Million Stylez

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Million Stylez


“I actually started out rapping in Swedish at the age of nine and I would have to say Yo! MTV Raps was the biggest reason,” Iryo shares with boundless energy from the land of Ikea. “I was obsessed with hip hop at the time and when I was old enough to get into the clubs you could see me grabbing the mic at every jam I could possibly get into”.

Like many, he found solace and identity in hip hop’s rugged beats and rhymes before entering the nurturing arms of reggae culture. Translating his developing lyrical style to another form, he says he began experimenting with reggae and dancehall vibes at the age of 18. “I noticed that the crowd reacted differently from when I was just rapping so I’ve been doing it from ever since.” A musical citizen of many lands, he grew up around a melting pot of influences and cultures, from Middle Eastern and Balkan to Latin and African.

“A funny thing is that Swedish music doesn’t move me at all,” the international singer chuckles with irony. While the reggae movement in Sweden is still in development stages he says reggae is hugely popular across Europe. “It’s still growing in Sweden, Babylon is working hard trying to hold it back but reggae music is a movement that can’t be stopped,” he declares in almost song lyric form. Believe it or not, it is the home of Oktoberfest that holds the honour of being Europe’s home of reggae. “I would have to say that Germany is the leading country in Europe when it comes to reggae very much because [of] their dedication, obsession and love for the music. They also got the most organised promoters in the world according to me,” Iryo laughs.

Best known for the dance floor blazing anthem Miss Fatty, the music of Million Stylez very much represents his many influences. His debut album From A Far was bubbling with energy, showcasing his smooth crooning-meets-patois vocal style. Whether he’s lacing a sweat-filled dancehall cut or a more traditional reggae slow jam, he says that it all flows naturally in the studio. “I’ve reached a stage in my career where I just get into the booth and improvise and whatever comes out of my mouth is what’s supposed to come out.” You could call it divine intervention from the most high. “In that way every song feels like an anthem for me personally. People always come up to me telling me their favourite track and it’s always different tunes. When I’m on stage it’s a different thing again. I love to perform so much and I think it shows. It feels like I was born to do this.”

As such an early bloomer, it very much seems that his whole life has been building towards his current mission as verbaliser of the reggae world. Iryo is pumped to now be spreading the gospel in Australia, where he’s making his first ever trip. “I’m really looking forward to doing this tour,” he exclaims with obvious enthusiasm. “Not only from all the nice things I’ve heard about Oz but also the fact that it’s the only continent I haven’t performed in…yet.” Reflecting the variations in his recordings he says fans can expect pure energy from his live show. “My set is kind of mixed with roots and dancehall, also some hip hop influences. There are different segments in my show, some parts where I go conscious with slow roots, making people just skank slow and easy. The next part is where I hype up the crowd with up-tempo dancehall, making them jump and dance like crazy. It depends a lot on the crowd so if Oz is ready for me I will mash up the place.”

While his trip down under could prove to be a big milestone there is one gig that stands out in his mind so far. “Every show is of course different but if I have to mention a specific show it would have to be when I performed in Sofia, Bulgaria in front of more than 60,000 people. Everybody was singing along to Miss Fatty acapella. It was the beginning of my career so that just felt huge for me right there.” Never believing his own hype, he’s quick to count his blessings. “First and foremost I give thanks to the almighty father.” Along with more globetrotting, Million Stylez is cooking up other plans, including two new albums, “one dancehall and one roots.” They are soon finished. He also has an EP titled Songs About You, which is slated to drop in February. Above all else he’ll keep pumping those good vibrations. “I will just keep on doing what I know which is good music with emotions, vibes and a positive message.”