Iyore (pronounced E-YOUR-RAY) has always been a storyteller. But as a child, her dream was to do that as a performer — singing and dancing in a miniature girls group through elementary school. She realized it’s hard to break through into showbiz without a connection, so the plan became to shoot photography for Essence magazine … until they would discover, naturally, that she should be the person in the photos, not taking them (she was also inspired by The Devil Wears Prada, one of her favorite movies). Still, as a high school sophomore in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, she realized that the work behind the camera — particularly the writing and taping of an anti-bullying PSA — was even more of a joy.
That coming-of-age experience got her studying television and radio production at Morgan State University, a historically black university in Maryland. She went on to earn her Masters at American University in television, film and video producing (thus the nickname “super producer”). Iyore’s worked with the local NPR affiliate WEAA as the senior producer and as a freelancer, she’s worked on projects with Black Entertainment Television and Netflix’s House of Cards. “The news usually tells people what is going on,” she says, but her experiences in Baltimore were “flipped the other way around: the people telling us what’s going on. It taught me about being the true voice of the people and letting people give their opinion and express what’s really happening in their city. That’s why, as a creative, I’m more of a ‘human story’ teller than a news chaser.”
She continues to harness that voice as a podcast producer for OZY and is always hungry for more. “I never feel I’ve arrived,” says the daughter of an African American mother and Nigerian father, “even though that’s what my name actually means!”