Catch Paley Martin off-roading in a yellow Jeep this summer.
There’s no denying that Lila Iké is a G. From her dress to her demeanor, the Jamaican songstress carries a constant air of cool. Yet, on her latest offering, “Where I’m Coming From,” Iké shows listeners that her swagger isn’t just skin deep. Equal parts grounded and regal, “Where I’m Coming From” is a flawless retrospective for this budding star.
To understand where she’s coming from, let’s rewind to 2017, when the Manchester, JA native signed with reggae heavyweight Protoje’s In.Digg.Nation label. That same year, she released her debut single “Biggest Fan,” an ode to her mother, and “Gotti Gotti,” a meditation on greed and its hold over society. In 2018, Iké delivered “Second Chance,” a heart-wrenching song about losing and longing for love. This year, Iké collaborated with Protoje and dancehall icon Agent Sasco on “Not Another World,” a hard-hitting track that addresses accountability and the harsh realities of societal turmoil when, as the lyrics repeat, “we don’t learn.”
“Where I’m Coming From” is the latest release on this year’s lineup and gives fans an opportunity to reflect alongside Iké. In just two years, she has not only grown in popularity but sung as easily about political and societal issues as she has heartbreak, family, and love. For her, truth is the through line that holds her music together, and her awe-inspiring voice — gritty, vulnerable, soulful, and real — is what keeps us pressing repeat.
In the song’s visuals, we meet Iké in her former bedroom in Kingston and follow her back to her hometown of Christiana, Manchester. Interspersed with clips of her singing in school and others of Protoje in what appears to be her family’s home, she reunites with family and friends in the streets. It’s a celebratory homecoming, where all are as joyful about Iké’s successes as the singer herself. The video ends with an outdoor party, fully equipped with fire, motorcycles, and, among other things, dancehall star Chi Ching Ching shouting the song’s mantra, “I’m strong, I’m strong.”
Iké weaves this emblem of strength throughout the track — the small steps that led to big successes and the endurance it took to get to where she is today. “When I think of where I’m coming from, looking back at where the journey begun,” she belts out, “I really haffi say that I’m strong, I’m strong / All praises to the most high one.” Noting her blessings, gratitude, faith, and the community that uplifted her, Lila Iké reminds us that consciousness is cool, humility is even cooler, and the journey is always, always one to be appreciated.