As an individual with rhythm in her blood – she’s been dancing since she was 3 – it’s perhaps not surprising to find that Ilana Armida is well on her way to establishing herself as a gifted singer-songwriter and performer. With her new single “High No More” out today, Ilana spoke to ThisIsTheLatest about her artistic influences, the one place she’d most like to play and how she’d love to party with Bruno Mars.
TITL: Firstly, what would you say sets you apart from the many other artists out there?
Ilana Armida: I think what makes me unique is that I handle pretty much every aspect of my entertainment career. In this industry a lot of artists are used as pawns. Labels tell them what music to put out and when, how to dress, how to move, etc. In my case – and how I plan on keeping it – I get to create music that genuinely represents who I am and what I am going through. I choose when I release that music through my own entertainment company, I co-produce and work with who I want to work with, I create my own cover art, run my own social media and truly get to be hands on with everything that I do both on the business and creative side of my brand.
TITL: You’re a woman of many talents, as someone who has been dancing since you were three and has been part of the professional dance and musical theater worlds, but what is it about singing and song-writing that ultimately drives you to create the music and sound that you do?
IA: I love performing! Song-writing gives me the opportunity to create music that I can turn into an experience for others. As I am writing I am very much also picturing what the live show and music video will look like. I love how I can put my thoughts and feelings into a song and make others feel things and make them want to dance!
TITL: Do you have any plans to go back to musical theater or are you happy to just be doing your own thing now?
IA: Eventually yes! I am a drama geek at heart and would absolutely love to do something on or off Broadway down the road!
TITL: Which band or artist might you say you sound most similar, or are you most compared to? Who would you most like to see or hear yourself be compared to?
IA: I honestly do not get compared to other artists that often. When it comes to the music I make I have gotten JoJo or even Ariana Grande before which is dope because they have two of the best voices in the world! JoJo is from Massachusetts like me and Ariana is Italian like me so maybe it’s that! I want to be Bruno Mars when I grow up. Haha! He’s my guy!
TITL: Who or what is your biggest inspiration when it comes to music and song-writing and with that in mind, which song would you say is the greatest ever written and why?
IA: I grew up listening to soul, motown and R&B, so it all started with Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding! They made music that made people feel things so deeply. But right now the most inspiring artist out there is Bruno Mars. He captures that feeling of soul and R&B that I love but creates songs that people of all generations can dance to! “24k Magic” is up there for best song ever written because of the positive effect it had worldwide.
TITL: Is there a story behind your new track “High No More” and what ultimately made you decide it was a fitting single?
IA: “High No More” was written very late at night in a studio full of my friends who were all drained from a long day. We didn’t realize how cool the song was until we listened back the next day. Allen Mattox had the line “You don’t get me high no more” and it allowed me to tap into a place I have unfortunately been in more than once and I am sure a lot of people have experienced when you are in a relationship and your significant other has stopped putting in effort. It is pretty straight forward but there is this sense of longing for the spark to reignite.
TITL: Are there plans for an EP or album in the works?
IA: Not currently. I plan on releasing a bunch of music this year in the form of singles to see what resonates and to show my fans what I am capable of. If an album happens in this process than GREAT!
TITL: What is your tour/performance schedule for the months ahead looking like? Which one venue would you most like to play and why?
IA: We will definitely have some shows around LA in the coming months. Hoping for a tour later in the year! I don’t have one venue in mind but I would love to do the festival circuit! Coachella maybe???
TITL: How do you feel about social media and the power and impact it can and does have on the lives and careers of artists today? Do you believe it’s possible for people to succeed in this industry without being socially connected to their fans?
IA: It is very difficult to stand out when there are thousands of “influencers” dominating the social media world but the beautiful thing about social media is that I can instantly connect to my fans all around the world. We as artists NEED social media to keep people interested in what we are doing and I think outside of all of the Facetune and ingenuine content these platforms can be super beneficial to connecting with our true supporters.
TITL: Are there any other plans or projects in the pipeline you can tell me about?
IA: Just look out for a bunch of new music from me this year!
TITL: Finally then, as someone who is clearly ambitious and driven to achieve all she sets out to, what’s left for you to tick off your personal and professional bucket lists? What would you have to do in order to be able to say to yourself “I’ve done all I dreamed of and more?”
IA: I don’t ask for much, I simply want to work with – or maybe just party with – Bruno and I want to do a world tour…. that’s all.