Nick Sefakis of Iya Terra Drops Brand New EP with Elliot Martin of John Brown’s Body

Brendan Clemente
3 min readDec 4, 2020

Introduction: I want to thank my friend Nick for the awesome opportunity to write this piece, and for being a stand-up guy in general. Ever since my first Backstage Music Lesson with him in the ancient basement of the Turf Club last year in Saint Paul, Minnesota, his kindness, passion for music, and down-to-earth vibe were immediately apparent through the thick and wonderfully fragrant smoke that poured from his spliff, and I knew he was a person I was lucky to be spending time with.

First, please do yourself a favor and listen to this amazing EP —

It’s no secret that this year has been a really rough one for a lot of people. The extra weight of the pandemic on top of the trials and tribulations of every day life opened lots of old scars, and created deep new ones.

But as always, there is beautiful light to be found in the darkness, and a silver lining to be seen if you know where to look for it.

One thing that became more apparent to me than ever this year was the power that music has to lift the soul out of its darkest moments, and create a meaningful difference in how we feel and perceive the world.

Though most of us didn’t have the opportunity to experience the magical healing vibes that live music brings this year, the lack of touring gave many artists more time than ever to work on the creative end of the musical spectrum.

For people like my friend Nick Sefakis, well-known for his role as guitar player and vocals in Iya Terra, this year meant building out his recording studio in LA with friend Braden Lee Waiters (Enoch Sound Studio), and doubling down on his ridiculously good songwriting and music production skills.

I’ve had the great pleasure of getting to know Nick a bit over the past year or so, and it’s been nothing short of inspiring watching his catalogue of self-produced music as a solo artist grow so quickly.

Just earlier this year he released his first full-length album “Foundation”, and today he drops the much anticipated follow-up EP, “Nick Sefakis Meets Elliot Martin”, a fantastic collaboration with one of the most revered reggae artists in the scene from the legendary band John Brown’s Body.

That’s sixteen self-produced songs released in one year, on top of all the work he’s putting in with Iya Terra on their new album. Having the awesome opportunity of listening to the new EP this week before it officially dropped, I was immediately hypnotized by the brilliant vocal chemistry between Nick and Elliot, closing my eyes as their voices blended seamlessly into the heavy roots rhythms and beautiful melodies that drive each song.

Besides bringing fresh, powerful music that lifts the soul, hearing Elliot’s voice next to Nick’s is a special thing in itself; John Brown’s Body is truly a pioneer in the scene as we know it, and has been a major inspiration and driving force for decades. The beautiful collaboration between these two souls brings enough light to shine through even the thickest darkness.

As with any music, there’s no way words can really describe it, and although I was honored to write this, I encourage you to go listen and feel it for yourself.

I truly hope these songs help bring meaning and peace to you in the tumultuous year 2020 has been, and I leave you with the intention of finding growth and harmony amidst the chaos.