Listen to Ilaye’s sophomore EP ‘Sixth Sense’, Now!

"We set out to make a project that reflects love, self-awareness, and bare emotions."

Fresh meat alum Ilaye knows a thing or two about navigating life as a young woman. ‘Pneuma’, her debut EP from October last year, is a marvel in detailed storytelling and empathetic messaging. Here, she wove stories with soulful melodies covering topics such as love, loss and innocence with a child-like empathy.

On her sophomore release ‘Sixth Sense’, she continues her refreshingly unfiltered musings covering the misfortunes and promises that come with love–this time with a more mature perspective. “We set out to make a project that reflects love, self-awareness, and bare emotions. It took a challenging amount of patience; but it’s finally here!,” she shared on her Instagram yesterday.


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A post shared by ILAYE (@ilayemusic)

Over 6 succinct tracks, Ilaye finds herself becoming the poster girl for those who don’t quite know how to navigate life’s many storms. Her buttery smooth vocals are armed to the teeth with affirmations for anyone struggling to pick themselves back up from heartbreak (“Counted all my losses, yea embrace it/Always keep it real, ain’t gotta fake it”) on tracks such as Lady Donli-assisted “Yktv”. There are also sharp observations about finding your self-confidence on other numbers such as “Regardless”, where she sings, “Look in the mirror, you can see you the baddest/Don’t ask for permission, take up space and say less”.

Pairing wistful familiar production from a host of producers such as Remy Baggins, Sir Bastien and more, the singer’s silky timeless vocals take centre stage, guiding and coaching listeners through a tightly honed musical experience created to uplift them and provide aural healing for those coursing through similar experiences. As an artist who is sorely underestimated in the music scene, her second offering ‘Sixth Sense’ shifts the pin on her creative output, showcasing her newly refined confidence. To this end, the NATIVE spoke to the singer about her journey so far since ‘Pneuma’ and the making of ‘Sixth Sense’ with Lady Donli, Show Dem Camp and more.

Our conversation with Ilaye follows below, and it has been lightly edited for clarity.

NATIVE: Hi Ilaye, how would you describe your journey since ‘Pneuma’ in 2019?

Ilaye: Amazing actually. That was my first body of work and I didn’t expect the acceptance that it got at the time of release. I think the journey since then has been kind of revealing. I have found aout more interesting things about myself as an artist and that has translated into the music. I figured that my writing style kind of morphed and it wasn’t something that I had planned. Most times when I write, I don’t think about the music that I am about to write, the words find me and it comes to me naturally. During this time, I’ve noticed that my sound morphed, previously it was raw Alternative but now it’s a mix of R&B, Rock, Afropop and slightly Trap. I also feel like my listeners also grew since ‘Pneuma’ so I’m grateful.

NATIVE: What’s the inspiration behind your latest EP ‘Sixth Sense’?

Ilaye: The inspiration behing my EP is the need to represent the strength of emotions. Emotions as a weapon or a tool or a blessing. In Nigeria, we tend to demonise emotions and a lot of people grew up in environments where we couldn’t express our emotions and we had to tone it down or act tough. I think it’s bullshit because if you are not allowed to feel, it’s like you aren’t allowed to be alive. Every song on ‘Sixth Sense’ represents the emotions I was feeling at the time so I kind of associate sixth sense with all your other senses outside the main five senses. It could be love, regret, confidence, self-awareness, and even loss. It signifies emotions and feelings and how potent and valid they are and how okay it is to have them.

NATIVE: How was collaborating with Lady Donli, Show Dem Camp and producers like Remy Baggins?

Ilaye: It was amazing collaborating with all of them. It was seamless and there were no back and forths which is something I like when I am making music. The synergy was just perfect and they are genuinely nice and kind people so I feel like they just understood the project and what I was trying to do. They blended with the whole process and I am super grateful to all of them.


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A post shared by ILAYE (@ilayemusic)

NATIVE: Describe your songwriting process.

Ilaye: Writing is my favourite part of making music. I barely sit down and think of what to write, I can be doing something entirely mundane and then a song idea just comes to me. I immediately pick up a pen or pad and record the melody or lyrics on my phone. Other times, I do sit down to write and that’s usually when I’m writing for someone or I have to deliver a verse really quickly. To be honest, I don’t like those times because the times when it just comes to me are usually more seamless and amazing and it feels really good because it’s almost something implanted in me. It usually comes with a high – almost like a hallucinogenic experience.

NATIVE: When was the last time you fell in love?

Ilaye: I think 2017. That was the last time I fell in love. It was trash—okay it wasn’t trash but it was good sometimes and confusing at other moments.

NATIVE: What does the rest of the year hold for Ilaye and her fans?

Ilaye: Hm, good stuff. There are a couple more singles and things dropping after ‘Sixth Sense’ towards the end of the year. I am excited and thrilled and just going with the flow at this moment. I am also detaching myself from the pressures and working intentionally.

Listen to ‘Sixth Sense’ below.

[Featured image credits: Instagram/]

Tami is the Community Editor.

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