IYEOKA

IYEOKA

 Boston, Massachusetts, USA
BandSpoken WordSoul

Iyeoka is an international slam poet champion, a 2010 TED Global Fellow and an amazing recording and performing musical artist comparable to Nina Simone, Lauryn Hill, Sade, and Amy Winehouse. Along with her Rock by Funk TriBe band, she creates uplifting experiences by infusing pop, soul, R&B, dance, and hip hop with powerful spoken word that effortlessly crosses genres and cultural boundaries.

Biography

Iyeoka Ivie Okoawo is a Poet and Recording Artist, a 2010 TED Global Fellow, the 2nd place 2009 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion, and a spokesperson for the Amenawon Foundation. A first-generation Nigerian-American, Iyeoka was a practicing pharmacist before launching her career as a poet, singer, activist and educator. In her native Esan language, Iyeoka means “I want to be respected.” By channeling her culture and ancestral influences, she delivers an authentic and inspiring message of healing through accessing the power of the moment.

Iyeoka began her musical career by founding the group The Rock by Funk Tribe, a collective of musicians that enabled her to interweave her poetry with jazz, blues, funk, and gospel. She released her first solo full length album of poem-songs called “Black and Blues” in 2004 through Phanai Records and then began to tour and make numerous appearances on other artist’s albums, including The Press Project’s “Get Right” album and “Memoirs of the Tempo” by Tempo Valley.

In 2007, Iyeoka released her second album of poetry and music fusion “Hum The Bass Line” again on Phanai Records. In 2008, she recorded a live album in Hawaii called Live @ KTUH - Honolulu. That same year, Iyeoka lent her vocal talent to a cover of U2's hit song “Desire” for a compilation of U2 covers called “In The Name Of Love: Africa Celebrates U2.” The album featured Grammy Award-winning/nominated African artists including Angelique Kidjo, Les Nubians, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, Vieux Farka Tour, Vusi Mahlasela and the Soweto Gospel Choir with proceeds benefiting the Global Fund.

In 2009, Iyeoka decided to transform her sound and songwriting approach and began working with producer David Franz (in collaboration with her original producer, Francis Phan) to create more traditional song forms. Iyeoka released two EPs that year called “This Time Around” and “Run Into the Rain.” The new music infused more pop, R&B, dance, and hip hop into the mix, creating an “electronic soul” sound.

In November of 2010, Iyeoka released her new album, SAY YES, containing nine songs and two poems, through the Underground Sun artist development company. It is the first “Evolving Album(tm)” where purchasers will receive added content for free as the album evolves. Even before the album’s release, the first song “The Yellow Brick Road Song” was featured in an episode of the new hit HBO series “How To Make It In America” and later was selected as the theme song for USA Network's original series "Fairly Legal". Her latest single, "This Time Around" most recently was announced as a recipient of an Independent Music Award R&B nomination.

Iyeoka is currently touring in support of the new album and her poetry. In the past, Iyeoka has toured in support of artists such as Femi Kuti, Zap Mama and Soulive, as well as played musical festivals like Bonnaroo. The buzz surrounding her poetry has also garnered her national attention through performances at the TBS Trumpet Awards, the Sullivan Honors Awards at the Kennedy Center and Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam on HBO.

Iyeoka is a powerful songstress whose lyrical prowess and vocal talents invoke the spirit of soul-shakers Nina Simone, Sade, Lauryn Hill and Amy Winehouse. A story teller to the core, Iyeoka’s hope-filled words pour out from within and build momentum based on truth. As the words transform into songs, they reemerge as unique, emotionally complex gifts to her audience, touching on a wide range of issues--love, women, culture, struggle, and relationships, among many others.

Lyrics

Revolution

Written By: Iyeoka Ivie Okoawo

We play follow the leader
Were hoping to learn something we never knew
They say one 2 3 red-light
So you stop believing the green light will come for you
So you wait and we wait for the red too...
Somehow disappear

And we stand so paralyzed by these...
Times that predicts our greatest fears
But deep inside you know you gotta go you hear
Echoes of revolution lingering in the air
This counts for more than just being alive
More than...
Step aside, wait for the green to take you there

So rise my friends take my hand
Lets all go to this promised land
Pick up a pen
Make your demands
Tell them how...
Freedom can reign again
Unchain your voices sing me a song
That will live on and on and on long after we're gone
songs like
la lal lalalalallala
la la la lal lalalalalalalaaaa

The Alley

Written By: Iyeoka Ivie Okoawo and Brian Capobianchi

The hook:

You know you guide me/
You make the story/
You know you guide me/
You guide the story
You know you guide me --
You know you guide me
yeah, yeah...yeah ,yeah

Who would Follow

Written By: Iyeoka Ivie Okoawo and Paula Fuga

If I were to fall/ who would catch me/
if i were to let go/ who would follow
I pray to see a grander scheme/
I know I want it all
But what do I need...
need

This Time Around

Written By: Iyeoka, David Franz, and Francis Phan

THIS TIME AROUND

VERSE 1:
If the only sun shining for me now
Was over a mountain or around a hill
If all i ever needed in this life time of unfamiliar
Was freedom from a wishing well

If we could ride a storm for a thousand years
hands picking cotton till we all remembered how to heal
No matter what the song says/ No matter what the soul says
This time around were gonna know exactly why we came here

CHORUS:
This Time around
The days are changing
Like Never before
This time around

This time around
All the world may never know
What happens if we stop dreaming

VERSE 2:
He remembers stepping out the front into a storm of rain
she remembers standing nowhere chasing old memories of better days

As simple as the air we breathe coming in a little cleaner
Take a moment to sing for love to bring on a new season for this change

Chorus
This Time around
The days are changing
Like Never before
This time around

This time around
All the world may never know
What happens if we stop dreaming

BRIDGE***
This Time around
We're gonna watch the sunrise
These days are changing
Like never before
What happens if we stop dreaming
This time around

Chorus
This Time around
The days are changing
Like Never before
This time around

This time around
All the world may never know
What happens if we stop dreaming

Move your soul to let more love in
Find the door is finally open
See the clouds of pollution breaking...
this time around

Take a moment to sing for love
Take a moment to sing for love
Take a moment to sing for love...
this time around

The Yellow Brick Road Song

Written By: Iyeoka and David Franz

the YELLOW BRICK ROAD song
Iyeoka Ivie Okoawo ©

Verse 1-

I see this fantasy taking me from Kansas to serenity
These dreams that seem to come from somewhere over the rainbow
These days seasons change just as quickly as a harmony
I need to escape to awaken a believable journey...

chorus-

I know how possible we are
We can go and achieve the inconceivable
I know just how possible we are
We can follow our own yellow brick road

Verse 2-

Pressing on in the eyes of a wise man's conspiracy
I come alive to achieve the spoken prophesy
My friends wonder how I know when the storm is coming
And I'm grateful for the moments that we build to become
The creators of shakers and movers of the melody
We're building our community
YEAH!

chorus-

I know how possible
We are
We can go and
Achieve the inconceivable
I know
Just how possible
We are
We can follow
Our own yellow brick road
YEAH!

Bridge-

bum bah dum bum bah dum bum bah
dum bum bah dum bah da dum--- x2

There's no tornado
That can stop us now!

Verse 3-

Pressing on in the eyes of the child that's inside of me
I believe the time has come for us to choose our unity
Each moment that we walk on the path that will guide us to our dreams
We can sing another song that makes us feel we belong

Yeah!
This is where we belong
We Belong on this Yellow Brick Road
Yeah!
This is where we belong
We Belong on this Yellow Brick Road

chorus-

I know how possible
We are
We can go and
Achieve the inconceivable
I know
Just how possible
We are
We can follow
Our own yellow brick road
YEAH!

Outro-

I know just how possible
We are
We can follow
Our own yellow brick road
YEAH!

bum bah dum bum bah dum bum bah
dum bum bah dum bah da dum--- x2

So possible/This is where we belong
There's no tornado that can stop us now!

Discography

SAY YES (LP) - Nov 2010 - Underground Sun

Run Into the Rain (EP) - Nov 2009 - Underground Sun
This Time Around (EP) - Sept 2009 - Underground Sun

In the Name of Love: Africa Celebrates U2 - 2008 - Sony Records

Live @ KTUH - Honolulu (LP) - 2008 - Phanai Media Group

Hum the Bass Line (LP) - 2007 - Phanai Media Group

Black and Blues (LP) - 2004 - Phanai Media Group

Set List

Set list content and duration will vary according to event. Iyeoka has over 30 original songs in her catalog and integrates her songs with engaging performance poems, ranging from life lifting stories of struggle and survival to heart gripping stories of culture and relationships. Iyeoka is able to meet the durational demands desired by a specific venue.

Iyeoka and her Rock by Funk Tribe of musicians offers high-energy, danceable original music from Iyeoka's repertoire, with a good mix-in of crowd pleasers. With over 5 hours of material, Iyeoka is prepared to bring the house down as ordered.