Interview With Christian Artist, Singer, Songwriter And Worship Leader ‘Iryne Rock’

Tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Iryne Rock. I’m a Nigerian-American singer, songwriter and worship leader. I moved from Nigeria to the US as a teenager and fulfilled my lifelong dream of becoming an American. 

How did you come up with your artist name? 

My artist name is actually my real name, well sort of. Iryne is an alternate spelling of my first name, and Rock is the English translation of my Last Name. 

How long have you been in the music industry? 

I have been in the music industry for about four years now. My first project/album JFY – Just For You was released in 2018. It’s been quite an experience so far.

How did you get started in the music business in the first  place? 

I’m an independent artist and a believer. So I prayed about it first, then followed the advice of other independent artists and friends. It was crazy. It’s still crazy. 

How would you describe your latest single? 

I would describe What Love Is as a happy, girly and fun song. I had so much fun recording it and when it comes on, I smile. It lifts my spirit. 

When can fans expect the visuals for the single? 

It’s already available everywhere. On my YouTube channel, social media pages. The video was also featured on BET Soul. 

Who are your inspirations in the music industry?

Cece Winans, Angelique Kidjo, Sade, Adele, Celine Dion, Sinach and Simi. There are many others but I’m gonna keep this list female and short, or we might be here for a while. 

How do you go about writing a song and what is your process?  

Well for me, I usually start with the melody of the chorus. The melody then shapes the lyrics as I decide what I want to talk about. Other times, I come up with the words or phrase and build a song around it. 

What is the concept behind your forthcoming project if  working on one?  

Yes there is. I’m releasing an EP next month and I’m super excited. “Never known EP “ has a strong nostalgic vibe to it. The styles of music in it are inspired by the 80s/90s but with a modern twist. It should be uplifting and at the same time deep. 

Any plans on touring to promote your latest single? 

I would love to. That’s the hardest part of being independent for me. Finding the right people to tour with has been difficult, but I would love to. 

What are must haves when you’re in the studio working? 

I need space to move, I don’t like closet recording booths. I don’t know if it’s a mental thing but I feel like I can’t really move in those. And because I like to “perform” as I record, they can be limiting. I also need a stand to put my lyrics, lots of water and a great engineer or even better my producer. 

What is the best piece of advice in this business you actually followed? 

Be yourself and listen to your voice. It’s easy to follow the current trend but find yourself in the trend or don’t do it because trends come and go. You need to love your work because you’re gonna sing it a lot if it works out and we want it to work out!!

What artist have you had the pleasure of working with and what was it like? 

Billy Smiley is a producer I’ve worked with but he is also an artist, from the Christian rock band Whiteheart. It was amazing working with him. He is a mentor and friend. He has helped me in so many ways that I can’t mention them all. 

Name an artist(s) that you would love to work with? 

So many- Simi, Wande, TobyMac, Onos, Nathaniel Bassey, Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Cece Winans, Passion, Sade, Angelique Kidjo, Hle and the list goes on. 

Do you think your music is mostly enjoyed more for the beats  or for the lyrical flow and content? 

I think both but if I have to choose, I’d say lyrical flow and content.

What area do you need to improve on in regards to your  career? (Example: Better production, Delivery, Stage presence, etc…) 

All of the above. I definitely don’t think I’ve arrived and I’m looking forward to recording and performing more. 

What’s your all-time favorite song? 

I can’t pick one, so here are 3. Fanny be tender by BeeGees, In the Light by DC Talk and To love you more by Celine Dion. Those songs stopped time when I heard them. 

What was the last album you listened to? 

Names of God by Nathaniel Bassey and Your Kingdom on Earth by HLE. 

Your favorite artist of all time and why? 

Michael Jackson and it’s tough to pick. I love the BeeGees, Celine Dion and many others. For me and many others in the world, Michael is the total package. 

Who’s your favorite five artists right now? 

Simi, HLE, Ayra Starr, Adele and Nathaniel Bassey. 

How do you feel about the current state of music? 

I think it’s great that African artists are being recognized globally! It’s exciting really to see everyone enjoy what we’ve known and enjoyed for many years! 

Any dream award shows you hope to one day play at? 

Well yeah! Grammy awards, the Academy awards, Dove awards, BET Awards, Soul Train Awards, Stella Awards, AFRIMMA Awards, MOBO Awards, MTV Africa Awards, The Headies. 

What is your main goal as far as music? 

To create Christian music that you can take anywhere and be proud to play to anyone. I hope to spread love, write songs that bless people and points them to Jesus. 

Who would you say your music relates to the most? 

To those people that like mainstream music and want inspirational / positive music that is different from traditional worship and gospel music. 

What separates you from other artists? (What makes you  different?)

My style of singing, writing, and perspective. I hope to keep evolving. 

When you’re not in the studio, What do you like to do for fun and relaxation? 

I love watching movies or shows, relaxing at home and eating great food. I’m a homebody! Just love to hang out with family. 

What’s the biggest highlight of your career thus far? 

Singing the National anthem in front of 19,000+ people. It was great! 

What’s the name of the last book you read and by whom? 

Don’t ruin their lives by Adenike Ayoola. It’s a great book on Godly parenting. I highly recommend it. 

What’s your favorite sports team and why? 

I don’t have one. I like winners. I root for the Ravens to encourage my husband. I tend to like individual players more. 

Who’s your favourite actor or actress and their best movie? 

Favourite actresses are Reese Witherspoon / Viola Davis / Meryl Streep and favorite actor is Chadwick Bozeman/ Denzel Washington. They have so many great movies or shows- Legally Blonde/ The Help / The Devil Wears Prada and Marshall / John Q. 

Name someone famous who inspires you and why? 

All those actors and singers inspire me. They just reinforce the idea that we were made for something and we all have something to give the world. 

What can we expect from you in the future? 

More music, performances and collaborations. I love writing, so I hope venture out into writing different things. 

Where can the fans check out for your music? 

They can find me on Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon music, BoomPlay, Pandora, YouTube and everywhere you listen to music. 

Support this artist by using the links below:

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