IV4 on Influences, New Music, and NAKED VOODOO
IV4 is a soulful alternative contemporary singer and songwriter based in Los Angeles, California. She recently released "Stroke", the first single and music video from her upcoming project Get Rich and Cry Trying, as well as dropping "Only Fans" on December 10.
IV was recently signed to Warner Records, with her mysterious first long-form release on the way. She is multi-talented, being not only a performer and songwriter, but also a successful entrepreneur. Her company NAKED VOODOO reflects reflects her family heritage and culture, being West African and Haitian on her father's side and Wiccan and Pagan on her mother's. IV brings love, spirituality, and positive energy to fans through her handmade dolls, potions, and spell-work. She also recently launched her clothing line, IEatBoys. Stay tuned for the next big drop coming soon!
"Stroke" is a sultry slow jam featuring Jeremih. The single exudes bad bitch energy, from the sensual lyrics to the undeniable musical chemistry of the collaboration. "Stroke" builds dynamically, starting out with a single synth bass track before more elements are added. The vocal and instrumental melodies play off of each other flawlessly, with soft synthesizers and a hypnotizing drum beat accenting IV and Jeremih's vocal performances. In the song's music video, IV embraces her otherworldly, movie trope confidence and sexuality, skydiving gracefully in a jewel-encrusted bodysuit in one of the several unique scenes.
Most recently, IV released "Only Fans", the next single off of her upcoming project. With the same alluring atmosphere as "Stroke", this single will have you hanging on every note and lyric. In the official music video for "Only Fans", IV showcases more of her iconic fashion sense, alternating between a number of looks, including a shiny black bodysuit and long tresses of which Rapunzel would be jealous. In addition to availability on YouTube, never-before-seen footage and BTS content premiered exclusively on internet content subscription service and platform OnlyFans.
We spoke with IV4 about her influences, new music, favorite movies, and entrepreneurship. Read the full interview below and check out "Stroke" and "Only Fans". Let us know what you think.
At what age did you start writing and performing music?
I’ve been playing music for as long as I can remember–I honestly feel like I came out singing. I’ve been writing and performing since I was really young, whether it was dancing, theater, or any time I could get my hands on a musical instrument.
Who or what inspired you?
I think that the encouragement I got from my family always really inspired me. They were always singing to me, I was always singing to them, and they’ve always fully supported my dreams.
Who are your biggest influences now?
My family is still my biggest inspiration. They influence the way I write and feel about music to this day.
How would you describe your sound?
I always call my sound alternative contemporary. It keeps people on their toes; it’s recent and relevant, but always a little bit to the left.
Tell us a little bit more about your latest single, “Stroke”.
“Stroke” is the first single dropping from my project Get Rich and Cry Trying, featuring Jeremih. I’m so excited to have a song with the King of Slow Jams, and I feel like the single is a fun, sultry peek into the rest of the project. It’s definitely an anthem in this “boo’d up” weather–it’s time for cuddling and wanting to connect with a partner, so we couldn’t have picked a better time to drop “Stroke”.
It was just one of those dark-liquor, slow jam kind of nights, and I was going through some beats out in LA when I found the song’s beat. It kind of hits you in the chest in the “I need something slow and sultry” kind of way. It came to me really easily, almost like the song wrote itself and I was just an instrument in the creative process. Jeremih absolutely killed it; he knew exactly where my mindset was and it all came together really smoothly.
"It came to me really easily, almost like the song wrote itself and I was just an instrument in the creative process."
Talk about your collaboration with Jeremih.
I love working with Jeremih. He’s incredibly talented, creative, and we work together really well. We bring out each others’ better half musically and he was the perfect collaborator for the song.
How did you come up with the concept for the “Stroke” music video?
I always wanted to try the “hot girl” trope that you see on TV all the time, with the carwash and the mechanical bull. I’m a film fanatic, and I always think those scenes look like a lot of fun, so I wanted to recreate them in my own way. You don’t really get to walk in slow-motion with a cool song playing in real life, so I wanted to live out my fantasies. That’s sort of what the song is about, too: being confident and giving in to the fantasy of being hypnotizing and otherworldly.
"You don’t really get to walk in slow-motion with a cool song playing in real life, so I wanted to live out my fantasies. That’s sort of what the song is about, too: being confident and giving in to the fantasy of being hypnotizing and otherworldly."
What was the most challenging part of filming?
The most challenging part of filming the music video was probably just staying on top of the car, to be honest. It’s a lot harder than it looks in commercials and on TV when you’re covered in soap and it’s slippery everywhere… It should be a sport.
What is your favorite film?
It’s hard to pick just one, but I recently saw A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, which was really good. It’s practically a silent film and the soundtrack and score are absolutely amazing. I’d definitely recommend that one if you haven’t seen it.
How do you think music and fashion are intertwined?
Fashion and music are both artforms through which I can express myself and collaboratively, they paint a full picture–not just something that can be heard or looked at. Playing music and fashion both bring out my personality, so no matter how I’m feeling, I can always put on a song or put together a look that matches my energy. It’s important as an artist, but also as a person, to have the freedom to do both.
What was your favorite part of the project?
Aside from making the music in general, my favorite part of the project was the “a-ha moment” when everything comes together as a full piece. I’ve dropped a lot of singles, but this is my first time releasing a longer form of work, which has its own storyline and vibe. With the elements of fashion and music combined, it really gives a full picture of what I’ve been working on throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and my first year being signed to a label.
What has your experience working with a record label been like so far?
It was kind of surreal moving from St. Louis, Missouri to New York and LA, and really just grinding to make some really cool music. It’s got kind of a “bright lights, big city” vibe, because other artists and labels are reaching out to me to tell me they like my sound. I just focused on my music until I felt comfortable to make my team bigger, and then I found my home with Warner, which has been really great.
Tell me about your love potions and about your experience with witchcraft.
It’s really a part of my family heritage, with my father’s side being West-African and Haitian. It’s a part of my heritage, religion, and practices to focus on being natural and spiritual. My mom’s side is Wiccan and Pagan and I’ve got my own beliefs that I’ve picked up, so I really have a big blend of spiritual practices.
What’s the best way for someone to get involved with their spirituality?
Looking inward is the most important part, but I have tons of books about it. You can go online or to the library to learn about herbology, healing meditation and medicine, and candle magic. That’s all pretty basic stuff that people can start out with and develop over time.
How do you make your spells? How do they work?
A lot of it has to do with manifestation and focusing your energy. A lot of the time, people do it without even realizing it, whether it’s birthday wishes or any kind of superstition that involves making a wish (like having your fingers crossed that you’ll get a job). On a grander scale, there’s a more spiritual background to it, but that’s the basic idea of it most of the time.
What impact do you think your spirituality plays in your music?
It plays a part in everything I do; my practices, spirituality, and beliefs help me take on the day from start to finish. They help me make decisions, both in my music and my personal life, and give me an overall sense of confidence because I know that I’m controlling my own destiny.
What is one thing you wish more people knew about you?
I want people to know how hard I work and how excited I am to share my music with people. I do a little bit of everything–direction, managing, design–there’s not one thing that I have someone else handling entirely for me. I’m a part of every aspect of my career. It’s hard being a young woman of color in the industry, so I’m excited for people to see how hard I work, and I hope it inspires others to chase their dreams, as well as creating a blueprint to help people guide themselves through the entertainment industry.
If you could go back in time to when you were first starting out in the industry, what advice would you give yourself?
I would tell myself to trust my gut. There were so many times when I second-guessed myself and it wasn’t necessary. Learning to trust myself and have my own back more was a process, and if I could give advice to any young girls out there, I would just tell them to know yourself. There are a lot of people who will try to tell you who you are, and you should never validate yourself with who you know or how other people view you.
"There are a lot of people who will try to tell you who you are, and you should never validate yourself with who you know or how other people view you."
What’s next for IV4?
I’m excited to release Get Rich and Cry Trying, and you can also expect new visuals and collaborations. I’ve got my clothing line and my company, NAKED VOODOO, and I’m dropping new products that will be intertwined with my music. I’m trying to move towards being 100% sustainable with my products and packaging… I want everything to be recyclable and good for the environment. Everything is biodegradable in terms of shipping. I’ll have full clothing pieces that are unisex, too. I don’t want to give too much away just yet, but I’m developing a large website right now for NAKED VOODOO and I’m hoping to bring worldwide growth and expansion to both companies. Expect greatness–I’ve got a lot of cool stuff coming.