Knowing Me Knowing You
Ilana Held will be appeared on The Mid Week Mix Up on Wednesday 28th March. Since coming to South Wales from her home town of Boston, Massachusettes, Ilana has settled comfortably into the local music scene as a solo artist and with her band, The Glass Jackets. Before she arrives at the studio for a chat and some live music, I've been poking my nose into Ilana's world and this is what I discovered.
If you were a crayon what colour would you be and why?
It sounds lame but probably Black because I love the dark and night time and pretty much all my clothes are black. It’s just classic and full of potential. I always see beauty in darkness more than light.
What's the best job you ever had, why?
The best job I’ve ever had was probably working on the Street Team of a radio station I grew up listening to. It was just really cool and we got to see a lot of live music, drive the company car, and meet tons of cool people. That job had some serious perks.
Whats the worst job you ever had and why?
My very first summer job was cutting vegetables to make salads for eight hours in the kitchen of a grocery store. I just remember I was the only one who didn’t speak Spanish and everyone hated me, plus the job was so boring that I just stood there daydreaming for eight hours. But I only lasted like two weeks there haha.
Do you have a tattoo? what is it?
I don’t have a tattoo yet, but my bandmates in Glass Jackets and I have been talking about getting matching ones of our logo at some point. I think that’s the perfect gateway tattoo. I’ve thought about it hypothetically for ages, but nothing else ever meant enough to me. I’m just scared I’ll get addicted once I’ve had the first one, but I think with the support of my bandmates, I’d get one. Sorry, mom.
Tell me 3 yellow things that make you happy
Yellow labradors, Lemons, and cheese. So mostly food haha. Yellow’s not really my colour.
What's the last book you read?
Hamlet. I’ve been rereading it VERY slowly because I loved it in high school. And this time around, I’ve been picking up bits and pieces for lyric inspiration. So far, I’ve gotten two songs out of it, “Danger” and “Crowflower”.
What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
The Greatest Showman. It was so cool and it made me really glad to be in the entertainment industry. Also, the songs were very well written, and it was interesting the contrast between the time period and the modern music.
Who is the person most likely to get you into trouble?
Me. I don’t tend to shy away from trouble. I think those experiences can lead to some good inspiration for songs.
If your life was made into a film, who would play the role of you?
Probably Kristen Stewart haha. People always tell me I remind them of her.
Winter, Spring, Summer or Autumn?
Autumn! New England (where I grew up) is so beautiful that time of year and the air smells like apples.
Best piece of advice your parents gave you?
Make it happen. My mom says it ALL the time. It’s all you can really do, and living by this advice has done a lot for me over the years.
Describe the best birthday cake in the world.
When I was a kid, my mom, who’s a chef, used to make me incredible cakes every year. I think one of the best ones was when I had a snow tubing birthday party and she built a slope out of cake with white frosting for snow and little gummy bears sledding down the mountain on life savers. I’ll never forget that cake.
The last concert you went to?
Frank Turner and Blink 182 at the Motorpoint Arena. They were awesome!
Do you have a lucky or favourite item of clothing?
I love a good leather jacket. When I put it on, I just feel more myself and more daring.
Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever seen one?
I want to believe in ghosts. I have had experiences where I was convinced my apartment was haunted and one where I thought I was possessed on Halloween because I was using a Ouija board and I thought I felt something crawl inside of me. But can I say for sure that ghosts are real? No. But I love ghosts. I have a lot of things with ghosts on them as decoration.
Tell me three things you have in your fridge.
Smoked salmon, a refilled plastic water bottle that’s getting really worn out, and bread (which I stand by refrigerating so come at me, haters).
What's the best soup.?
My Nan’s Matza Ball Soup. It tastes like home.
Pick a city (anywhere in the world) to visit for a weekend.
Reykjavik, Iceland. I’m dying to see the Northern Lights.
Would you rather be a fish or a bird - why?
A bird. They can fly.
When you were a kid, what did you think you would grow up to be?
I used to want to be a race car driver, and then I wanted to be in the Iditarod. But for most of my life, a part of me knew I’d be a musician no matter what it took.
What good advice would you give to your 13 year old self?
Just be what you are. There’s no point in forcing anything that doesn’t feel natural just because everyone else is doing it, like going to a normal university or trying to date lots of people.