Hey VENTS, Thanks for having me here, I love your magazine! I’ve been doing great thank you.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Miscommunication”?
Miscommunication is one of my personal and intimate songs from my Mix tape ‘All These Thoughts’. It talks about the difficulties one can have in an abusive relationship where you want to get out of it but the feelings are so strong that it makes it impossible; therefore you’re stuck in that vicious circle of toxic love.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Haha, well… in all honesty, yes. Being an artist and especially a singer makes you somewhat a storyteller, right? But, yeah… We all have our own experiences and perspectives that is what shape our music and sound in general.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
I was lucky enough to work with the same crew for most of my videos so that makes it super easy for me, I couldn’t be more comfortable and at ease. Big shootouts to Benjamin Bradley-Gilbert who’s always down and ready for my ideas and directions (even the craziest ones). We’re also shooting a new music video in October in L.A that will go viral since we have some crazy concepts and stunts. Stay tuned!
The single comes off your new album All These Thoughts – what’s the story behind the title?
Like I mentioned previously, the story behind the title is the story of a couple that’s so in love with each other yet are completely different personality wise, and that could and will create tensions and misunderstandings sometimes, hence the title miscommunication. Some might call it a toxic/abusive relationship and some might simply refer to it as ‘crazy in love’ – that’s up to the audience to interpret that.
How was the recording and writing process?
The recording and writing process are always the same to me. I start with few guitar notes and chords and try to structure them in a way that makes sense to an outside audience, by that I mean I make sure to have the usual intro/verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus/outro. Then once the main melody is complete, I have my producer Nadir Rhazi add his personal touch to it but filling the voids and adding the drums. Once the beat is complete then I start writing and singing into the microphone. It helps that I have my own personal setup at the house so I can always be creative at any time.
What role does Boston play in your music?
That’s a great question. Boston has been my home since I was a kid, even though I’m originally from Morocco. I grew up in a small town by beach called Revere located in the northern part of Boston. It’s a very cold and gloomy place during wintertime so that kind of makes you melancholic at times but that’s the beauty of it. All my family and friends are from Boston therefore all my joyful and sad moments were made in that city which is all translated into my music. If you’re listening to ILYAH and try to use imagery to create a plot in your head, just know that the location is always going to be Boston, haha.
What’s been like to work with Jeff Timmons and how did that relationship develop?
I have the biggest admiration towards Jeff Timmons, not just the artist but also the man himself. He was the first big name in the industry to give me a real shot at music by getting me from Boston to Las Vegas to live my dream. I mean, he founded 98 degrees which went on to become a successful band signing for Motown records, selling millions of records and selling out arenas around the world yet when you sit down and talk to him he’s the most humble and down to earth human being there is. Obviously I leant a lot from him since joining his new band OverNight; we did sold out shows all over the west coast and went to many TV and Radio stations and that made me even eager to make it on my own someday.
How has he influenced your music?
I would definitely say that his influence was more of a technical influence. When I first got to Vegas to start working with him, I had no previous experience. Jeff showed me how to properly run a show, how to lay the backing tracks and harmonies for a set, how to place yourself on stage and how to deal with the fans afterwards… I mean… he’s been in the industry for so many years so he’s done it all. He’s also a chill guy to be around so there’s nothing but positive influence coming out of him.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?
Absolutely. When you’re working with someone else then it becomes a team effort rather than a solo thing. You have to take in consideration the other artist’s input and perspectives even if they differ yours, but luckily most of the artists I work with share the same passion and views as me so that makes it easier for us to create.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
I’m proud to say that I write all of my lyrics in my songs, because music to me is about feelings so if you’re not feeling what you’re singing then you don’t have that personal touch in your craft. The inspiration comes from past experiences and even future ambitions. It all depends on my mood to be honest.
Any plans to hit the road?
I just came back from two shows in Ohio few months ago where I did back to back shows in Lakeside and Springfield (Both Sold out 4k+). So now I’m resting for a bit until I get new music (which is coming soon) so we can start a even bigger tour!
What else is happening next in ILYAH’s world?
You know, as an artist you always gotta innovate and work on something new. The fans always want more and that’s part of the profession. October is going to be a huge month; I’m going to leave it at that!