Posted On 20 Dec 2018
Meet reggae musician Iakopo! A true citizen of the world, Iakopo’s feel ties his vast influences together to create a hypnotic reggae sound. His single “In the Back” gives listeners a dubby and sweet vibe to move to, and premiered on TopShelf Reggae. The track starts out by painting a picture of Iakopo shopping and asking about different strains and types of herbs in a marijuana shop. Next thing we know, Iakopo’s navigating through a stoner’s paranoid thought come to life, being pulled over by a policeman. Iakopo sings heartfelt and true, “Officer him wan pull me over sirens pull off on the shoulder my friend don’t blow my cover I got weed in the back so please just relax.”
Reflecting on how the track came into existence, Iakopo says “In the Back” was created “by talking about an experience I had being pulled over by the police with a bunch of weed in the car. I was talking to my friend Bo Napoleon, he started singing a line and we both started laughing. At first we were just talking about the story, then my producer Chaz actually started humming the bass line melody. We all started vibing and the beat was created. Then it turned in to a song, I brought my bro Yaccahmoe over to show him what we were working on. We ended up writing the verses to it the next day and the rest is history.”
You can listen to “In the Back” here: https://soundcloud.com/island-empire-records/iakopo-in-the-back/s-t7wtE
Iakopo currently resides between Jamaica, Tokyo and Miami. He was born in California, the son of a music teacher, who trained him to play piano at the tender age of 3. After a difficult childhood, Iakopo was eventually adopted and raised by a Samoan family on the South Pacific island of Upolu Samoa, where he lived an island lifestyle in a small village. Iakopo remembers life there as being tribal and close to nature. There were no refrigerators, beds, TVs, or modern amenities. He did not have the noise of pop culture buzzing in his ear and distracting him, which allowed him to connect with, to see, to feel, to understand, and to process the world in an organic, filter-free way.
Iakopo has also made Billboard-charting records with his Japanese singles “Break Free,” “Love Like This,” “When I See You Smile,” and “I Believe,” (the latter of which was a top downloaded song on Hawaiian iTunes). He’s worked with superstar musician Shaggy on their charismatic and charming song “Touch Down.” And most of all, Iakopo’s newest material is truly combustible.
Connect With Iakopo Here:
Learn more about Iakopo in the following All Access interview:
-Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you now? Is there music playing in the background? Now that the year is just about over, how do you think 2018 treated you and your career?
2018 was a great year! In the studio making the album was an amazing experience, and with releasing the first single in November, we have been receiving a great response with the music. I’m excited to enter 2019 with even more energy!
-What has been one goal that you have had this year? Did you accomplish it?
My main goal for 2018 was to record a dope album. “Waves” now available for pre-sale!
-Growing up, how important was music to you in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician?
I’ve been involved with music since my adolescent years, its been an amazing influence on my life.
-Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
Most Natural choice for me. It has always been such an inspiration , although sacrifices had to be made, it was a no brainer.
-What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
Getting signed in Japan was pretty unexpected. Even tho it came as a surprise, my knowledge on Japan was still lacking. Culture shocked, realizing no one here really spoke English!
-How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live today?
My music has definitely been inspired by where I grew up, where i live currently, and everywhere I have lived. I believe it had and still does, affect my music. I’m always incorporating my surroundings and experiences into my songs when I begin writing.
-Let’s talk about your newest single, “In The Back.” What was the inspiration for this track?
The past experience I had, dealing with an incident involving marijuana and the law inspired this song. Hopefully reaching out to those who have had a similar situation.
-How does it compare to any other music that you have previously released?
It gives insight from a weed smokers perspective
-How have you grown as artist on this track?
The more experiences you have in life, the more your views can mold. I believe writing songs, speaking from experiences allows me to analyze, learn and change my personal mistakes and view.
-When do you hope to release more new music and a full collection of new songs?
My second single “My Revolution” will drop on December 14th of this year!
-What has been inspiring your musically lately?
I’ve been listening to a variety of hip hop, checking out different sounds. While being in America, Vybz Kartel and Buju Banton have been worthwhile music to connect too. Would go as far as saying, even favorites.
-Since the beginning of music, people have turned to it for support and as an escape from their realities. How do you want your music received and appreciated?
My music vibe creates calming and relaxation amongst myself, wanting to feel happiness and spirituality. I only hope to bring that same vibe to my fans. Things do not always have to be a war path.
-What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now?
Social media has been a very intense, but eventful job! Instagram has shown to be more involved with the people. The interaction is more raw and real.
-Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music?
The most influential and inspirational have been the artist’s Bob Marley, ub40, Tupac , and if course, Vybz Kartel.
-Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
-If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island forever, what musical item would you take with you and why?
Well of course, Bob Marley. His “Confrontation” album is an all-time favorite! “Midnite Ancient Maps” would definitely be the second.
-If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on? Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
-Do you have any tour dates you would like to tell our readers about? How will you be spending your winter?
My Album will be dropping on February 1st, 2019. Shortly after, I will be engaging on tour to explore America.
-At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music? I’d like to know more about how you want your music to be timeless?
Hoping my fans will connect with me through my lyrics, learn from my past mistakes that I cannot change, and to just move forward with a strong, spiritual positive vibe!
-Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
I was born in America and grew up on the Island of Samoa. Two polar opposite mind sets.
So being in tune with both the States and the Islands, I try to consistently bring the vibe from one region to another. Wanting to connect the world through my lyrics and relay the amazing knowledge of all cultures.