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Kira Ilona, Soulful Singer


Scarborough born and raised, Kira Ilona is an English Literature student at McGill University with an exceptional talent and passion for singing. I had the chance to sit down with her and learn about her early love for music and the influences she has had along her musical journey. 

How would you describe yourself in only a few words?

Introverted. I like to observe.

How would you sum up your music in only a few words?

Hmm. Personal, soulful, and, at this point, unprofessional [laughs]. I don't know, I mean quality-wise. All I have out right now, I did it in my dad's basement.

How long have you been singing?

I'm pretty sure since I was born. The first sounds I was making were in a sort of rhythm, sort of melodic. Before I was even talking, I was humming and singing -- just gargling, really. They weren't actual words or anything. At least that's what my mom always tells me. Apparently I'm too young to remember. She could just be making everything up; I actually don't know. It sounds like a good story.

What does it mean to be an artist?

I guess it depends. I think a lot of things are an art. In general, I guess you have to be willing to trust your own ideas, willing to experiment, and willing to learn. You also need to be the kind of person who sees the everyday things around you and want to create it into something else. You have to be a daydreamer.

What makes a song good?

It's hard. Sometimes you just know. You hear a song and you just know "I like this". You haven't even heard the chorus yet, and you can tell you like it. Sometimes it takes longer to figure out that a song is good. For me, it's always the lyrics, and it helps when I find something special about it. The style of the artist's voice, the verse of the chorus, some bridge, some part of the bridge, some backup -- just something special. And that doesn't always mean that there's a catchy hook.

How has your taste of music developed?

When in comes to taste in music, I've definitely evolved. Just about two years ago, I released a tiny body of work, and since then, I've definitely been listening to a lot more music. I still feel like there's so much I need to hear, and delve into, and find out more about. I'm not finished just yet.

What makes an artist successful?

It depends what you mean. Successful how? I don't think I'm anywhere close to successful -- I'm just trying to find out what that means. I think it's up to the artist. I think it's being ultimately satisfied with your work, and if you're not -- a lot of people are never completely satisfied with their work -- then it's about realizing whether or not you're happy. If you're happy about what you're doing, you're successful.

Where do you see your music in five years?

I don't know, and I like to keep it a secret. I don't like making predictions too soon. More than that, I don't like saying these predictions if I end up predicting them too soon [laughs]. My wants might change. What I want my music to look like in five years might really change by next year, or in the next few months. I have to see. But I want to still be making music, and I want to still be happy making music. That would be the best case scenario. That's the most I could ask for.

You can find out more about her work on CBC Music, MTV, and Facebook.


Images by Irmak Aydemir.

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