Ikaya and her ability to connect with the depths of an audience’s soul, is likened to be Jamaica’s Mary J Blige. . Her lyrics revere an emotional realism that comes from her upbringing in the volatile urban community of Waterhouse, Kingston. Ikaya quickly learned to escape the chaotic political, social, and economic upheaval of her surroundings through music. While gunshots ricocheted off aluminum zinc fences and people cowered under their beds in fear, Ikaya would turn to her radio and imitate the contemporary songs of the time. She quickly learned to mimic everything she heard with perfection, a skill that was quickly noticed by her parents who sought to harness her talent in an effort to give her a life full of opportunity.
Ikaya’s mom, Marie Pusey signed her up for community and school talent competitions from as early as age four. As her notoriety grew, it wasn’t long before her Dad, Hugh “Bingy” Blair, a former professional soccer player, and a standout representative of the country’s soccer team, took her to meet one of Reggae’s biggest stars in Clifton “Capleton” Bailey. That meeting led to Ikaya recording her first single with the music legend in 2001 on a track titled ,“Fire Whoa.’ The song quickly became a favorite among the Rastafarian community and was featured in the top of many of the local music charts. She went on to tour worldwide with Capleton as an opening act and a backing vocalist.
Ikaya’s exposure to the world and various genres help to define her vocal styling and sound in the fierce, male dominated music industry of Jamaica. Her first love, reggae, has been fused with Dancehall, R&B and Hip-Hop, to create hardcore, soulful renditions of her life experiences that have helped to project her onto the world scene. Her break out release, “Hard Way” brought her national and regional notoriety. The song topped the Jamaican Music Countdown Charts and with that came performances on the Pepsi Refresh Tour and major shows such as Rebel Salute. She further solidified herself as a national favorite and one of Jamaica’s promising musical ambassadors with her follow up “Ain’t Giving Up,” and “Fly Away,” produced by famed producer Don Corleone, songs that managed to top the European Reggae Chart.
Accolades came in quite early in her career for Ikaya. In 2010 she was awarded Jamaica’s “Most Promising; Female Artist of the Year; Best Music Video (Hard Way); and HITZ 92 FM’s Peoples Choice Awards for “Best New Artiste. Her versatility in switching between singing sweet melodies and spitting hardcore dancehall tinged rhymes made her very endearing to the locals and widely sought after by some of Jamaica’s most notable music producers. Her collaboration with some of these producers, such as Clive Hunt, Seannizle, ZJ Sparks, and Flava McGregor, to name a few, provided a steady stream of hits and chart toppers that have allowed her to maintain her relevancy and garner countless rotations and streams across the globe.
Ikaya separates her self from her contemporaries with very witty and eye catching music
videos that have enabled her much success internationally. The video for “Ugly Girl” was was added to MTV Jams, VH1, and most of the major video outlets of Europe and Africa. Her early success proved that her sound was just “too big” to be restricted to the borders of Jamaica. An ode that’s attributed to her powerful voice, described as “a soulful masterpiece of control that rivals R&B’s winning contemporaries.” – Jamaica Gleaner. No more is this evident than in her 2014 hit “Bang Bang”- a vengeful epic description of a woman’s fatal retaliation to her partner’s domestic abuse. The song quickly caught the attention of VP Records, Reggae Music’s biggest distributor whom have featured her on Strictly The Best Vol 50, with “Ugly Girl,” VP’s 2015, and 2016 Reggae Gold compilations with “My Man” and “Love Note,” respectively.
Kadian “Ikaya” Blair has graced the stage of numerous festivals and events worldwide, bringing her refreshing “wind of soul’ that touches and affects the lives of those who come to bear witness. Her live show is a display of exceptional vocal prowess, embedded in soulful offerings, and delivered with sensational conviction and energy. Shows such as Jamaica’s Reggae Sumfest, Sting, Follow the Arrow, Canada’s Jamaica Day, the Reggae Rhythm and Blues concert in New York City, The Jamaican Jerk Festivals in Florida, DC, and New York have recorded accounts of her artistry.
Ikaya continues to write songs and record tracks for her first studio album, which is not yet titled. On January 13th, 2018 she released the video for her latest single, “Leave You Alone” featuring Jesse Royal off VP Records Reggae Gold 2K17. With an anticipated 2018 debut of her own full body of work, Ikaya describes the project to be, “All of me, my life, my experiences, love, family, friends and my surroundings. It will be an expression of my versatility compiled in a collectable masterpiece. My greatest joy will be that my fans and friends appreciate and have fun with it!”