23 November 2018
Ian Isiah knows exactly how to turn you on. Earlier this month, the underground New York icon set a sultry tone for his new Shugga Sextape, Vol. 1 with "Bedroom," a smooth, sensual jam dripping in autotune and futuristic R&B production. "I got two hoes in my bedroom/ They got no clothes in my bedroom," Isiah sings, his voice easy and subdued like he's whispering a siren song at the 5 AM afters. Today, the artist released his entire project, and its eight songs are designed to make you wiiince.
This marks his first full-length release since 2013's The Love Champion(s/o to unsung party bus anthem, "Sweat"), and it recruits a lineup of standout producers: Sinjin Hawke, Morris, Soda Plans and Juice Jackal. In a sea of beats that range from syrupy smooth to riotous and raw, it's Isiah's angelic vocals that elevate the entire project and give it serious range.
"Killup" (prod. Sinjin Hawke) is ferocious and sexed-up — an immediate classic for sweaty Brooklyn dance floors drenched in poppers. "Persistent" (prod. Morris) slows down the pace with a perfect soundtrack for hazy Uber rides home as the sun's rising. Isiah's gorgeous falsetto takes center stage on Sextape closer "Why" (prod. Soda Plains), wrapped in electronic gospel-infused production merging church organs with spacey, textural beats.
Released on his birthday, Shugga Sextape, Vol. 1 is as much a gift to us as it is to Isiah. "I'm protective of my energy, but I'll never withhold it," he tells PAPER, underlining a growing legacy of career moves that all make perfect sense for him. Whether he's collaborating with disruptive brands like Hood by Air, singing live with Dev Hynes or at Telfar shows, or dropping low-key, flawless projects like today's, Isiah's work centers self-fulfillment above all.
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Rap diva Ms. Boogie's into it (and should absolutely sell Shugga Sextape bootlegs outside Brooklyn's Barclays Center).
As is Bailey Stiles, who gave Isiah's project the baby making stamp of approval.
Blood Orange's Dev Hynes, too, who (like us) will be blasting this all day.
Stream Ian Isiah's Shugga Sextape, Vol. 1, below, and follow him on Instagram (@ianisiah) to keep up with the glamour (if you can).
Photo courtesy of Ian Isiah