1. Born in the UK in the '70s as The Lens, IQ remained, with Marillion, one of the very few progressive rock artists in the '80s. The style of their earlier material drew constant comparisons to that of groups like Genesis, but the band has always rejected the 'neo-progressive' tag bestowed upon them.
Their 1993 offering Ever was marked by the return of original singer, Peter Nicholls, and was one of the first of the progressive revival of the '90s. He had previously quit the band in 1985 to be replaced by vocalist Paul (P.L.) Menel, but Nicholls' return was widely welcomed by IQ fans.
They have continued to tour and record but work on a new studio album had been delayed following the departure of keyboardist and founder member Martin Orford after 26 years in the band, however the new album Frequency was released in 2009 and marked a return to the early 80's IQ sound.
2. South Londoner IQ is a fresh-faced 16-year-old-who is putting together his own mix of bashment, grime and rap, mixing the melodic Auto-Tune flow of the likes of Popcaan with some UK grit. Having learnt his trade during a stint in Jamaica with his big brother, dancehall artist QQ, IQ has been delivering a fusion sound that’s unlike anyone else in the UK. His track ‘Tell A Paigon Try’ is a perfect example of the young MC’s talent, with hard skengman lyrics delivered in a melody that could have been one of Justin Bieber’s tropical cut.
Having dealt with some serious drama at a young age (IQ was close to Showkey and M.Dot, both murdered in gang-related beef in 2016), recent interviews have shown him to be an artist mature for his age and looking to focus on music. With plenty of unreleased tracks to drop over coming months, IQ is going to rise rapidly in 2017.
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