iZula from the African word 'zula'
meaning “ahead” or “brilliant”.
Otis Channer (born December 3, 1974) goes by the moniker iZula derived from the African word 'zula' which means “ahead” or “brilliant”. With his evocative lyrics and transcendent vocals, he envelopes messages and social commentary in soulful melodies.
Since his early days growing up in McCook's Pen near Spanish Town, iZula has always been musically inclined. He fondly recalls singing along to classroom desk riddims to the entertainment of his classmates and teachers alike at the famed Jonathan Grant High School.
In 1997 he joined Sound Proof records then headed by Milton Moore. It was during his stint at Sound Proof that he was dubbed with the moniker iZula. He collaborated with the fiery DYCR on the single “Hold it Down” which has received moderate spins in Europe.
Throughout his career, he has done live guest appearances on stages with acts like Lutan Fyah, Chuck Fenda, Richie Spice and Junior Kelly, always adding an indescribable but amazing element to their sets with his paramount vocals that are filled with sincerity and rawness.
In 2010 he did a lengthy tour of Europe as an opening act for Lutan Fyah, with appearances at club shows in cities like Zurich and Paris and large music venues such as Germany's “SummerJam” and Amsterdam's “The Power Zone”. From his tenure in Europe he earned a small legion of fans and disc jockeys who still notably remark about his positive attitude and imitable work ethic.
Although iZula has a style all his own, he counts Garnett Silk, Dennis Brown and Johnny Clarke as musical influences. Silk for his smooth social commentary, Brown for his timeless crooning and artistry and the underrated Clarke for his substantial and soulful music.
His singles "True Love" (featuring the firecracker Marcy Chin from The Bada Bada Gang) and the hauntingly ominous "Thunderball" have been receiving remarkable airplay in recent weeks on American and European radio stations.
Ultimately the “brilliant” iZula hopes his music will inspire people, especially the youth to be true, authentic and aware. His self-described style is “no preservatives or additives” which always rings true in his vocals and words.