Ilaye is a talented singer from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
The artist recently released a single – Fix – that has received rave reviews from all corners.
Hi, Ilaye! Can you tell us a bit about yourself? How are you coping with the lockdown?
Hi, my name is Ilaye. I am a singer and songwriter. I am currently in Lagos and I’m coping alright, thank you.
What was growing up like for you?
Growing up was fun for the most part. I grew up in Port Harcourt, my sisters and I played a lot of games – the popular ones and the ones we made up. It was chill.
What was your earliest memorable music experience as a listener? What kind of music did you listen to, growing up?
Listening to Usher’s ‘Confessions’ in the living room with my older cousins. I was surrounded by adults who loved Usher, Whitney Houston, Micheal Jackson, so that was the palette I was familiar with as a child. When I got old enough to buy my own music, I listened to Avril Lavigne, Amy Winehouse, Coldplay, Brandy, One Republic, 2 face, Taylor Swift, and more.
Did your early music experiences influence you to start creating music?
Absolutely, I think I knew I wanted to be a singer when my family watched Bob Marley’s memorial tape and Lauryn Hill performed this killer set, I was just enthralled by everything she did. So yeah, I’d say my early music experiences influenced me very much.
When did you start creating music? When did you start pursuing it professionally?
I started writing at 8. Started singing around that age as well. But it wasn’t until I was 13 that I became very aware of my writing & singing and started to take them seriously. At age 14 to 15, I was certain I wanted to pursue music professionally.
Who & what inspires you to make music now?
Right now? artistes like Kaash Paige, SiR, Delilah Montagu, Jessie Reyez. They just seem very connected with the music and the muses. Like you hear the rasp and cracks in their voices, very unadulterated, very channeled. That inspires me.
How would you describe the kind of music you make? What genre?
I’d say Alternative. I want my music to make people feel like they just spoke to someone they’ve known a long time when they hear it. I want it to make them feel less self-conscious, less anxious about how they look or what they have lined up on their to-do lists.
When you create, what’s your process like? What are some things you do to get into the zone to create?
It’s easier to create when I just had like a really really bad day or when I miss places or people.
Do you make music for yourself or does your audience influence your direction?
I make music for myself and my audience. It’s 50/50.
Have you ever performed on stage? How did it feel?
Yes I have. On a couple occasions. The most recent was at AUX Live, last year, in Lagos.
What have you learnt the most so far in your music and life journey?
What I’ve learnt so far is: ‘Do the work’. Also, no one owes you anything. If anyone owes you anything, it’s you. You owe yourself the effort. Do the work and be very patient.
How frequently do you release music?
We released a 6 track project title Pneuma last year September; and we just dropped a single titled Fix a few days ago. We will release more music soon.
What was the idea behind Fix?
Fix is about how rough this year has been for everyone and how that person in your life that you love and that loves you back is like part of your support and how you enjoy their existence.
What’s the goal for you? What would a successful career for you look like?
The goal is to make music and make a living off making music and ultimately contribute to making life easier for other people.
Where can people reach you on all platforms?