Dancehall / Feature

IzyBeats Talks “Edgehill” EP, Koffee and His Musical Influences: Interview

IzyBeats

The Grammy-winning producer is adding a layer to his colorful music career as he shifts from behind the mixer to now putting pen to paper and controlling the microphone.

IzyBeats is a well-decorated Grammy-winning producer who has worked with the likes of Koffee on “Toast,” and “W” feat Gunna from Grammy-winning Rapture EP, Jorja Smith and Burna Boy (“Be Honest – certified platinum in the UK and France and gold in Australia), Masego for whom he produced three tracks on the Grammy-nominated ‘Studying Abroad’ EP including his collaboration “Silver Tongued Devil” featuring Shenseea released this year, Alicia Keys, H.E.R, and he even has songwriting credits for working with Tarrus Riley and Masego among others.

Having conquered the world of sounds and beats, the producer is now shifting gears and preparing to release his debut album ‘Edgehill’.

Urban Islandz spoke exclusively to IzyBeats, who shared more about his musical journey and what fans may expect from his upcoming album.

Who is ‘IzyBeats’?

“My real name is Andron Cross, I’m a fresh 37 (37 is the new 27!) I I grew up in Hellshire Beach, Portmore and attended Greater Portmore High School in Jamaica before moving to Miami for BCC, Broward College.

IzyBeats is known as a producer, when and why did he decide to add his voice to the beats?

“My vocal work has always been in the background on beats. I do a lot of background vocals for a lot of people. I’ve just never put it into the environment to let people know that. I’ve been a producer that was always directing people, developing artists, and developing talent. People just don’t know [that] and I feel like it’s time for them to understand what I can do. And I feel it’s the right time now with all the connections and success from being a producer, to step into the artist direction.”

Did growing up in Jamaica help to shape your path in music?

“When I was in high school I used to be the “riddim man”. When clash go on, I was the one they used to call to come make the beats with my hand and use the pencil, you know how it goes? That’s when it started. From them times, I knew it had to be music. I already was in love with it from before.”

Almost everything you touch turns to Gold – Like Koffee’s “Toast” which launched her international career, where do you get inspiration?

“I get a lot of inspiration from a lot of different places. I used to listen to Timbaland – many of his productions as well as Sly and Robbie. Ward 21 was my favorite riddim from back in the day as I listened to the riddim as a producer. Vybz Kartel is also a big influence and Black Chiney [Sound System], [Black Chiney founder] Supa Dups as producer, and Michael Jackson. Growing up seeing Ginuwine and Aaliyah, them kind of vibes.”

Izybeats
IzyBeats / cred: Chad Andreo

Tell us about the conception of ‘Edgehill‘.

“The concept of ‘Edgehill’ came about from me growing up in Hellshire Beach. The street where I was raised is called Edgehill. My dad passed away a couple of years ago, and it’s the memory of him and I’m incorporating that into the project as a way of paying my respects.”

What’s next for IzyBeats?

“Right now is just building the brand. Growing as an artist and continuing to grow as a producer. I want to keep working with bigger artists and help brand-new artists to come into the spotlight because I’m big on opening the gate for more opportunities. I also want to look at [music] business investment and try to do more for my country. It’s [all about] making smart business decisions and growing financially.

Immediately, I have another single dropping in February, that’s very massive. I am looking forward to fans hearing it. It’s a blend of mixed genres including dancehall, reggae and everything else. I have some big features on it and I am looking forward to that becoming one of the most successful tracks in 2023. I am looking forward to life, good health and happiness.”

Where will Izybeats be in 5-10 years from now?

“My professional ambitions include being a CEO/executive in music business and having a label with multiple successful artists under my belt as well as branching out as an entrepreneur investing in other businesses. I also want to continue to invest in building Jamaica while spending time with family and enjoying life. Giving thanks for being alive and being comfortable.”

It took you almost 2 decades to find the path you are on, what advice do you have for younger artists or producers who are putting in the work but not hitting the spot just yet?

“I felt the same way. I was in the same box but remember it’s all about consistency and keeping your mind positive. Staying clear-minded and moving forward with what you love and your passion. Everybody has a time when things will happen for them. You have to be patient and keep working at it, and it will come to you, no doubt about it.”

IzyBeats also got a new song out with Konshens, “Up Deh.”