With over 2 million streams of her breakthrough tracks ‘Don’t Shut Me Up’ and ‘Sickly Sweet’, iiola is making huge progress as she continues to work on her debut album. Supported by BBC Introducing and Complex, the three singles that feature on her debut EP ‘Chrysalis’ have all been added to Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist.
Now iiola builds on that positive momentum by sharing her new single ‘Chewing Gum’, which is out now on her own Lovejoy Records label.
Sonically, ‘Chewing Gum’ is rooted in pop’s leftfield, with a synth-orientated exploration of broken beats and electronic psychedelia capped by the power and purity of her vocal gift. And lyrically, she’s unafraid to delve into her own vulnerabilities with a poetic take on the mixed impact of social media. The desire to portray the ideal lifestyle via carefully curated photos is engaging, but it’s often driven by our own ego and insecurities.
“My phone would sometimes feel like a loaded gun, fuelled with way too many bullets of emotion,” explains iiola. “Social media is a double-edged sword. I recognised that I needed to change my perspective on it and start actually living my real life. Once I did this I wasn’t ruled by it anymore and I could dip in and out of it and use it more recreationally instead of it being my bible.”
iiola first started writing and recording songs as a teenager, and further developed her skills by studying songwriting at BIMM in Bristol. She first came to attention as Shannon Saunders but blossomed into a new identity as iiola as her music evolved in an exciting new direction.
Currently developing her live show ahead of further events in the near future, iiola’s next gig comes when she supports Nina Nesbitt at Bristol’s Thekla on April 8th.