This past Friday, 21-year-old Finnish singer-songwriter, ILON, released her new single, “catch-22”. “catch-22” follows the rising pop singer’s debut single, “selfish love“, which she collaborated with Grammy-awarded producer, FINNEAS, and pop artist, “JC Stewart”. ILON delivers a timeless and fresh vocal performance paired with lyrics telling us stories of modern romance and the pressures of being in a relationship.
“Despite acknowledging every little fault in the relationship, you can’t seem to take the leap to move on from it. The fear of not knowing what’s on the other side of it has got you wrapped around its finger. You’d rather be miserable than end up alone. The other person doesn’t care enough to do anything about it, which puts even more pressure on you to set things straight for your own sake. Not wanting to be alone was the reason you got into this unfulfilling relationship in the first place. It’s ironic that you know you have to leave, but you can’t be rational enough to actually do it.” — ILON
BTS: Introduce yourself to the readers.
ILON: Hi, readers! I’m Ilon, and I go by the artist name ILON. I’m 21 years old and I grew up in the Finnish countryside about 30 kilometers from the city of Helsinki, where I live now. I like challenging myself whenever I can, and music, friends, rooftops, good food, self-irony, and weird conversations are the things that keep me going!
BTS: How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never listened to you before?
ILON: I’d say that I make pop music with a bit of an alternative twist. I have an easier time writing about sad topics and I love incorporating organic elements into my music. Some people have told me that my sound seems to be by influenced by indie music, some say they notice a little bit of R&B making its way through the poppy sound. Who knows! 🙂
BTS: What are/who are some inspirations for your music?
ILON: My music is inspired by big emotions, the writings in my diary, stories told by my friends, observations of complete strangers, nature, and music by authentic and genuine artists that I admire. Pretty songs that make me feel something always inspire me to go sit by the piano and write something myself.
BTS: You’ve had the opportunity to work with Grammy-awarded producer, FINNEAS, as well as performed live on Instagram with UK pop star, JC Stewart — What were those experiences like?
ILON: All of a sudden, the world felt really small. JC Stewart and FINNEAS are both amazingly talented artists that I admire. I just feel really grateful for the opportunities that I’ve been given. Life’s crazy!
BTS: You just released your debut single, “selfish love” — Congrats! What was/were the inspiration(s) behind this song? What was the process like creating it?
ILON: Selfish love was inspired by something that I was going through at the time. I thought there was more to something that turned out to be quite superficial to the other person, which made me feel sad and frustrated – so I took those emotions and poured them into a song. I’m glad I did, since writing about it really helped me set my mind straight and move on.
BTS: Take me through your journey as an artist — where did it all begin?
ILON: My love and dedication to music have its roots in my early childhood since my dad plays the piano and the cello. When I was about 10 years old I created a Youtube channel, that allowed me to practice singing and songwriting without actually having to confront an audience. I could spend all day and night in my room practicing and recording songs by my favorite artists; It was really something I loved, and still love, to do. Later on, I started posting my own songs. About a year and a half ago, my current A&R at Warner Music Finland, discovered one of my songs. A few months later I signed a record deal, and I’ve been working on my own music together with my producer ever since. It’s a dream come true!
BTS: How do you connect with your listeners?
ILON: I love reading and responding to messages that people send to me on Instagram. Everyone’s so sweet, and I’m glad they reach out to me since it really allows me to connect with them individually.
BTS: How have you been spending your quarantine?
ILON: I’ve been making music, drawing, going for walks to strange places, studying, FaceTiming my friends, and spending way too much time on my phone, heh.
BTS: What’s something readers should know about you?
ILON: That I appreciate kindness, boldness, and honesty!
BTS: What does the rest of 2020 and beyond look like for you?
ILON: I’ll be releasing more music, which I’m really excited about! I’ll continue studying, working, making music, and hoping for the year 2021 to be a little bit easier on all of us… We’ll see. Once the situation allows, I’ll hopefully get up and perform on stage – it would be a lot of fun. I have no idea what the future holds, but I’ll try my best to stay present and enjoy the ride. 🙂
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