ARTISTS IN THE PLUS September 2013 - Page 9


Originally from Bulgaria, but based in the UK for the past 10 years, ILONA has had a life that makes her unlike many others. With a rich blend of influences to draw on, combined with her passion for music and the ability to speak 4 languages fluently, she is truly a unique and original performer. Discovered by songwriter/producer Tony Moore (Ex- Cutting Crew) 2 years ago, ILONA has gone from performing her first ever solo gig of 1 song live to headlining festival stages and touring the UK and US.

ILONA has supported Newton Faulkner, Passenger, The Dunwells, Adam Ant, Paul Rodgers, Willy Mason, Daniel Bedingfield and Miss 600 to name a few, played SXSW in Texas alongside Marcus Foster and Eliza Gilkyson, and jammed with Ed Sheeran.

Still an unsigned artist, she won an award for Best Video for her song ‘It’s 1966′ in the Ladylake Independent Music Awards in Florida and entered the Beat 100 Video Charts at number 11 with ‘My Favourite Defeat’, filmed in Paris.

ILONA closed BBC London Radio Christmas Special show in 2011, together with Sonna Rele, Maxi Priest and The Puppini Sisters, where Jo Good called her ”absolutely brilliant”.

In June 2012, ILONA completed a tour of the UK where she played SoundCity in Liverpool, Glasnost Fest in Wales, headlined the Bedford stage at GoNorth in Scotland, opened Folkfest 2012 and played shows in the Channel Islands, California and Norway.

Her debut E.P. ‘My favoruite defeat’ followed in September, released through MiniMajor Music and Absolute via Universal. During the Olympic Games 2012, ILONA was invited to perform for Team USA at Oakley Safehouse and as a result her song ‘ALL SHE’LL EVER NEED’ has been included in SupaJam’s Safehouse Sessions album. ILONA’s first official radio play from her debut EP was in August 2012, on BBC London featuring her song ‘Walk a mile’.

In November 2012, ILONA performed alongside Nik Kershaw at The Union Chapel for Childline Rocks Charity. Her second single LOVE IS STUPID was released on May 13th 2013, received extensive airplay in the UK and made the national playlist on SubTV for 2 weeks (1.75 million viewers weekly). She played festival stages at this years Beachbreak Live, Cornbury, Soundcity Liverpool, GoNorth Scotland, Tunbridge Wells Mela and Southend Festival, and is to headline Chislehurst Rocks in September. ILONA is currently recording her debut album and expected to release a new music video in August, as well as play Westfield Presents for Emerging Icons Live.

Others have likened her voice to Shania Twain, Karen Carpenter, Adele and even Sheryl Crow, but ILONA also has something very special all of her own. A unique tone, a natural sense of dynamics and the ability to sing a lyric, tell a story and make people know she means it.

"absolutely brilliant"