Just over a month ago Iluka hit us all with Closer To You, an absolutely vibrant new single bathed in colour, passion, and positivity. It signalled a new direction for the artist, a more pop-savvy sound that made you want to throw your hands in the air and dance ’til your feet hurt.
With a live show creeping up later this week and another single in the barrel for next month, we caught up with Iluka for the latest.
We took five with Sydney’s Iluka to chat the importance of music videos, the creative wave she’s riding high on, and the beginning of her newest chapter.
HAPPY: Hey, how are things? What are you up to at the moment?
ILUKA: At the moment I’m gearing up for my next single release in June! I’ve also been working on a ton of new material. Feeling like I’m riding a very creative wave right now in the writing/demoing phase.
HAPPY: Closer To You has been out there for a little while now, how are you feeling about it post-release?
ILUKA: Feeling really great about it! There was a really positive response to the track and it felt like a bit of a new start. It was the first taste of a bunch of new material that myself and the band have been working on with Jack Moffitt. It definitely felt like the beginning of a new chapter and that’s always exciting.
HAPPY: Can you share what the song’s about?
ILUKA: It’s about falling hard for someone and all the emotions that come with that – frustration, desire, recklessness, ecstasy… you lose your head a little and that’s a beautiful thing.
HAPPY: That video was so killer, by the way. Who did you work with to make this happen?
ILUKA: I worked with a director named Imogen McCluskey and her team Fat Salmon Productions. I explained to them what the song was about and that I wanted to do something very visually exciting that depicted the varying emotions of love in its early stages. Together with her and the band, we all brainstormed images and ideas that depicted these emotions. It was such a fun and collaborative clip to do!
HAPPY: Looking back I’m remembering that all your clips have been fantastic. Is producing these big, statement clips something that’s important to you? Why?
ILUKA: The visual aspect of music is paramount to me. I’m a very visual person and for me, music doesn’t exist on its own. It lives within a world that can be seen and touched as well as heard. Music videos are important in creating that world around a song. A world that your viewers can be completely immersed in for that four minutes. A world that can significantly alter how someone hears your music.
HAPPY: You played at the last ever Secret Garden, how was the mood there?
ILUKA: It was an amazing festival. Such a great vibe. There was an excessive amount of police presence and ‘undercover cops’ who looked like your mate’s kinda uncool Dad (think Hawaiian tees and cargo pants). Though they did change the atmosphere it was still such an inclusive and vibrant festival!
HAPPY: What’s the live show look like these days? Seems like you play with a very snazzy group of people.
ILUKA: Yes indeed. We’ve been playing together for a few years now so we know each other all so well and I definitely feel so comfortable up on stage with them. They bring so much to the music…
HAPPY: Closer To You seemed like your biggest, most cinematic tune yet. Is there more in the bank where this came from?
ILUKA: Yeh. I’ve been sitting on a bunch of new tunes that definitely fall into that “cinematic” category. I’m releasing my next single in June and it’s probably my favourite song I’ve ever written. It’s extremely personal which is a little terrifying but I’m pretty excited to get it out there.
HAPPY: Can’t wait, thanks for the chat!
Iluka is taking her live show to Manly’s Hotel Steyne on Thursday May 23rd. Grab all the details right here.
Closer To You is out now.