IOTOSH’S on cloud nine

MUSIC producer iotosh is on a musical high. He contributed to recently Best Reggae Album Grammy-nominated projects Third Time's the Charm by Protoje and Gifted by Koffee.

Last year, he produced Rich Forever by Jesse Royal and Vybz Kartel which was featured on Jesse's sophomore project Royal.

The nominations, which were announced last week, caught iotosh by surprise.

"I wasn't even aware of when the nominations would be announced, so when my phone just started going off it took me by surprise. But I'm really grateful that these projects that I've been involved with were nominated. I think all the nominees are very deserving of their nominations but I'm hopeful of my projects going all the way this time around," iotosh told the Jamaica Observer.

For Koffee's Gifted album, which was released in March, iotosh produced the track West Indies. The album rose to number two on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart and created history when it became the first album by a female Jamaica-based reggae artiste to peak inside the top 10 of the British albums chart.

Protoje's album Third Time's the Charm, released in September, peaked at number eight on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.

iotosh is credited as producer on the tracks The Charm, Family (featuring Jesse Royal), Late at Night featuring Lila Ike (he also co-wrote the track), Ten Cane Row featuring Jorja Smith, and Here Comes the Morning which he makes a guest appearance on.

"For Protoje's album, it was a lot of work. I produced half of the album, contributed to tracks as composer and songwriter, functioned as mixing assistant at times, and even featured as an artiste. Protoje and I had started some of these songs from 2020, so it's been two years of constant work. That's why this nomination is very special to me, because of how involved I was from start to finish," said iotosh.

He continued, "For Koffee's album, it wasn't as much work since I only produced one song but I still invested a good amount of time into that production."

iotosh, who says he has plans to attend the 65th Grammy Awards in February, has been busy working on several projects in the studio.

He recently released Skillful, a collaboration he recorded with Green Lion Crew.

"I understand what makes a good song. I think it's probably my energy in the studio, because I am more to fit my sound and mould it into what the artiste wants. I enjoy doing music. First, it was a hobby and now it's more of a job and a discipline. I love music and I am glad that people tek to my expression. I'm glad I don't have to conform to any of the trends or chase what's the latest hype. I just do what I love doing, and people seem to like it," iotosh explained.

His entry into music was inevitable. His father is songwriter/reggae artiste Ragnam Poyser (who once recorded for the Xterminator label) while his mother is music journalist Michele Geister, who worked at Canada's trendy Much Music (Canada's version of MTV).

A musician, iotosh plays several instruments including the piano.

"I incorporate live instruments in my productions. It gives the production a completely different feeling. I guess it sets me apart to a degree, but it also helps me to express myself better in my productions," he said.

Born Iotosh Poyser, he attended Wolmer's Boys' School in Kingston and later Munro College in St Elizabeth. It was during his tenure at Wolmer's that his passion for music developed.

"While I was attending Wolmer's, I saw someone messing around with a programme called Fruity Loops. At that time, I had a keyboard and I used to make beats on it. So that's where it all began," he said.

His first major production came in 2020 when he produced three tracks, including the title to singer Jah9's Note to Self album on VP Records. He has production credits on Lila Ike's EP The Experience, and Protoje's In Search of Lost Time.

As for his dream project, he stated, "That would have to be a project that leaves me completely fulfilled in music and ensure I don't have to do music ever again. Something that I invest in creatively, groundbreaking, and is a critical success."

Kevin Jackson

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