Maxim Meyer-Horn

11 Jan 2021

On Our Radar 2021: Belgian Pop Fairy Iliona

The only thing we’re sure about during these insecure times is that there’s a lot of new talent that will captivate us in the new year. We selected eight upcoming acts that will set the tone in 2021 with their music and invited them to La Nouvelle Maison, an iconic monument just outside of Brussels, for a photo shoot. We already introduced you to Joanna and David Numwami, and the fabulous Iliona is up next.

We can’t describe the magical feeling we get when we listen to Iliona’s impeccable songs because she’s really one of a kind. The Brussels-based singer debuted in 2020 and made a lasting impression on the whole scene. “When I look back to a year ago, it feels like it’s already three years ago because so many amazing things happened this year.”

Queen of ‘tristesse’

The utterly beautiful singer is for a lot of people the big revelation of 2021 and is bringing a new twist to the French chanson with the innovative use of her voice. While she wasn’t able to sing her new songs on stage yet, she already knows how she wants to present herself. “A performance can be super powerful if you let a song speak to people. You don’t even need makeup or beautiful gowns,” she says.

Iliona loves to take risks in her music and tries to offer us a new perspective on her sound with every release. In her most recent release “Reste”, the singer sings about the distance between people, but we’re sure she’ll unite music lovers from all over the globe with her debut EP tristesse, which is coming out on 5 February.

Just like Joanna and David Numwami, Iliona filled in our little slam book and presents herself by answering our questions.

When someone asks me who I am, I reply:

iliona, 20 years old.

Describe your music in a few words:

it’s like a diary + musical experiences in my room.

Last release of 2020?


First release of 2021?

my first ep tristesse on February 5th

Be underrated or become overrated?

be underrated, the underground is more intimate.

Artists that inspire me?

way too many and that’s itching me a bit.

People often compare me to?

Barbara and it’s an insult for her work.

Music videos or live shows that inspired you?

the recent show of 070 Shake in the Webster Hall.

What I want to learn in 2021?

learn how to create a live show

My personal goal for 2021:

see everyone close to me

What people can expect from me in 2021?

songs that still are quite intimate

2021 will be my year because:

you’re all going to listen to my music

What advice do you want to give yourself for the next year?

stay pure and determined in your work

Styling credits
Bicker jacket: 22nd Vintage
Body suit: Sarah De Geyter
Croco trousers: Daily Paper

Photography by Ines Vansteenkiste-Muylle
Production by ENFNTS TERRIBLES Studio, Maxim Meyer-Horn, Dries Vriesacker
Interview by Maxim Meyer-Horn
Styling by Marie Van Puyenbroeck
Makeup by Lora Van Pee
Hair by Catia Nulens
Production assistant by Isa De Boeck

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