Twenty-six-year old singer/songwriter Iyla (Isabelle Blue) released her second EP, ‘Other Ways To Vent’ in February to much anticipation and has garnered much critical acclaim. Her new project is at times dark, yet powerful and soulful R&B with artistic visuals in her storytelling. Iyla stated- “As someone who is inherently introverted and reserved, music is the way that I connect, and in creating this EP I felt the freedom to be more emotionally expressive.  These seven songs consist of me venting about everything from joy and self-love to heartache and anxiety.  ‘Other Ways To Vent’ documents my journey over the last year and a half. It speaks for me.“ Iyla, has been performing and singing since she was a kid and joined the all-female R&B trio, Fine Chyna, for a brief period of time after high school. She focused on her singing abilities and became a demo singer, having accidentally found success with international hit “Walking on Air” with Anise.K that also featured Snoop Dogg. Iyla would eventually start writing her own original songs that would featured on her debut EP, ‘War & Raindrops’. On her current EP, she collaborated with rapper Method Man for her lead single “Cash Rules” and her song “Tatoo Tears” is about relationship expectations & projections put on by a partner. Although she started writing songs later in life, Iyla has a knack for connecting with listeners based on her own personal relationships as well as observational topics, as she stated, “I love writing. I wrote poetry & essays my entire life so when I was in the studio I started writing.” Growing up, Iyla was heavily inspired by the powerful female R&B artists of the era, especially Destiny’s Child, Brandy and Aaliyah. “This is the music me and my friends grew up around,” she says. “It’s not something I’m trying to be; it’s just who I am, and I can’t imagine being anything else.” Today, Iyla says she’s still drawn to “powerful female artists who have something to say incredible artists like Kehlani, SZA and H.E.R.”

B-Sides met up with Iyla during her San Francisco tour stop to talk about how she was able to overcome her shyness to channel her inner feelings into music, working with Method Man and more. Check out the interview:

Iyla - Too Shy to be Disney Kid, Channels Her Inner Feelings Into Music

iyla - Cash Rules feat. Method Man (Official Music Video)