iyla lets out her frustrations with ‘OTHER WAYS TO VENT’.

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3T Entertainment, Astra Velum, EMPIRE

The cover of iyla’s second extended play, ‘OTHER WAYS TO VENT’.

Mason Montano, Music Editor

American singer-songwriter Iyla Blue initially debuted as “Bella Blue” in the early 2010s before rebranding as “iyla” and releasing her debut EP, WAR + RAINDROPS, in October 2018. 

The EP was released alongside the viral hit single “Juice”, whose music video has gained over four million views since its premiere, earning iyla a cult following online that was further cemented by the successful follow-up single, “Flowers”.

In late January, she dropped “Tattoo Tears” as the lead single from her second EP, OTHER WAYS TO VENT, which arrived in early February and sees iyla “venting” her frustrations about various personal topics; such as love, body image, and mental health; over high-quality R&B and trap-inspired production.

On “Tattoo Tears”, she uses strong imagery to convey her animosity toward an ex, affirming that she would rather have teardrops permanently tattooed on her face than shed any real, temporary tears over this person because that’s how undeserving they are of being cried over. (Wow).

The second single, “Cash Rules”, is a response to American hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan’s iconic 1994 hit “C.R.E.A.M.” from a feminist standpoint in which iyla refutes the shallow lyrics of the original song by asking her partner what’s more important: Money or their relationship.

Original Wu-Tang member Method Man plays devil’s advocate on behalf of the man, and his presence on the track both opposes and compliments that of iyla’s while introducing the work of Wu-Tang Clan to a new generation of listeners.

Moving away from discussing relationships, the non-single “Naked Girl” serves as a reminder to young women that loving their naked body is nothing to be ashamed of, emphasizing the importance of feeling comfortable in one’s own skin, and the closing track, “OWTV”, is an introspective work of art on which iyla reflects on her past experiences and plans for the future while empowering the listener to be their own self-advocate when it comes to their mental stability.

iyla’s come a long way since her debut, not only evolving as an artist, but blossoming into an up-and-coming R&B queen, and OTHER WAYS TO VENT is available now across all online and streaming platforms.

Stream OTHER WAYS TO VENT on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/4ZMHZn1OsaFc4Gydlzw9VK?si=_K1DxOV1Q9iBt-c7t0XHNg 

Watch the music video for “Cash Rules”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkXk7eSwqyw 

iyla in the music video for “Cash Rules”.