Late last night, Iyesaya aka Dorset born Will Dop snuck his first EP, Back Home online. He’s been generating some excitement over the last few months, first for his Art Is Hard released debut track ‘Monster’ and then for the follow up ‘Made’.
What makes the EP special is not just the wonderfully lo-fi indie pop songs that Will has been creating from his base in London, but the fact that the EP has been self released with all proceeds going to Mind Uk, a charity that helps to tackle mental health issues. Will explains this decision: “If I relied on income from my music to eat I would be very dead right now. I pay the bills through other means so it seemed pointless to try and scramble a few pennies of profit from this release when I could make a very small contribution to a cause bigger than me. I also hoped making this a charity release would help create some talk on the matters behind it as well which I guess is kind of what we’re doing right now.”
‘Monster’ tackles these issues head on. Will is open and candid on the song, with the opening line thrusting the issues many have to cope with in your face when he sings “They call me selfish, I say “thank you”, at least I admit it, they call me crazy, careful how you use that word.” It’s a song that fights stigmas head on. Will says that he “never set out to directly target mental health, but it’s something that’s been prevalent enough in my personal life to leak into my songwriting. I’m not brave enough to really be a social activist, so I guess all I’m trying to do is humanize problems that affect and also scare the shit out of almost all of us. It’s such a universal struggle but often it doesn’t see the light of day through music. That being said there was some amazing coverage during Mental Health Awareness Week that I think shows that these kind of problems are definitely creeping further out of the shadows.”
It’s an exciting project, and one that Will says has a future as well: “I’m 24 next year and I’m haunted by the fact that so many people that have achieved so many great things by that age so I feel the pressure’s on to really deliver something special for that milestone. In light of that I’ve nearly finished recording what may end up being my debut album – instruments are all done so just got to cook up some lyrics. Whatever form that release may take, it’s going to be subtle progression from my existing output as I feel I need to document this current sound as fully as possible. Once that’s out the way though, who knows where this project may go. I’ve been listening to a lot of artists really that have really effectively utilized instruments beyond just guitars and drums, Sufian Stevens and Beulah to be specific, so maybe expect IYESAYA plus a horn section in the future.”
Hopefully we’ll see him in Bristol soon as well (hopefully with a horn section), once he’s put a band together. But for now, head over to his Bandcamp and purchase one of the limited edition tape EP’s.