Q&A: Ieuan


Coverage by Myrah Sarwar.

Can you give us a bit of a background on yourself - where you’re from, when you first got into music, etc.?

I’m from the Bay Area in California! We live just about an hour outside of San Francisco. I grew up in a very musical home; my parents raised me with a bunch of old British metal, so I grew up on like Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne. When I was 6 years old, I wanted to play drums and I remember when I was in about 2nd grade, my family bought my brother Guitar Hero for his birthday. That’s when I was like oh, I want a bunch of different instruments now! One thing led to another, so then I started writing my own music. It was nothing serious until I posted an acoustic cover of a song I really liked back in 2014 and, to my standards, it blew up. It got like 30,000 streams on Spotify. Since then, I’ve kind of just been figuring out who I wanna be and it’s led me here.

To anyone that hasn't listened to your music before, how would you describe your music style? 

I haven’t really found the right genre to describe it, but I just like to say that I make music for sad people or the lonely soul. It’s sad themes across beats that tend to be more electronic and R&B.

In terms of both music and yourself, was there ever a point where you realized what you wanted to do and embraced your individuality?

Yeah! It started when I came out when I was 12 years old. I was like, I really want to focus on being someone unique and I’d like to be making art. 

Are there any people in particular that you think have heavily influenced your sound?

I think people influence my image and the way I carry myself, but nobody has really inspired what I write about. It’s really just myself, but I get a lot of musical inspiration from Troye Sivan, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, and a lot of people in the hip hop and R&B community. I get from everywhere.

Do you have a favorite lyric or a favorite song of yours?

My favorite song is probably “Midnight In The Bay” because it’s so honest. I was talking about two house parties I went to, so it was just me singing about things I saw and realizing that for some people this is the only culture we have as teenagers in the Bay. It’s like house parties, cop cars showing up, and drunk calling an Uber home. I also think that the way people reacted to it just made me like it more. I thought it was just a cool song, but then it became like people’s favorite song on the album.

Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with?

I think Lady Gaga is my number one person. I’d also love to work with Troye, Kehlani, and some Bay Area artists. 

How would you describe your change in sound from Pink Suburbia to your new music?

I’d definitely say that I looked at what was popular from the first album and really pinned that to what I wanted this next album to be. I wanted to give people what they wanted to hear but still be true to myself. It  worked out perfectly because it seemed like the songs that people really liked more were the ones that were the most true to myself, so I basically distilled what was popular from the first album and channeled it into the second one. I don’t think there’s much of a change, but I’m not doing as many pop songs anymore.

What’s your favorite song at the moment?

I really like Bellyache by Billie Eilish! It did really well and she and I became friends. 

You’ve been hinting at your upcoming album and possibly a tour on your social media. Are there any other upcoming projects you can tell us about?

The album is my number one focus right now! I’m getting booked for a music festival in Sydney, Australia and I’m super excited. I’ve never been to Australia or performed at a music festival before.

What can people expect from you after this album is released?

They can just expect me to stay myself. Even if I got a million followers, I’m not gonna change. I’ve always been the same way and I just don’t want anyone to think that I’m gonna let it all go to my head. I’m still gonna be writing music in my bedroom and dropping my sister off at dance class every night and sh*t like that. 

Do you have any advice for young artists that are struggling?

This is cliche, but just don’t stop. I have had dead end moments for the past 5 years. Before Pink Suburbia came out, I thought that this was going nowhere. It’s right when you think you’re gonna give up that stuff starts to happen. You gotta wait for that moment and just have a good attitude about it because it’s something you’re creating. There’s no one telling you to write an album and put it on iTunes, so never lose sight of your vision. 

Follow Ieuan: Soundcloud / Twitter / Instagram 

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