I’ve been following ILO’s musical journey now for nearly 5 ½ years. ILO is indeed very rock ‘n’ roll but also; quirky, funny, whimsical, kind, generous in spirit, and her work ethic is steeped in fortitude. When I listen to ILO’s music I am constantly amazed by the diverse sounds & lyrics that radiate from her songs. ILO has a vast repertoire. And you know what? None of them sound the same – as ILO’s character they are equally unique. I say to people all the time, that ILO is simultaneously: rock ‘n’ roll and the most adorable creature on the planet. When she performs the sound is clearly pure, and she does not hold back, consistently ridiculously fearless. I can totally appreciate that quality in another human being especially when it comes to singing, as I am always petrified to let the notes out and push them. With writing it’s easy because it’s fluid but, singing I’ve always held back – which is why I genuinely appreciate the spirit and talent ILO exhibits. I don’t know if you’re aware but a couple of weeks ago, ILO re-released Heroes In Disguise, all the profits from the sales go to the NHS – which ILO so kindly furnished me with the links. I would like to invite you all the follow ILO on social media: Facebook (just so you know, ILO has a Facebook live show on today at 6:30 pm on click this for more details) , YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and of course ILO\’s site.
RMMW: We all have an inner critic, how do you contend with yours?
ILO: Truthfully, I have a hard time silencing my inner critic, but it pushes me to try and do better, and work harder, so I\’m not sure I want to make it too quiet! It\’s just important to keep a balance, not overthink too much.
RMMW: Do you have any artist rituals before you begin writing a new song?
ILO: Nothing set in stone – the beauty of songwriting is that you can begin creating a new piece of music anywhere, at any time of the day or night, in most physical and emotional states you can be. Great ideas come after no sleep and jet lag, whilst riding in the back of a touring van through a new city, as well as when you\’re rested, relaxed and breezy, and let\’s not forget how therapeutic writing can be whilst going through heartbreak or any trauma life throws at you. So I think rituals don\’t work as well as going with the moment.
RMMW: Who are your favourite Singer/Songwriters to collaborate with musically?
ILO: My ultimate duet would be with Michael Bolton! I\’d also absolutely love to write with Ryan Tedder, Shania Twain, Jared Leto, Lewis Capaldi, Jack Savorretti and Maren Morris.
ILO: To trust my inner voice and my intuition, much more than I have done. Your gut feeling is much more reliable than any advice from a friend, any book that teaches you how to be – it\’s like the literal truth right in front of you, as long as you\’re brave enough to see it – I\’ve been working on developing my intuition so I make healthy decisions quickly.
RMMW: I remember, a Facebook livestream you and Tony Moore hosted last year while you were in Puerto Banus, Spain — when you jumped into the freezing cold water — this scene permanently adhered to my brain as a very whimsical and fun moment. That being said, where has been your favourite place to tour and why?
ILO: That live stream was crazy enjoyable, and on a rather boiling summer day. Favourite place to tour has been Tennessee, especially Nashville – even though it isn\’t a huge city there are so many fantastic, legendary music venues, each day around the city feels like a whole tour, there is so much to discover, you can walk through open doors with live music blasting just to hear a great chorus of a song and end up spending 6 hours in there, watching the band and even jamming with them afterwards. It\’s a dream.
RMMW: Do you ever weave secrets into your Songwriting & Poetry?
ILO: If I did, I\’d probably want to keep them hidden as a bit of a secret weapon. 🙂
RMMW: Where do you see yourself in 5 – 10 years?
ILO: Happy and healthy. Wrapping up a world arena tour and a successful album. Living in a warm place by the ocean somewhere.
RMMW: Evolution in our lives is ALWAYS inevitable, what has been your metamorphosis journey these last 5 years?
ILO: In terms of evolving as a person, I\’ve gotten through so many personal challenges, and have come the other side, but it hasn\’t been easy. A relationship with a covert narcissist and the aftermath is the hardest thing I\’ve had to overcome, because it changes everything you thought you knew or believed about human nature, not just about real love. You\’re left with a lot of unanswered questions, PTSD, grief, doubting yourself and your own sanity. You have to rebuild your confidence and your belief system from scratch, not just to enter a new, healthy relationship, but to stay sane and grow and re-learn how to trust your own judgement about other people’s characters. I\’d say facing the insane situation I was in and admitting I was in it, and ending that incredibly painful chapter of my life and working on re-balancing my mental health (and succeeding) has been the most vital metamorphosis for sure, for now.
RMMW: There at times still is a stigma associated with Mental Health Awareness, what does advocacy to end this stigma mean to you?
ILO: Yes, there is, and it\’s a very unsettling notion that we still don\’t feel entirely comfortable even addressing what hurts us most, simply because keeping it in and pretending it isn\’t there, doesn\’t help to heal. Raising awareness is a great thing, as long as it continues on a deeper level – friends being there for friends in need, families not turning their backs on suffering members, more people going to therapy, survivors sharing their true stories to help, depression and suicide prevention being key topics in education, things like that. More of that.
RMMW: Do you feel there is a direct correlation between anxiety and the world of social media?
ILO: Certainly, it often doesn\’t help to have others\’ seemingly flawless lives glamorized and advertised on social media, when one may be suffering in silence – this is why it\’s so important not to stay silent, as tough as that can be, though in some situations it\’s a matter of survival. In any case, the easiest thing to do is to not believe what you see on social media too much – anything can be fashioned or polished to look like it is perfect. Life is better without a filter anyway because it is real, in all its quirks.
RMMW: What is your dream show? Who would you relish performing with?
ILO: I\’d have to again go with Michael Bolton. I\’d love to open on his tour and eventually sing a duet with him.
RMMW: You\’ve written VERY powerful songs, that have reduced me to a pile of tears many times. Have you ever teared up or laughed hysterically during a performance? How do you maintain your composure in such a situation especially in front of an audience?
ILO: Yes, both! I tear up at every single show, either because my songs are emotionally charged with real stories, or when I see members of the audience cry, and hug. I try not to look too much as otherwise I\’d never get through the whole set! The uncontrollable laughter would be brought in by having a very sweet and close relationship with my band – we\’re great friends and have countless in-jokes, and often find it hard to pull back hysterical laughter when something messes up onstage or one of us does something hilarious mid-show, like tripping over cables and falling not-so-gracefully into the feet of another band member. There is no secret for composure, you just carry on. The audience enjoys silly mistakes sometimes too, they feel part of something real.
RMMW: Who are you currently listening to, that you are not able to get enough of?
ILO: Nothing but Thieves is an INCREDIBLE British band I recently got obsessed with. Inspirational! Billie Eilish, and her brother who\’s an artist in his own right, FINNEAS, are amazing, and I love H.E.R live.