BIOGRAPHY - IYA INGI
There is a serious sense of purpose to the artist IYA INGI. He holds the banner of Ethiopia high in all that he does with added power coming from his name, a play on the word NYA BINGI which means death to black and white downpressors.
Born at home in Mona Common in 1979, Yilmie Williams, the last of three brothers and two sisters, knew from an early age what his future had in store for him, the artist describing himself as a, “Liberal Ethiopian fighting to defend Ethiopian sovereignty.” IYA’s father repatriated to Ethiopia in 1994 when IYA was 14years old. Before this time IYA had witnessed his father playing an active role in the Twelve Tribes of Israel, this combination of experiences setting the seeds for IYA’s future path.
Musically IYA’s journey began by experiencing dances held by his preferred sound Jah Love, his passion for communicating strong messages through sound beginning during this period and continuing throughout his time at high school. Whilst working as parking supervisor at a jewelry store he began writing his own lyrics, the empty store he spent his evenings in providing him with the solitude required to focus on his flow.
In 1999 he practiced with the Aluta Continua band where he honed his skills to the perfection it is today and consequently lead him to win the 2003 and 2004 University of the West Indies Chancellor Hall Pre spectrum song contest were he won the opportunity to be the opening act at the 2003 and 2004 Spectrum concert held at the University Students Union. His performance has grown with his first three show, The Marcus Garvey birthday Celebration in New Haven Kingston, The Songs of Salvation Show case in Clarendon and the Aluta Continua Bob Marley Birthday Celebration at Back Yard in Kingston.