A Q&A with ILON

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From Finland, mixing trad and modern with a pop twist, here’s ILON…

How did you get the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
I’m not sure where I stumbled upon the expression ‘catch-22’, but I was unfamiliar with it and looked it up on the internet. Having found out its meaning, I immediately wrote it down. At the time, I felt like I could relate to the expression and was able to apply it to something I was going through – so I wrote a song about it.

What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
Me and my producer Ilkka Wirtanen made this song over a year ago; so I’d say that the hardest part must’ve been adding all the finishing touches and see it from a fresh point of view after having listened to it quite a few times during such a long period of time.

What did Ilkka Wirtanen bring to it?
I adore his work. He’s never afraid to create unique soundscapes and often chooses quite unexpected way of making certain things sound just the way he wants them to. I think Ilkka made the track fun and unique by leaving the verses quite simple and adding exiting elements to the chorus etc. Putting everything together was a lot of fun. I love the fact that I can freely explain a sound by describing its texture, colour, ambience etc – Ilkka knows just how to create just that and make it work with the track.

What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
I hope my music makes them feel something, generates curiosity about the message behind the song or maybe even inspires them to create something themselves. I like the idea of my songs being like anecdotes about my life that, hopefully, someone else ends up seeing themselves in.

How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
I guess I just write the lyrics and melodies that come naturally to me in the moment. I try not to over-analyse anything, even though I tend to do that sometimes. Sitting by the piano with my hands on the keys really helps me sing intuitively and connect with my emotions in the moment. Nowadays many of the songs I make are born in the studio with my producer – sometimes from scratch and sometimes inspired by pre-written poems and lyrics on my phone, old voice recordings etc.

What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
Authentic artists, whether it be icons like John Lennon and Imogen Heap or more recent, young artists like Clairo and Billie Eilish. I’ve always felt inspired by genuine, determined people who create music on their own terms.

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When the world is back to normal where would like to tour, and why?
Anywhere, really! As long as things truly do get back to normal, I’m happy. I’d be thrilled to get up on any stage right now.

If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
Since I only have two tracks out, it would have to be either ‘Selfish Love’ or ‘Catch-22’. They’re quite different from each other, so I can’t pick one! Both are very personal to me, and I think they portray my sound and style of writing and singing quite well.

What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
The sky’s the limit!

Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
Remember to check up on your friends and yourself. Tell someone you love them. Laugh a little, cry a little. Thanks for having me! 🙂

For more info visit: facebook.com/onlyilon


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