Since starting her project in 2021, Berlin-based singer, songwriter, and producer IRYS has quickly been named as one of the most impressive dark pop newcomers internationally - captivating fans and critics with her dark aura and gift for
creating remarkable songs. The up-and-coming starlet has since been compared to big names like Grimes, Charli XCX, Tove Lo, and Lana Del Rey. Fusing elements of indie electronica, neo-goth, and trip-hop, IRYS creates her own brand of dark, edgy electro-pop, uniting the sonic rawness of the Berlin underground with effortlessly catchy hooks. Part of a new wave of independent artists, IRYS works with a completely DIY approach, writing, recording, and producing all her music in her bedroom. In a short time, the multi-talent went from making songs with her acoustic guitar to producing; adding beats and electronic sounds to the mix, and thus being able to dress her songs into their own soundscape. After independently releasing six impressive singles like Circles, Ride or Die, and Weirdo, IRYS' new song "Riot"!
Thank you for taking this interview! What has 2022 been like for YOU as artists?
Thanks for having me! I feel the last two years were both challenging and exciting. I started my project in lockdown in spring 2021. The entire year I went all in; producing, making videos, and releasing. 2022 started a bit slower cause I locked myself inside to write new material. But I released two singles, my song "Ride for Die" recently got nominated at the Berlin Music Video Awards, and I just received a scholarship to fund my upcoming releases. So things are going well, and I think the rest of the year is gonna be exciting!
Can you tell us how you've transformed from the beginning to now as an artist?
I'm way more secure in my craft now, especially when it comes to producing. I've only done it for three years, so I wasn't a finished product when I started releasing music, and I'm not yet, but I'm on my way. Also, I'm bolder; I don't think so much about others' opinions anymore; I just go for what I have in mind! I've gotten a lot of great feedback so far, which is, of course, awesome, but I don't do stuff for approval. I only want to get the music I have in my mind out in the world; that's my motor!
How did you come up with your latest project?
Doing my project the way I do it - being responsible for all aspects of my career, especially my music - is undoubtedly the result of some trial and error and things not working out the way I wanted initially!
Earlier I wrote songs with my guitar, working with band musicians and producers on my material. But this wasn't the right way for me, and I had some pretty bad experiences working with producers. I didn't like this unspoken expectation that you should suck up to them when you're the artist who's making the songs. And, my music just never sounded the way I wanted! So learning to produce myself was definitely the right path for me.
Where are you from originally?
I was born and grew up in Bavaria, more or less directly in the mountains.
Where do you live now?
I'm based in Berlin.
Do you think where you live impacts how your music is made?
Absolutely! I actually didn't realize this myself, but I heard from others that my music sounds quite Berlin. I never intended this, but I guess it's unavoidable; the place where you live becomes a part of your identity somehow.
What was the inspiration to make music your career?
Aside from making music anyways and always having my head full of melodies, I love the freedom of being an independent artist. And I need the unpredictability! I also tried "normal" jobs and failed every time; I got so bored after about three months. I really need to be creative and independent to be able to breathe!
How do you want to shape your career?
I want to do exactly what I do now, just on a bigger scale! I work on getting more exposure and developing my sound so that I can grow into the artist I wanna be. I also want to play shows and festivals soon and try to get my music into a Netflix series. That would be a dream!
Do you work on a tight timeline always or do you go with the flow when it comes to your music?
It never works out for me when I plan to write a song. The best ideas emerge when I don't expect them, oftentimes right before I fall asleep! Then I find it important to go with the flow. But when I sit down to then produce and mix the song, I work with a schedule, like in a 9-5 job.
How did your latest title of your music come to be?
When I write a song, I mostly mumble some phrases into my mic to save the vocal melodies. The word "riot" was something I just sung, and I immediately knew: This is the song title! I then built the lyrics around it. Riot, for me, stands for a state of emotional chaos that can only be understood in retrospect. I'm looking back on a traumatizing situation and trying to make sense of it, to sort it into my timeline so that I don't need to ruminate on it anymore!
Is it hard to let go of the music when it is done?
No, quite the opposite! When a song is finished, I feel I wanna get rid of it, and then never think about it again! The song then transitions to a different stage and belongs to the listeners and not to me anymore.
Do you feel an emotional attachment with your music?
Yes, but mainly in the writing process. Then I'm really invested and think with every song, "This is the best song I've ever written! "But then I let the song rest a bit until the emotions have cooled down, so I can analyze it with a more rational mind and see what functions and what not. So I think to make good music, you both need strong emotions and a rational mind!
How would you describe your music in one word to someone who hasn't listened to it yet?
Where do they go to listen NOW?
On all platforms! Here is the stream-link to „Riot": https://streamlink.to/irys_riot
What has been the best fan reaction to your music?
I am seriously grateful for all the positive and encouraging messages I get every day! I really didn't expect that kind of support so early on in my career. I'm an indie artist with no major reach yet, but I already have a strong and super supportive community.
The message that touched me most was probably when somebody DM'd me on Instagram, saying that I changed his life with my music and that listening to my songs motivates him to keep going and pursuing his purpose. What more can you ask for?
Is there anything exciting coming up for you?
Yes, yes, yes! I have four more releases coming up this year, plus a video or two, and right now, I am applying for festivals for autumn 2022. Also, a remix of my song "Ride or Die" is dropping soon!
Are you performing the song anywhere LIVE?
Absolutely! I'm currently working on putting together a live set to play a concert with all my songs in Berlin soon.
Give us all your socials and links so fans can link up with you! Thank you for this interview!
Thanks again for having me! Here are my most important links: