Ellie D Chats with Iluka

Where did your musical journey begin?

I like to think officially when I was 7 years old and I recorded my first song on my Dad’s 12 track desk. Previously I would sit on the piano and bang on the keys singing nonsensical ditties but I feel like this was my first actual song that I had written myself. My Dad accompanied me on the guitar and put down some bass and drums and I remember how proud I felt once we had finished. Of course I listen back now and completely cringe but I guess we all have to start somewhere?!

Who is the inspiration behind your music?

Every artist who has paved the way before me, especially the women. Be it Patti Smith, Joni Mitchell, Debbie Harry, Stevie Nicks, Odetta, Nina Simone or Diana Ross. Each of them were trailblazers who defied all expectation and preconception of who or what an artist was, and what women were capable of creating in a completely male dominated industry and world. They are the reason I am doing what I am doing today.

Which music artists would you consider collaborating with?

Patti Smith, Brittany from Alabama Shakes, Leon Bridges, Lee Fields, Jack White, Lana Del Rey, Jonathan Wilson and Anderson.Paak, just to name a few…

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Where do you write your music and lyrics?

I always carry around a small notebook to jot down ideas for lyrics, so I find myself writing everywhere and anywhere, whether on a train, at a café, in the car, or in my bedroom. The music comes together usually when I am sitting at home, alone on my bed with my acoustic.

What advice do you have for upcoming singer songwriters?

I would say to focus on what you do and to just keep doing it, without relying on anyone else to make it happen. At least when you are starting up, in this day and age we all have access to the tools and the skills to not only create music but also to put it out in the world and market it. I think if you focus on creating what you want to create, the people who want to come on board for the right reasons, will come on board. Then you know you have the right team around you. If you are focusing on getting the right people to hear your music before you have fully worked out who you are as an artist, it is so easy to fall into the trap of believing that other people know what is best for you and your music. And nobody knows that but you.