Puerto Rican-born, Texas-raised artist iann dior returns with new single and music video “Holding On,” out now via 10K Projects. The single arrives at the end of a breakthrough year for the young singer and rapper. iann began 2020 with “Sick and Tired” featuring Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker, followed by his EP I’m Gone; a diverse, 9-track offering that features the Gold certified rap hit “Prospect” featuring Lil Baby. iann is also featured on 24KGoldn’s “Mood” which currently sits at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for its fourth week. iann’s 2020 successes earned him the #1 spot on Billboard’s Emerging Artist chart and his first ever platinum-selling record with “Mood.”
In “Holding On,” produced by Omer Fedi, Andrew Luce, Blake Slatkin and Kbeazy, iann sings and raps of a love he cannot let go of over strummed electric guitar.
Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, iann dior found instant success with the first song he ever wrote. “I was in high school and my friends told me to make a song because they knew I was good at writing,” he recalls. Inspired by the surprising reception – the track earned 10,000 plays in its first week – the budding artist (born Michael Ian Olmo) dedicated himself to a strict regimen of writing and releasing a song per week. As he gained traction, the Texas talent caught the ear of Internet Money’s Taz Taylor, who invited him out to L.A. to work with the producer and artist collective.
On the plane to Los Angeles, he instinctively decided to reinvent himself as “iann dior,” a new moniker derived from his middle name and his favorite designer brand which he “could not afford” at the time. “I used to worry about what people thought, holding on to things that didn’t matter,” he admits, “I wanted to be someone new.” By assuming this identity, the newly christened ‘iann dior’ offered himself a clean slate for his forthcoming musical success.
This belief in reinvention and self-evolution has acted as a throughline across his music career ever since. Soon after his trip to LA, iann dior quickly went from high school grad to label signee, inking a deal with Elliot Grainge’s 10K Projects in early 2019. He first established himself as a lo-fi hip hop artist to watch with early songs like “cutthroat” and “emotions”, each of which racked up millions of streams.
iann went on to release “gone girl” featuring fellow 10K Projects signee Trippie Redd in July, a midtempo, guitar-driven track which soon became RIAA-certified gold single and provided a perfect lead up to his debut album Industry Plant. With fifteen tracks and appearances from Blink 182’s Travis Barker, Gunna, POORSTACY, and more, Industry Plant’s title thumbed its nose at haters who couldn’t believe his rapid rise to success. “I love that project. I think that, from the name to the music itself, it was a statement,” he noted in a November 2020 interview with NME.
The album featured his first collaborations with rockstars like Barker and showed off his ability to shapeshift from emcee to emo rock writer with ease. As iann puts it, he does not like to be put in a box. “I’m such a spontaneous person. I want to venture out. I like to do new things,” he explains. As iann dior’s career grows, the artist pledges to continue to defy expectations at every opportunity. “The future really feels endless to me,” he notes.
By mid-2020, just as he dropped his EP I’m Gone, iann dior was featured on 24KGoldn’s semi-pop, semi-rap song “Mood.” The infectious single immediately began to climb the charts, becoming both 24KGoldn and iann dior’s first #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. Though iann dior had already established a die-hard fan base over the last few years on his own, his feature on “Mood” launched him as a household name and earned him the title of #1 on Billboard’s Emerging Artists chart.
As he prepares to release new music in 2021, the now-platinum selling artist assures his fans this is only the beginning. “A number one Billboard album is up next… I want to become the Number One artist in the world, and I am fully determined and obsessed with being the greatest.”
Listen to ‘Holding On’ here: