There is no denying Lila has the voice of an angel, her new EP The ExPerience is a testament to that. Her silky and sultry tones seep deep within every song on the album for one of the most calming listening experiences ever.
There is an intimate feel with her collection of songs, while her voice brings you close to journey the flows of her vulnerabilities and inhibitions, the verses letter a certain dominance and an essence of pureness.
“This is a mixture of songs influenced by reggae, but it does not define the sound. It has trap dancehall on Where I’m Coming From and soulful vibes on Forget Me. It gets sweet and jazzy on Stars Align and I Spy has this Reggaeton and pop feel. It is a beautiful time for this kind of music to come from Jamaica, we are showing people there is no linear way of anything,” she expressed in an issue of Respect Magazine.
The sweet sounds of The ExPerience is one of those playlists you put on shuffle and repeat for perhaps 4 sets at least. The 7-track collection resonated a few things and after a couple hours of listening, there were certainly a few takeaways.
She affectionately makes several mentions of the Most High
Its evident Lila had a Christian upbringing; she praises and gives thanks to God in several spots on the EP. Where I’m Coming From is riddled with what sounds like a musical prayer and the tale of her humble beginnings, which finds the songstress pressing thankfulness to the Most High.
The last single on the EP, Thy Will sounds-off like a cautioning to reprobates that Jah is watching them. The heavy piano bass is assertive and the thrashing of the drums in the backdrop is quite foreboding as Lila saintly delivers the verses to the song.
She has a way of ‘keeping it real’ in her songs, this along with the religious dials waves over an element of pureness throughout the entire album.
She needs to get over her love-sickness
Addicted to love, Lila seems to be a frequent recipient of Cupid’s arrow in her stories. I Spy can certainly speak to that, as her feelings are always so sure while her suitor often needs a push.
Stars Align had her constantly thinking about another, that when she finally locked eyes with her crush, she found herself in disbelief. So she sings, “I could have never had imagined, you and I could be rocking, could be jamming” in the chorus, then continues, “Eh, take ma heart seet yah, cah yuh riddim mi neva know mi would a feature…,” there’s that dominance we mentioned.
Others like Forget Me and Second Chance both lyric a stronger affection for her significant other and leaves her murmuring some aching purrs when things don’t turn out the way she wants. These narratives however, create such a hypnotizing feel and sound that it makes you want to keep her playlist on replay all the time.
All the singles could merge into one song, but there’s no beef with that
Let’s talk about one the most iconic rappers of all time, Drake for example, he has a ginormous following, several huge hits, and to top it off he’s currently sitting on 4 Grammy awards. Many would argue however, that he sounds the same in pretty much all of his songs.
Well with a voice like Lila’s no one will get tired of hearing it, which is why all the songs on the EP command repeat listens. While the instrumentals and musical arrangements are all different in each track, her vocals demonstrate a certain steady acquaintance even though it shifts between slow and fast paces in each song.
The familiarity of her voice is soothing nonetheless; the way she tenderly stretches her ranges and harmonizes the tones are simply spellbinding.
She only dropped the F-bomb once on the EP
She came close in Solitude but not quite, “shut yuh shhh-, cut yuh crap” she sings then even went on to kiss her teeth one time further along, but the moment came in Forget Me, when a bad break-up ‘f–ked up her meds’ … That one must’ve really hurt.
You can pick up her country girl accent
Many fans will know the story of Lila leaving her family home in Mandeville to pursue a music career in Kingston despite her mother’s wishes, as the epic tale unfolds in her single Biggest Fan. While quite eloquent in her delivery, there are hints of her country girl accent that swindles in her voice on a few songs.
Forget Me and Second Chance for instance, display undertones in her patois flinging segments. In essence, this along with the blend of her unique vocals is just some of the organic idiosyncrasies specific to Lila Iké that simply cannot be imitated.
Her patois on Solitude is also a vehicle for some of the slickest bars on the EP, including:
Right ya now nuff a dem fi get block and delete
Airplane mode, how the life yah so sweet
Come a ring off me line
Seven days of the week
What good song doesn’t have a plot? Lila is a real storyteller
The ExPerience is truly a modern day musical storybook of love, breakups, life journeys and personal situations. It’s obvious this songbird has had a journal spanning back eons ago but there are poetries of recent memoirs. Each song tells a tale under an umbrella of topics pertinent to Lila and love being a big one — an occurrence that blooms later in life.
… And what are love songs without love?
There’s no telling if she relays these scenarios around several different love interests that have come and gone or going through the motions with just one reoccurring one. The details are so vivid however; it’s a stretch to imagine that she’s making all this stuff up.
She seems to be a hot commodity in the streets; just last Friday night during her Instagram Live listening of the EP she had a couple celeb admirers asking if her songs were directed at them, Skillibeng to be exact. She had the dancehall deejay evidently feeling some type of way on camera for everyone to see.
Never seen with a mate, no photos posted anywhere on social media, Lila have left fans to assume she’s as single as can be but her EP may suggest otherwise.
Its just Lila, no collaborations.
A smart and perhaps intentional move, after all it should be all about Lila Iké and ‘her’ experience. This EP doesn’t open curtains to showcase no one but Lila, not even a big-time artiste.
She has a crew of hot new musician friends, namely Koffee, Sevana, Naomi Cowan and Jaz Elise. Like many newcomers, she too has idols in the industry, those she has divulged to sources as Garnet Silk and Queen Ifrica for example, but what’s even more interesting is that she spoke about wanting to do a collab with dancehall’s princess Shenseea on a feature of Quite Perry’s Carpool Song Association… hmm, maybe next time.
There is a fusion of genres
The most clear-cut of them all is the conscious flows and riddims reminiscent of contemporary Reggae. From the beginning, Where I’m Coming From signals rasta-inspired pulses to jerk your neck into an easy bopping. Solitude has subdued Reggae feels complete with the fixings of her catchy dancehall deejaying complements.
Then I Spy is a classic up-tempo Reggae beat synonymous to Reggaeton. Stars Align, Forget Me and Second Chance are all very soulful with some R&B elements but still possess strong Reggae instrumentals. Thy Will is pure Rastafarian vibes with the harmonizing delivery and style of lyrics.
Lila is the next big thing
Many will agree, and even after listening to the EP, Lila is underrated. However, she is new to the scene and there is still a lot of ground to cover, maybe not underrated but under-exposed. The release of this first EP and the days that follow will certainly be a defining moment in her career.
It’s a terrific way to platform Lila and take her to greater heights. Her vocals and accompanying style are categorically in a league of its own, the tracks are meaningful and well choreographed and she’s already lifted in management. Already signed to Protoje‘s In.Digg.Nation label and also recently signing to RCA Records and Six Course in mid April, it seems like she will definitely be embarking on bigger things soon.
Another takeaway …A cautionary note, listeners may get an earworm from I Spy.