Since gracing our screens last year, Love Island favourites Dami Hope & Indiyah Polack continue to go from strength to strength, whether it’s in love, living together, personal success or standing strong in their self-identity…
You can tell a lot about a couple just from a spending a short amount of time with them: from the looks they share, how they interact, and speak to each other. As I sit down with the Love Island favourites and power duo “Damiyah”, the authenticity in the love between them is ever present, just as we saw on our screens last year.
As things become long-term, Indiyah reflects on how effortless their relationship feels as time goes on. “Me and Dami are a lot closer now since we’ve come out, it’s been easier as times goes along. Every day, you learn more about each other, and I’ve gotten to know how he is as a normal person. Like as opposed to in the villa, I didn’t know how he was in a normal settings and how he’d react to certain things, and as the days go by, you learn more of that”
“It’s not easy, when we first came out, we had arguments, and they weren’t about my character flaws or his character flaws, it’s just that we’re in a new environment and you’re still getting to know each other when you come out. But our love has grown, and we’ve learned to appreciate the different things about each other”.
Adding to this, Dami notes communication as playing a part in the success of their relationship. “We’re both great communicators. Every battle we’ve faced has strengthened us, so we’ve built an understanding of each other, which adds to that.”
When asked about how they developed a strong communication between them, the pair laugh and joke how drunken nights have strengthened their bond. “But on a serious note, we’re both very strong and solid together, and having a lot of deep chats has helped build that”
“Exactly, and we’re both the kind of people who don’t really care what others think, so with each other, we speak freely and without worry”, says Indiyah.
If you’re on TikTok (who isn’t at this point), you will have seen the couple’s hilarious videos, often taken in their London apartment, they recreate TikTok challenges, cook together and vlog. The couple explain that living together came easily for them. “It’s been great, you have someone to come home to, good company and its really fun, we’re in our own bubble and get to do stuff that no one knows about - plus you can have sex all the time”; rolling her eyes at Dami’s comment but nodding in agreement, Indiyah adds that the only hurdle they’ve faced is learning how to live with each other’s annoying habits.
As we’ve seen on their socials, the pair are quite the chefs when it comes to cooking cuisines native to their Jamaican and Nigerian heritages. “I love anything Caribbean that Indiyah makes, curry chicken, curry goat, mac and cheese. All of it!” As for Indiyah’s favourite dish, she raves on about Dami’s speciality, “I know it’s really cliché because he’s Nigerian, but he makes such a good jollof rice.”
Despite being very active on socials, the pressures of social media or being in the public eye is no longer something that concern either Dami or Indiyah. “We didn't feel pressure when we came out with the whole black love thing, but we did know people expected certain things of us, like how we should act, but ultimately we have to be ourselves and block out the noise because social media isn’t really real” Dami says.
Similarly, when it comes to negative comments, Indiyah shares how they block them out and focus on their relationship. “It’s annoying to see, but we just don’t feed into it. I don’t like to give people a reaction, but of course sometimes people deserve a respectful clapback, because I know your opinions aren’t facts”.
“If it’s something that’s really in your heart and you want to do it, just go for it”
Soon after leaving the villa, the couple grew a strong following that wasn’t only invested in their relationship, but also their sense of style and no s***s given attitude. Sharing a similar mantra when it comes to self-expression, fashion, content creation and beauty, they’re all about showing up how they want and on their own terms.
Known as the “IT Girl”, and with good reason, fans fell in love with Indiyah’s fits and style in the villa which led to her securing brand deals with PrettyLittleThing and Boots. However, long before this, fashion and beauty had always been a big part of Indiyah’s life. “It’s always been a big part of who I am, and more than anything, it brings me joy. When it comes to fashion and beauty, things are always changing and you learn new things about yourself, and I use my fashion and the way I do my makeup and hair to express that”.
Since sporting her signature ‘skunk stripes’ in the villa and still going, Indiyah’s clear impact in the UK beauty scene is undeniable. “When I told my friends about it [skunk stripes], they all said that it would look weird – but everyone’s doing it now.” And of course, a quick scroll on your social media feed will show similar styles and how-to videos on nailing the look. Her inspiration? She pins it down to childhood influences and her mindset. “I’ve always been quirky. When I was younger and now, I was a huge fan of Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga – I loved how they dressed, their confidence and how they don’t care.”
Not one for following trends either, Dami shares a similar outlook. Whether he’s wearing streetwear, smart casual or high fashion, his fashion repertoire never misses. “Before Love Island, I was already curating my own style in fashion, and the show has opened me up into where I wanted to go with it and I’m just elevating it even more.” But its imagination that which he attributes for steering his sense of style and confidence. “Fashion is a big part of me, but my imagination helped shape me, which is really what made me what I am.”
“I like when people look at me and think, what is that dude wearing?” says Dami. When asked if he’s ever felt nervous about dressing alternative or experimenting with new styles, he quickly shrugs off the idea of it “I never worry about what people are thinking about my outfit, instead, I think about what kind of emotion or the kind of person I want to evoke when I step out.”
As our conversation comes to a close, Dami and Indiyah reflect on personal mantras that helped them get to where they are. “Be yourself. If you’re passionate and consistent it can carry you to wherever you want to go. Consistency is key because the one day when you weren’t consistent could’ve been the day you would have blown. So always keep the consistency and faith and you’ll get to wherever you want to be.” Dami says.
Similarly Indiyah adds, “Don’t be afraid to wear or try something new. If it’s something that’s really in your heart and you want to do it, just go for it. If you believe in yourself, anything is possible. Be unrealistic as possible, I say.”
Words & Interview by: Panashe Nyadundu