SATURDAY 24TH AUGUST 2019 – BOOMSHAK
The fact that her name literally translates to ‘inspiration’ didn’t seem like a coincidence to those who heard Ilhem sing.
While this ability was innate to her as breathing, she also had an intuitive understanding that natural talent could only carry one so far, and that the artists she idolised had spilled an ocean of sweat before they could make their craft seem so effortless. Ilhem wasn’t even a teenager when she was discovered by France’s Grande Dame of jazz, Elene Dee, who took the young singer under her wings and onto the stages of Lyon, Paris and New York. Born in Lyon to a German/Hungarian mother and an Algerian father, her sound is international as the wide range of cities she lived in, such as Berlin, London, Istanbul, Cape Town, Ibiza, and now Paris. She has also performed at some of the most coveted venues around the world, in Barcelona, Shanghai, Rome, London, Paris, establishing an international sound that presents a natural axis between soul, jazz and world music.
With this vagabond life came an acute appreciation of the diversity of human existence as well as her voice as a woman; of the cultures, rituals, and endemic injustices that defined the communities she embraced as was embraced by. She also came to understand the universality of music – from the jungles of Peru to the monasteries of Myanmar, she learned how the voice and chanting is an essential element of healing and meditating in so many ancient cultures.
Tis gave way to her endeavours as a sound yoga and meditation teacher, certificated by the « Institut des arts de la voix » in France, using her diligently trained voice to create a more transcendent experience.
Tis wholistic progression is evident in Ilhem’s myriad collaborations with songwriters and musicians (Ken Rose, Matti Klein, Bokar Cisshoko, Askin Arsunan, Bjorn Werra, Sebastian Borkowsky, Paul Kleber) and underground electronic producers (dOp, Luciano, Masomenos, Mike Shannon). Her encounters with such diversely talented musicians informed Illhem’s craft in a way that was like a painter being given an entirely new spectrum of color to paint with. After signing with the publishing company TRUELOVE Music (UK), our dedicated songstress decided to produce her debut unencumbered by marketplace shackles, leaving this first release by Ilhem as an uncompromised portrayal of her own storied life, and of the many lives with whom hers intersected.
Ilhem has been as well during the past years making herself a name as a performance artist, participating at various experimental festivals (Experiment Intrinsic-UK, Perm-Berlin). She created in 2018 the performance « Dôme » , an immersive experience using a self-developped anechoic device (Galerie Perpitch Bringand, Paris). She is as well currently co-creating a dance and sound based piece with the syrian choreograph Medhat Aldabaal (Sascha Waltz).
Having spent her life breathing in a lifetime of musical inspiration, she would now close her eyes and exhale.