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Iyah May Unveils A Stripped Back Rendition Of Her Latest Winner, ‘XO Girl’

Cairns artist, iyah may recently set the world alight with her single, XO Girl which features Gold Coast and AAA favourite homie, Saint Lane. Today iyah is over joyed to share with us a stripped back visual for the super cool bop. The new version of the video was filmed in Brisbane at the iconic Kangaroo Point with the city skyline as the backdrop. The stripped back rendition was delivered so that iyah can take it back to how it was originally written, bringing melody and lyrics to the front.

To celebrate the reveal even more, we caught up with iyah may to find even more, about herself and her music.

How would you describe iyah may? 

No sense of direction, legally blind, life goals include having a pet cow, has a fascination with accents and sushi.

Tell us a bit about yourself? 

Music was a bit of an accidental career path for me. I was a doctor before I released any songs, but right before that I decided I wanted to do something outside of my comfort zone and moved to New York on a student loan. I knew I wanted to dabble in music, but I would have been stoked with singing a few cover songs in a bar over there. It was through a chance meeting with Shaggy’s producer at a G-Eazy studio session that I was introduced to an incredible vocal coach. He encouraged me to keep singing and I’ve never looked back since. A lot of the sounds I was influenced by in NY play a big part in what I write now.

Can you tell us about the original XO Girl (feat. Saint Lane)?

 I wrote the original melody & lyrics to a beat that was sent to me and the chorus was written while I was driving to my sister’s house near Cairns. I find driving a great time to write songs because you can’t over think it too much as you’re also literally driving. The hardest part is remembering exactly what you’ve written by the time you’ve pulled over to record it on your phone.  The chorus came first and then verse two and the rest, and the first verse came last. I always wanted a rapper to jump on the track and Saint Lane brought everything I’d hoped for.  

The original video has already been streamed over 80k times, what do you think people are liking about the original video?

Great question. I have no idea. I would guess the random stuff throughout it like the orange bathtub, that was a good time. I wish I still had it to cruise around in. Also the dogs cause who doesn’t love dogs.

What prompted you to strip back XO Girl to an acoustic version?

 I’ve always loved the melodies in this song and I thought it would be cool to play it on keys so that they’re brought to the forefront with the lyrics. I wrote this song during a time where I had to make some pretty big life decisions and a lot of that is reflected in the lyrics. I love the original beat but I think having it stripped back gives the lyrics a new life and it’s intimate.

Where & Who filmed the stripped back version? 

My mate Jerry M from Townsville, we go way back. We’ve always wanted to do something together and this was the perfect chance while we’re both in Brisbane. We shot it at Kangaroo Point in Brisbane in about two hours using a drone and his camera.

This is your first performance at a festival, what can we expect to see at a live iyah may show?

Ahh stoked to be playing at TGIG! I’ve got a bunch of unreleased songs I’ll be singing as well as XO Girl. I’ll be playing as a two piece with a friend on keys and tom drum for a cheeky slap. I’m pumped to get hype in my hometown!

What does the rest of 2021 look for iyah may?

More music music music. This year I wanna get out songs and keep writing and doing shows. I have so many tracks I can’t wait to share with you!


Written by Chris Lamaro