Bieber says it won't be official unless I sing this song. I just did, 'Shorty's like a melody,' and before I could even sing, 'In my…' they started screaming the song."
Producer/songwriter J.R. Rotem, who helmed most of Iyaz's reggae-infused, R&B heavy as-yet-untitled debut album, says he saw the star power in Iyaz from the start. "Tommy, my brother, gave him a track and Iyaz recorded it by himself in his dorm room. But we were so amazed -- we were hearing so many harmonies and so many melodies going in there," recalls Rotem, who also works with Sean Kingston and Jason Derulo. "I was impressed with what he did with the writing and his vocals himself."
Rotem was right -- Iyaz seems to have what it takes and the reception he's receiving these days when he performs is a testament to that.
"I went from performing two or three songs on Sean's [Kingston] set just to get a little hand up in the air. Now I don't get three seconds into my own song," Iyaz says excitedly. "I love it. I love every second of it and I won't change a thing."