It almost reads like a rags to riches story – it’s just that the story is nowhere near the end. But for singer I-Eye, it’s the exciting, eye-popping, mind-boggling journey of transformation that has her all agog.
A finalist in the 2008 Festival Song competition, I-Eye was then known as Versatile, but those of you who knew her by this moniker would hardly recognise her now. Exuding designer chic, she is wearing Steve Madden shoes, hat by Burberry, H&M jeans and watch by Invicta and the svelte I-Eye makes every road her runway. But don’t be fooled, while she enjoys sashaying into a crowded room making a fashion statement, it’s in the recording studio and on the stage with a microphone in hand that I-Eye really comes to life.
The petite singer radiates gratitude. “I just can’t believe all this is happening to me and for me,” she says again and again, “and I am enjoying myself to the fullest. I am just so overwhelmed. Meeting all these other people in the business makes me so grateful . I feel so special . so thankful . especially for what this means to my mother,” she gushes.
Since the finals of the Festival Song competition, she has been working on her debut album; she has gone to Costa Rica and was scheduled to perform as opening act on a November tour of Europe, but this fell through. However, she will be going on a three-month tour starting June 1, as opening act for singer Alborosie.
A protÃƒÂ©gÃƒÂ© of Clifton ‘Specialist’ Dillon, it was during the Festival Song competition that he discovered her, ironically at a time when he wasn’t even scouting for talent. Producer, manager and rated among the best A&R persons in the business, Specialist says he “saw and heard” that special quality in this young artiste and just had to take her into the studio. And just as he did with Shabba, Specialist is fashioning I-Eye into a particular mould, making a marriage of music and marketability.
Even before any of the songs from the album were complete, the industry was abuzz with the I-Eye project as insiders, having seen the outward changes in the singer and having heard bits and pieces of the project, have been taking keen interest. I-Eye, however, isn’t interested in upsetting any apple carts, she just wants her music to be heard.
“The songs are message music. they are reality and speak to the times we are living in. There is a message for parents telling them to bend the tree from it’s young; there is a message for the youths and the riddims and the lyrics are in total harmony with the messenger,” she says.
Among the songs which will be on the album are Mama’s Hands, Mama She Don’t Like You (with Alborosie), Crazy World, No Matter and What A Day, and according to the executive producer, different singles will be released in different territories.
The album is on the Shengen Clan label and already there are offers from major labels.