THE SHORT STORY
FRANK IVA is a Ugandan-born American music producer based in San Diego, CA.
With an exceptional musical ear since childhood, Frank could translate any melody he heard into sound with homemade instruments by age 6. His first gear was a drawing of a keyboard onto a piece of cardboard, and a guitar made out of a tin can and rubber bands. He didn’t own a real keyboard in those early days, but found one wherever he could through neighbors and church. Even though his dream was to be a concert pianist, he first attended college as a Statistics major at the prestigious Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Through college and beyond, Frank coached worship teams, taught piano, and worked as a record engineer producing private artists as well as commercial media. He sought formal training in music production and the latest technologies, but in vain. In 2006, he moved from Kampala to the U.S. with $100 in his pocket to pursue his dreams as a producer and artist.
As an optimistic international student pursuing a degree in Music from Judson University, Frank’s worldview was soon greatly impacted through working as Worship Arts Director for a predominantly white evangelical church in the suburbs of Chicago. This season allowed him to face both overt and subtle racism in America, hurt and confusion by the Church, and severe doubt over what he came here for.
A series of life-altering events took Frank through a time of no music, no church; of love, loss, and redemption; and across the country to San Diego, CA where he now happily resides. His work as Music Director at The Rock Church, as well as his MBA in Project Management has propelled his path back to his dreams. His explosive re-debut to the music scene is a beautiful culmination of Frank’s entire journey to this point- the unique rhythms of Uganda, the classical theory of the greats, the minor chords of hymns and Negro Spirituals, the major lifts of joyous gospel praise, and the modern hum of American innovation and nostalgia that paints his entire musical canvas.
Today, you can find Frank Iva merging his love of Chicago’s improv Jazz with that relaxed California electro vibe, in his first single release ‘Conversations’, his anticipated uptempo followup, ‘Bassline’, an all piano EP, ‘Piano Tape’, and his latest anthem of hope, 'More'.
You can watch Iva jam live in his “Iva On The Track” series on YouTube.