Beginning her artistic journey earlier this year, with the release of her debut single Selfish Love; late last month, Finnish singer-songwriter ILON followed up her musical debut with her brand new single catch-22. Demonstrating her star quality, ILON is fast placing her mark on the music industry; already collaborating with artists such as the Grammy-winning FINNEAS and rising pop star JC Stewart. Now with her sophomore single, ILON showcases another side to her artistic style as she draws upon a vibrant soundscape filled with captivating beats and electro-synth influences. All about exploring the pitfalls of a modern romance, and finding yourself in a paradoxical catch-22 situation; we sat down with the talented singer to chat all about the new release, and what more is to come!
BM: How are you, how have you been? How have you found the last couple of months as a creative and artist?
ILON: I’m doing quite well, thank you! Releasing my first two songs has been a huge deal for me, since it’s something I’ve dreamt about for so long. I’m still trying to figure out how to balance my studies in political science with pursuing a career as an artist – but I feel lucky to have been able to do both simultaneously. Having moved away from home, released music and begun my studies at the university, I feel like I’ve been taking big leaps forward in life. I’m excited for what’s to come!
BM: Making your musical debut earlier this year with your single Selfish Love, how has your musical journey been so far?
ILON: It’s been really exciting to be able to show people what I’ve been working on for the past few years. However, it feels a bit weird to know that my thoughts and emotions are out there for everyone to hear – but I think being honest and vulnerable is worth it, knowing that someone might relate to whatever I’m going through. The positive feedback has been really sweet and heartwarming, and I’m happy with where I’m at right now.
BM: How have you found beginning your artistic career during such a crazy year?
ILON: The twists and turns that this year has taken have made every day quite unpredictable. At times, it’s been challenging and quite stressful not to know how to adjust to the new normal, but for the most part I’ve just tried to focus on being present and enjoying the ride. I believe there’s no such thing as the perfect moment to debut as an artist; you just have to put yourself out there, be determined and trust the journey – even in the middle of a pandemic.
BM: For your fans and listeners who are getting to know you and your music; how would you describe your sound and artistic style?
ILON: I’d describe my style as pop music with a bit of an alternative twist. The topics I write about tend to be a bit melancholic, and I love incorporating organic elements into my music. Meanwhile some say that my sound seems to be influenced by indie music, others say that they notice a little bit of R&B making its way through the poppy sound. Who knows!
BM: What made you want to pursue a career within music? Who were your main inspirations and influences?
ILON: Even though I’ve been afraid to admit it, I’ve dreamt of pursuing a career in music since I was around the age of nine or ten, when I first began to make covers and consciously try to improve my singing. Seeing stars like Justin Bieber pave their way to success by posting covers on Youtube, I was inspired to do the same. Also, posting singing videos on the internet didn’t feel nearly as intimidating as the idea of actually performing live. Some of my many, many inspirations and influences were Rihanna, Tori Kelly, Veronica Maggio, Justin Bieber, Colbie Caillat, Amy Winehouse, Norah Jones etc.
BM: Having already gained a mass of attention within the industry, collaborating with the Grammy-winning FINNEAS and rising star JC Stewart; what was that process like?
ILON: It’s been pretty crazy. I’ve adored Finneas work for years, so hearing that I’d get to record one of his songs was a huge moment for me. I was nervous at first, but being part of JC Stewarts instagram live tour turned out to be a really fun experience, and I’m really grateful for getting the chance to be included in it.
BM: Having released your second single Catch-22, tell me a bit more about the track, and the inspiration behind it?
ILON: I wrote this song at a time in my life where I felt a bit stuck. The song is about acknowledging every little fault in a relationship but still struggling to distance oneself from it. You fear the state of being alone, so you’d rather be a little bit miserable than lonely. The title refers to a paradoxical situation that you can’t escape from, since the solution to the problem is also the cause of the problem. To save yourself, you would have to leave the relationship – but since feeling desperate and alone was the reason you got into an unfulfilling relationship in the first place, going back to that state of being isn’t really going to make things better…It’s a catch-22.
BM: With a catchy and addictive melody, how did you come up with the instrumentation on the track?
ILON: I’m fortunate to have my amazing producer Ilkka Wirtanen by my side. He’s super innovative and loves to play around with different sounds. Catch-22 was the second song we ever made together, but since day one it was clear that we had good chemistry and perceived music in a similar way. I wanted the song to be emotional, organic and easy-going, but also poppy and upbeat. I usually ask Ilkka to find some weird textured sounds and then we go from there. I can’t remember who came up with what, and in what order – but it was a fun process! It always is.
BM: How does Catch-22 fit into your discography, and artistry going forward?
ILON: I try not to label my style of music too harshly, but I’d say catch-22 fits in pretty well into my discography. The songs that I’m planning on releasing are all different, but I’d say what brings them all together is their emotional and honest back-stories. I’m constantly recalibrating, so it’s impossible to say what kind of songs I will be making a year from now, let alone a month from now. 🙂 I’m open to anything and everything, as long as it feels right!
BM: As we head towards the end of the year, where do you see yourself heading artistically over 2021, and what are some of your main goals?
ILON: I’ll be releasing more music in 2021! Besides releasing new songs, I want to focus on being as much in the studio as possible, constantly writing new music. Once the situation allows, I’ll hopefully get to get up on stage at some point, so I’m excited to see what that’ll be like! I’m constantly learning and growing, and wish to continue to do so throughout 2021.
An absolute pleasure to chat to ILON about her brand new release; we are sure to be heading more fantastic new music from her very soon! To Keep up with the talented singer on her musical journey, find her on all her socials @onlyilon