Anthony ‘Ijah’ Umi grew up in southern New Mexico singing in gospel and soul groups as a child and throughout college. Ijah was a pianist for the ENMU jazz ensemble, attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, played with AZA (reggae) for several years before starting his own band Iyah in 2006. Ijah composes his own music, including vocals, keyboards and percussion. He is retired from State government and has a Master’s degree in Social Work.
Ijah founded and is currently co-host of the Iyah Music show (reggae) on KUNM at the University of New Mexico. He started Soul Notes (an eclectic mix of soulful music, including R&B, Gospel, Jazz, Hip-Hop, World Beat and more) at KSFR in 1999.
For Ijah, radio is an “ear-audio” experience that moves the soul in a different way from a visual experience. In his words, “I love music that is entertaining and message music that expresses the deeper truths or meaning of life.” He enjoys the creative flexibility allowed at KSFR and is grateful to be able to share his Southern NM soul roots to Northern New Mexico.