London's own contemporary R&B rising star ilselena is certainly a name to keep an eye on, whether in the UK or abroad. Her stunning debut EP if this is the future is out now, featuring the inspiring new track "Growing" as well as some previously released gems that you'll want to quickly familiarize yourself with.
Splitting her time between music and modelling, ilselena carries the sort of trademark confidence you'd expect from any mononymous R&B superstar. You'll experience some Alicia Keys on this project, with a dash of Kiana Lede, mixed with the fiercely inspired, retro-tinged orginality of a Kadhja Bonet. All this to say, it's a project rife with influences that isn't afraid to put its own distinct spin on things. "Sugar Pink Moon" and "Running Backwards" are cuts that just feel like classics; as ilselena paints an ambient, intimate glimpse of classicized love and romance. "Growing" is a brilliant addition that deserves a crowd of thousands waving their lighters in the air to its stirring piano and breathtaking lyrics.
Embracing the O'Connell approach to collaboration, the project is entirely co-written and produced with her brother Dario and belies ilselena as a true student of the game. Well-versed in the classics, while clearly bursting with her own stories to tell, it will be fascinating to monitor the progress of the Londoner as her pen game continues to impress and evolve. Her vocals, already mature and enthralling, won't be going anywhere.