'I grew up listening to pop, hip hop, metal & indie music. All those genres continue to fascinate and inspire me'- ILIRA on the music she loves

Tuesday 4th September 2018 | Grace

ILIRA’s music is exploding within the pop scene and has received nothing but amazing praise. Her voice is strong, her melodies pumping, and her image is bang on trend, so it is clear to see why so many people are predicting such a great future for this emerging musician. She spoke to us about her background, her growing career and issues like what it takes to make the world a better place.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m an extroverted introvert who’s overly emotional and writes songs about it every day.

What does your name stand for?

The name ILIRA is of Albanian origin and means rebel/warrior. Guess my parents knew that I was gonna be a fighter!

What is your new single Whisper My Name about? 

Whisper My Name is the first positive song I wrote after a heavy break up. It’s about the time someone new picked me up from an all-time low and brought me back to the floating feeling of being in love. 

What do you think your music is saying to its audience?

My music covers a wide range of topics. It’s not just about relationships with other people, but most importantly about the relationship, I have with myself. Just like any other teen, I’m going through the inevitable struggle of coming of age. That quarter life crisis has definitely taken its toll on my lyrics, and I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who can relate.

You were brought up in Switzerland by Kosovo Albanian parents and now reside in Berlin. How do you incorporate all your culture into your music?

As a third culture kid, I’ve often felt misplaced with people mocking me for my dreams and aspirations. But now that I’m finally able to make music professionally, I see the benefits of my multicultural background. My song writing is heavily influenced by the Middle Eastern music that my parents introduced me to when I was a little kid. Apart from that, I’ve naturally gravitated towards American music while growing up, for example by Rihanna and Britney. I try to incorporate all of those influences into one sound and make that my signature style. 

Where is your favourite place to play?

I’ve only played shows in very few countries yet, and I honestly enjoyed every show equally. I’m excited to see more of the world, and to perform in as many countries as possible!

How do you find the different countries alter musically? 

There are a lot of varying regional aesthetics when it comes to music. Middle Eastern music, for example, can have very long intros, whereas American pop music rarely has those intros. Besides, I’m a big fan of symmetry in song writing, meaning that I love coming up with symmetrical melodies. Middle Eastern music, however, doesn’t always follow that approach. 

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You have mentioned your influences being anything from Nirvana to Rhianna, how does your music fit into this diverse mix? 

I grew up listening to pop, hip hop, metal and indie music. All those genres continue to fascinate and inspire me. My next releases will reveal how complex my sound is — so stay tuned!  

What is the worst thing you have ever done? 

The most recent thing that I wish I hadn’t done was drinking tap water from old pipes in Albania. I ended up getting sick which ruined my whole trip. 

What would you do to make the world a better place?

The first thought that comes to mind is free education for everyone. My sister is currently studying to become a doctor, and I’m witnessing how difficult it can be to get access to education. I wish everyone in the world was entitled to free education and wasn’t held back by crazy tuition fees and financial issues. 

What are your hopes for the future?

To make music for as long as possible. 

Where can we catch up with what you are doing?

The easiest way is to follow me on instagram: @iliramusic. Feel free to slide into my DMs! I appreciate every message and support.