Iryne Rock comes from a Christian family, an important part of her path to becoming a Christian music artist. She loves to see how the Holy Spirit works in her life and the lives of those around her. It inspires her songwriting. Her music brings together several genres of Christian music to create a unique sound that has been played on radios all around the world.
Iryne has been playing music since she was a young girl. And, her career in Christian music is on the rise. In 2018, She released her first album, J.F.Y. (Just for You). And, Recently, Iryne dropped two singles:“You Are Here” and “Let it Rise to You” (she just dropped a music video for the latter). She also won the Best Songwriter Award at the 2019 ICFF (International Christian Film and Music Festival).
I had the chance to speak with her about her latest projects and where she gets her creative inspiration. We also discussed the trying times of COVID-19 and how she’s handling the quarantine.
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
First and foremost, I'm a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. I'm also a worship leader, singer, songwriter, wife, and mother of two lovely boys. I grew up in Nigeria and was fortunate to have Christian parents who introduced me to Christ and Christian music from an early age. I have always loved music and its ability to heal and uplift the spirit, transcend culture, bring joy, and unite people.
I've been in a church choir since I was a child. And, I now serve as a worship leader in my home church. My songwriting ministry started a few years ago when I began singing the songs I had written in church. The feedback was really great; people began to ask for the lyrics, wanted to know if it was recorded so they could sing the songs at home and so on. I felt the Lord pushing me to record some of my songs. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I was able to release my first album in 2018. Since then, it's been an amazing journey developing and sharing my gift with the body of Christ.
What are some of your creative influences?
I would say my main creative influence is the Holy Spirit. The other artists that I look up to and whose work I admire include Cece Winans, Sinach, Michael W. Smith, Newsboys, Kirk Franklin, DC Talk, and more. I really love '90s Christian bands: Audio Adrenaline, The Winans, Delirious, Avalon, 4Him, and many others.
Tell us about your latest single, "You Are Here."
"You Are Here" is inspired by Matthew 14, when the disciples were on a boat without Jesus. A strong wind developed and I imagine they were concerned. They saw someone walking on water towards them and even became more afraid until they realized it was Jesus. The presence of Jesus with them in the storm was enough to see them through. In the same way, I believe the presence of the Lord is all we need to see us through the storms of life. I can't think of a more apt time to release this song into the world with everything that is going on right now. The song was produced by Billy Smiley in Franklin, Tennessee.
The video for "Let It Rise To You" just makes me smile. Joy radiates from you and all those in the video. Tell me about the video shoot.
Aww. Thank you. I love the video, too. We shot it right before the country was going into lockdown and isolation from the emerging pandemic in March. It was shot on location in Washington DC and Maryland, and was produced by Jonathan Melgar and Cami Films. Apart from it being freezing cold the day we shot the scene outside, we had so much fun.
The first part of the video was shot in a single take which, as you can imagine, leaves very little room for error. It was an absolute pleasure working on that video with everyone involved (a very special thanks to my mom for creating my outfits). The best thing about it is that the video also featured my then five-year-old son who is very excited to see himself on TV.
What's been the best and worst part of quarantine for you as an artist?
It’s been tough for everybody, but through the chaos, I’ve seen God move. I appreciate the time I get to spend with my family and loved ones. My sons love me being home and I love it as well. My husband is a healthcare worker. And, it has been amazing to see the outpouring of love and appreciation shown for the sacrifice of all our frontline workers. What I really miss is the physical interaction, as well as the other things we take for granted. Things like shaking hands, hugging, worshipping together, and singing with people. I know by the grace of God all of this will be over soon.
Over the next few months, I’m looking forward to doing more shows online, connecting more with my listeners and other like-minded artists. My family and I will also be moving from Florida back to Maryland, so that is extremely exciting. I’m also planning on releasing more songs and working on new material. I can't wait to get back in the studio.
How can we be praying for you?
Thank you for asking. Please pray for God's guidance, provision, and protection. Please pray that God will use us as vessels of peace and honor at this time and pray for our country. We need God to help us through November and beyond, that His perfect will be done and there be peace in our land.
Kevin McNeese started NRT in 2002 and has worked in the industry since 1999 in one form or another. He has been a fan of Christian music since 1991.
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