Who is ThE iZ?
ThE iZ Music is a Cayman Islands / Miami -based group comprising three singers/producers/songwriters, Jason Gilbert (JG), Stephan Cotterell and Lonney Love. ThE iZ released their debut album, Beach Club, in April 2010, featuring hits Tonight and Mind Trip. In September 2010, the group released their album in Japan, where it burned up the charts, including a number two track on the USEN International Music Chart (Tonight).
Their sophomore album, Spontaneous, was released on 26 August 2011, with the lead single Rock and Come In featuring Selecta Renegade creating major buzz amongst fans and DJs throughout the islands. The track Whine, which features soca king Machel Montano, quickly hit number one in Toronto and Trinidad & Tobago even before an official release.
Who and what are your musical influences?
Usher, Michael Jackson, The Dream, Imogen Heap, Rico Love, Timbaland.
Your track Whine is doing big things in Trinidad, and features no other than the man himself, Machel Montano. How did that collaboration come about?
A mutual contact of ours got a hold of Whine, and sent it off to Machel. He loved it and sent us back a verse, and the rest is history!
Would you consider your music to be soca; if not, what would you class it as?
Whine is definitely our take on electro-soca, but the rest of our sound is more island pop / r&b. We all have influences from different cultures - Cayman, Jamaica, Miami - so we try to translate that into our sound. If you listen to our album, Spontaneous, you’ll get a taste of all of it. There’s soca, dancehall, reggae, pop, r&b and dubstep, so there’s always a variety.
Are there plans to do any other tracks with Machel or any other soca artists?
We worked on Machel’s new track Represent, where we produced and co-wrote the track with him. We have a great vibe going with him, so definitely looking forward to working on some more monster tracks with him. The guy’s a beast!
Will you be touching down on the shores of Trinidad & Tobago for this year’s carnival?
Yes, definitely! We’ve been getting SO much love for Whine from T&T, so we’ll be coming to carnival for sure! It’ll be some of our first times to TnT Carnival, and if its anything like Cayman’s, it's going to be insane!
What are you most looking forward to when you get there?
Mainly, we’re looking forward to meeting our fans out there, networking, and just getting our sound out to a new market. We’d love to come out there and perform too.