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Interview: ILUKA Soars With 'Get Free'

Updated: Jan 18, 2022

Photography: @tomwilkinson__

Sydney siren, ILUKA captivated us yet again, with her latest single, 'Get Free.' The track features bouncy, melodic synths, thumping heartbeat drums and ILUKA's patented stratospheric vocals. These three minutes of undeniable & unbridled auditory bliss comes neatly packaged alongside a gorgeous video:

The release follows in the wake from ILUKA's biggest release to-date, 'Mess,' which featured Australia's indie favourites Lime Cordiale. Slip, Slop, Slap & plug in your headphones to absorb the sunny glow of 'Get Free'. The track still captures the heart of the wild seen in 'Sweet Marianne,' but features more outdoors than a BCF ad. We were lucky enough reel in a whopping 3.5 Metre interview with the songstress herself:

I’ve heard you’re doing the finishing touches on an upcoming album. That’s terrifically exciting! What can you tell us about the album and when can we expect it?

I am! Well I can’t tell you a whole lot yet, but it's been produced by Aron Forbes, my producer and collaborator on ‘Mess’ and ‘Get Free’. When we were first put into a session together in 2020 we wrote ‘Get Free’ in the space of a few hours and I knew I wanted to keep working with him. I never imagined then that he’d want to get on board for an entire album but here we are!

‘Get Free’ is quite a departure from the smokey, soulful tones of tracks like ‘Sweet Marianne’ or the Blue Soul EP. I’m a sucker for big piano ballads and choirs. We saw indie pop start to creep into tracks like ‘Sympathy,’ and then fully embraced with ‘Ritual.’ Is ‘Get Free’ indicative of the tone of your upcoming album? Or will we see some of your rich soul sounds peaking through again, like we did in ‘Fall Apart Again,’ or ‘A Beautiful Undone’?

I think the soulful tones will always always be a part of what I do and who I am as an artist. Soul music is what I grew up on and where I felt like I found my voice. However I also love writing the more sparkly, upbeat indie pop songs too. I guess with an album comes an entire body of work and the space to be able to explore all parts of my songwriting world which is what makes it so exciting. So yes, there’s definitely a lot of soulful sounds on the album!

What was it like to work with 2x Emmy Nominated producer, Aron Forbes on this track?

Amazing - he’s an absolute legend and I’m still pinching myself, especially considering the fact that he came on board for an entire album, (and my debut!!) which makes it all the more special…

The behind-the-scenes of the ‘Get Free’ music video made the set seem really fun. Are there any funny stories, on-set shenanigans you could share with us?

Well I think the most hilarious / annoying thing on the shoot day was wearing these ridiculously long acrylic nails - I’m talking like 5cm long stick on nails! I had to ride a motorcycle in a dress and heels whilst wearing these nails and though I can ride a motorcycle normally, it was almost impossible and I ended up just losing all of these nails all over the paddock where I was riding. It became a bit of a game to find all of my missing nails as we needed them in the rest of the shots. You’ll notice in the video that we ended up just having to abandon the nails because I had lost so many and they just made life way too difficult for me! So much respect for women who can rock those kinds of nails in everyday life!!

Where did you have the opportunity to film the ‘Get Free’ music video? The location looks beautifully divine.

On my parents property just past the Blue Mountains… it’s honestly heaven on earth up there.

The accompanying video for ‘Get Free’ features some HIGH FASHION outfits. Did you have a costume department, or did you get to wear your own slick kicks? Where did you rustle up these amazing fabrics from?

Yes I had an awesome stylist called Kirsten Humphries on board, who together with myself and the director, Sophia Devries, came up with the styling concept for the clip. We wanted bold shapes and colours, very high fashion and a little left of centre, so we reached out to a few up and coming designers who came on board which was very cool!

Your most recent release prior to ‘Get Free’ featured Lime Cordiale. In the accompanying making-of video for the ‘Mess’ music clip, you talk about how you all collaborated on the bridge of the song, and you all seem to bounce off each other really well. What was it like working with the boys from Lime Cordiale on that track?

It really just felt very natural and organic - like hanging out with friends and writing music together!

You spoke about how you & Lime Cordiale used to live on the same street in a big run-down warehouse. Have you known the guys for a long time? And are there any funny tales from that stage in your life you’d like to share?

So I lived in a run-down warehouse and Louis lived up the road so we were always getting up to mischief together. I actually almost got kicked out of the warehouse after having Louis and a few friends over one night to draw on the walls of my bedroom. I think we drank way too much red wine and we were just being loud and probably obnoxious and I think it may have been a weeknight… there weren't any ‘walls’ - my bedroom was made out of cupboards and mattresses stacked together, so my housemates could hear everything and wanted to kick me out the next morning! I begged to stay and promised I would behave which I probably did for a little while at least... And that was just the beginning!! Haha

What was it like doing the live BMG gig and, in your experience, how has live music and the music industry been during these times of pandemic?

It was awesome - BMG has such an amazing space in Sydney and there was an amazing team doing the audio and filming so it was all pretty smooth sailing.
In terms of how the music industry has been affected… gahh I mean it’s been completely devastated. It’s catastrophic what it has done to every single human who works in this industry - from sound engineers to musicians to managers to booking agents. I just hope we can get back on track soon!

What would you like to do going into the future? (Doesn’t have to be music related).

Touring and releasing more music! I would also like to focus more on my writing… perhaps even write a book one day…

I for one would love to see a paperback penned by the mighty & impressive ILUKA one day. But in the meantime, we can set our buzz-o-meters to 'FRENZIED' in preparation for her upcoming debut album. You can listen to the ode to youth here:

Thanks to ILUKA for making this possible, and keep making heartwarming ear-milk for us fans out there. Whatever shape the album takes, if there's one thing ILUKA's body of work shows, it's that it will be nourishing and powerful. Support her by following her on the socials, and keep up to date so you can hear her lungs boom live:

FOLLOW ILUKA | Facebook | Instagram | Website | YouTube | Spotify



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