INFAMOUSIZAK talks ‘Fracture EP’, “Public Enemy Remix”, basketball, and plans for 2022 [Interview]

Rising UK artist, INFAMOUSIZAK recently released an extended play titled Fracture. While the project is an embodiment of his key signature elements and Caribbean influenced soundscapes, good vibes is the mantra that encapsulates the theme on EP. On the genre-bending package, INFAMOUSIZAK takes listeners on a 14-minute love journey through a myriad of sounds such as Rap, R&B, and Dancehall. The journey begins with “Used To It,” a record with rollicking basslines and hypnotic warped synth loops. It continues with “Run Me Down” and “Personal Use” which are two colorful joints. The EP comes to an end with “Good Ones” — a self-produced cut which allows the singer showcase his storytelling abilities.

Since emerging on the scene in 2019 with his debut album, Deep The Night, INFAMOUSIZAK has been gaining attention from music industry key players in the UK. He’s has gotten a co-sign from Stormzy and praises from radio hosts such as Robert Bruce and Kenny Allstar. In an exclusive interview with EARMILK, the rising star tells us about the new EP, the story behind the collaboration with Kwesi Arthur, his love for basketball, and what to expect from him in 2022.

Undeniably, the artist has an attention-grabbing name. When asked the story behind his artist name, he said, “Well I used to go by just Izak and that was cool for a while, but I began to realise people started calling me Izak more regularly. Izak isn’t actually my first name but it began to feel like it was so I felt like I needed something more, I was going back and forth on a couple other names but when I found Infamous and it just stuck – it felt powerful like a superhero or something. Once I actually ran with it, there was no going back.

His latest project, Fracture revolves around the theme of love. Explaining what the EP means to him, he shares, “The EP itself represents a modern day love story, the project has four different sounds exploring an approach to young love, lust, doubt, uncertainty, FOMO and regret. The songs individually hold their own, but together the story runs as one.Doubling down on this statement, he added, “To me 'Fracture' is a muddle of emotions drawn out as a soundscape, I try my best to be true and authentic with my music, I didn’t necessarily plan this project or anything I do musically too much – I tend to spill how I'm feeling and see what happens. That being said I chose the title 'Fracture' because I feel like everyone is carrying a fracture around in some way shape or form.”

On digital streaming platforms, the project is categorized as “Hip-Hop/Rap.” However, listeners will also hear a lot of R&B and Dancehall sounds on Fracture. An easy description for his sound could be melodic rap or Afro-inspired hip-hop. However, INFAMOUSIZAK doesn’t want to be boxed into just one genre. Describing his sound, he said, “If I'm being real, I don't really know where my music fits in but all I know is it feels good when I listen back to it and to me that’s the most important thing, just making sure I'm happy with the end result regardless of what genre it falls under. I’m happy for it to be considered anything, just as long as the message and feel is right.”

Without checking the credits, not many people will know he self-produced the entire project. Describing what it was like juggling songwriting, singing, and production during the making of Fracture, the singer said, “At times it can be challenging because I find I go through phases of focusing on one more than the other, but for the most part, it's pretty natural because it’s just become my normal. I think it helps me be more decisive in what I want, there's no settling for beats, it's all on my terms which is sick. I think it just adds a different element of artistry to it all, everything feels more personal and it's an extension of me at the end of the day.”

Artists at all levels face challenges. For an artist on the rise, the challenges that come with existing in the music space could be overwhelming. Telling us about what keeps him going, he said, “I feel like I've got a lot to give and to prove. Every time I make something, it's like i'm searching for something and it keeps me curious, me and my circle are always trying to push boundaries and further the scene we feel like we’re a part of, everything’s gotta be next level and if we feel it's not, it doesn't come out. Next level is subjective so it has to feel like that on a personal one, and I just feel like I've got a long way to go to where I see myself taking it.”

Till date, INFAMOUSIZAK’s most streamed single is “Public Enemy” which features Kwesi Arthur. Telling us the full story behind the collaboration, he begins, “So the Kwesi link up was sick and unexpected, I got a message from a guy based in Ghana who was in love with the original version of 'Public Enemy.’ At first he was showing the track mad love and I was just grateful for that. He later went on to say I should look at doing a remix with some Nigerian or Ghanian based artists and he suggested a few.” In continuation, he added, “But if i'm being real, I didn’t really think too much of it because a lot of people talk in the music industry. Roughly about six months go by and he messages me back saying Kwesi loves the song and wants to jump on it and the rest is history. It turns out the guy who connected us is real close to Kwesi’s camp but I think it was his love for the song that really made it all happen. I’ve got nothing but love for him cause he made it his personal mission to make something materialise.”

Before music, INFAMOUSIZAK was into basketball. We took some time to chat with the artist about his first love, basketball. When asked if he’d still like to pursue a career as a player, he replied, “It’s not a career goal, I definitely still play and will continue to. If it were to happen though, I would be open to it in some capacity just as long as I've got my fitness up because this music life is the enemy of progress when it comes to sports. Like most basketball fans around the world, the UK artist follows NBA games. The bone of contention in the NBA world right  now is who will win the championship this season. INFAMOUSIZAK’s theory is, “It will be tough this year. I’m thinking Bucks and Golden State will be in the finals and Bucks might take it again.”

When asked a question on what the ultimate goal of being an artist, is for him, he answered, “I think my ultimate goal is to make honest art that represents me and my people and to just keep supplying vibes that become a soundtrack to a few peoples lives. I want to keep being curious and do my best on pushing the boundaries of the UK music scene.” After listening to the new EP, we couldn’t help but wonder what the rapper and singer has in store for 2022. He tells us his audience can expect an evolution. I’ve got a whole bunch of music I'm sitting on but I want to keep growing as an artist and keep striving for my idea of what I think is hard music.”

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