Lila Ike wants more reggae and dancehall artistes to collaborate.
There is something truly Jamaican about putting on a pair of Clarks. Therefore, it was no surprise when the popular UK based shoemakers called on one of the island’s most sought after vocalists, Lila Ike, to drop by their fairly new IG LIVE Q&A session.
However, the songstress was not only selected from her silky vocals. As Lila would reveal in her session, her history with Clarks stems almost her entire life, with inspirations from her grand and great grandfather. Her love for the brand and the boots they provide was further rejuvenated when one of the island’s most influential acts, Vybz Kartel, released “Clarks” in 2010. Lila’s usually funky getup just doesn’t seem complete without a pair, preferably pastel colors, as Lila would reveal while answering questions thrown at her by fans.
About three weeks before the announcement of her appearance on Clarks’ LIVE session, an iconic shot from her “I Spy” music video was shared to their Instagram page. The post saluted her for donning a pair of Wallabee for the greater portion of the video. The impressive look as the brown-suede low-cuts tucked away below her cuffed trousers may have given thoughts of the Wallabee being her favorite. However, she revealed that like most Jamaicans, her goto is the Desert boot, which has reigned supreme since 1970. She then proceeded to showcase a foot of a grey Desert boot she is currently rocking, but later mentioned that her dark green suede version is the favorite in her collection.
The songstress was tossed multiple questions throughout the session. A few answers were delivered through song as the singer hugged and played her sky blue Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster guitar, a birthday gift from her mentor Protoje. Conversations about her guitar were inspired by her story surrounding the making of “Solitude,” which, as the singer recalled, was almost not a part of her first major project.
“It wasn’t actually going to be on the project,” she told viewers while adding, “but the producers linked up one night – actually linking up to make another song and they heard it and they loved it.”
The smooth number taken from Lila’s debut EP The Experience urges listeners to protect their energies even if that means being locked away to focus on oneself. The project, which was released on RCA, houses other tracks such as “Thy Will,” “Stars Align,” the previously released “Where I’m Coming From,” “I Spy,” “Forget Me,” and Dennis Brown’s “Promise Land” remake “Second Chance.” With Lila’s sweet vocals coming through on every song, the 7 track masterpiece currently holds the top spot on the Reggae Album chart in the US, with 454 digital copies sold within the first week.
A bittersweet reveal from the tell-all Q&A is that Lila was interested in providing fans with collaboration with veteran female singer Tanya Stephens. Sadly, things did not materialize, and The Experience was left featureless. Nonetheless, The project was met with a lot of love, and the likes of Popcaan and Swizz Beatz passed through the virtual project launch.
The atmosphere throughout the LIVE was one of positivity, appreciation, and growth. Lila shared her favorite Lauryn Hill song – “SuperStar” and also delved into more serious topics such as what she would change about the music industry.
“I guess it would be how different artiste interact with each other,” Lila Ike said. “Just the concept that Reggae over ya so and Dancehall ova ya so. You know I would love for more reggae and dancehall artiste to be in studio together working collectively.”
She continued, “That I think is something that would have a major effect on the music coming out of Jamaica for sure.”
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Lila Ike’ has collaborated with Protoje and Agent Sasco on “Not Another Word,” which feels like the perfect bridge between dancehall and reggae. While she would love to see greater unity, Ike is still rooted in providing a positive outlook through her music. In answering a question surrounding being a woman in a male-dominated field, she drew on the likes of Queen Ifrica, Koffee, Naomi Cowan, and other conscious female talents leading the charge in spreading positive motherly love to the youth of this generation.
She uses a Garnet Silk quote to bring her point full circle, “music is the rod and we [artistes] are Moses.”
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Other noteworthy points from the session include the names Burna Boy, Rema, and Wizkid, who make up a list of East African talents with whom she would like to collaborate. It was also revealed that the music video for “Forget Me” was shot by Wikid Entertainment and will be available soon. Until then, The Experience can be found on most major streaming platforms.