Known as ‘Iyamah’, Sophie Bond grew up on the sounds of African drumming and reggae music in the seaside town of Brighton. Singing from an early age, she’d copy soul stars like Alicia Keys and Adele from the radio. Aged only 13 when she first picked up the piano and started to write songs, it wasn’t until she started singing lessons at school and her teacher convinced her to sing solo performances in plays that she’d pursue it with intent.
Developing a love for Neo-soul and hiphop and the likes of Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu, Iyamah would nevertheless start writing toplines for Drum & Bass features, immersed as she was in Brighton’s club scene. It led her to a collaboration with Black Butter Records’ My Nu Leng, and featuring on the festival anthem ‘Senses’ – performing it at Glastonbury last year. However Iyamah would find her sound living in London – one that links more closely to her original neo-soul and R&B roots. Her debut release “Cryptic Love” is nothing short of a remarkable entrance; painting a thrillingly vivid picture of a young woman in and out of love in her early twenties.
Possessing the kind of natural musical and lyrical prowess that seems to have emerged fully-formed, Iyamah has already performed alongside Kojey Radical and Poppy Ajudha at the Wave Magazine launch. She’s undoubtedly a name you’ll be hearing more from this year.