Following the release of the smoking hot video for her cover of “Girls & Boys,” originally by Prince, we got in touch with sultry Parisian, Ilhame Paris, to discuss her upcoming album Just Wish It.
Paris is finding inspiration everywhere while on her musical journey in the states; from the butterfly that passed through during our conversation to moments like a phone call from loved ones. We talked about her motivations, what she’s been up to, and what’s up next.
PPLA: First, your video is so hot, a must see! Is Prince a big inspiration of yours?
IP: Thank You! Yes, he’s one of my inspirations, of course, as well as a lot of other artists. This video was so special, and had a great team! Theo Malet, Jules Lahana, Julien Tekehan and DJFUN really brought it all to life! I like to talk about the work that people do with me ‘cause without them I wouldn’t be who I am.
PPLA: When did you first decide that you wanted to become an artist?
IP: Well, I always knew, I was always singing since I was a little girl, but I believe in my gut that I always wanted to be an artist. And when I knew that I was an artist and that I could do it, I was maybe 15. When I decided to compose, write and sing, and that music would be my life, I was like 15. I believe that life gives you signs; I had them, and I still get them now to continue what I’m doing.
PPLA: Were there ever any doubts?
IP: Sure, but doubts make you a better person. Sometimes they make you who you are. Sometimes doubts are strong but then I’ll ask myself, if this isn’t what I do, what would I do? But there isn’t anything, I don’t want to do anything else, music is my life, all I see is music. If there’s ever been a doubt, I’ll stop for a minute but then just keep going. You just have to go and keep going because otherwise you’ll just stay in bed; you think someone will just show up to tell you what you need to do? No. It’s like being a mom, when you decide to be a mom you need to always take care of your kids. I’m like a mom, a mom of two albums, so I need to take care of them.
PPLA: I love that! And your album is on its way, right? When does it come out?
IP: Yes, I’m wishing, the first single should be coming out this spring, like, May.
PPLA: What or who motivates you everyday, what inspired this album?
IP: Speaking with my parents, or a text from my family. They really motivate me. Just being out and in the Earth and knowing that I’m alive and that I can do this, listening to music in the mornings, even talking to you now, it could be something different everyday. Honestly, speaking to family, and my sister, because I speak to them every day since they’re so far away in Europe and I’m here in America, and of course I miss them.
PPLA: Just three positive words, “Just Wish It”. Where did the title stem from?
IP: “Just Wish It” is really something I always did just looking at the stars and wishing on a star. I’m the type of artist who doesn’t lie, this isn’t just something I say, its something I really do, and is really a part of my life. I really always wish about what I truly want. And its not just me, everyone has this, wishing for something, and it’s something sometimes we forget about especially when we have doubts. If you just wish it, believe in what you want to do, then give yourself the strength to do it. I always tell people, even when you visit my website, there’s a place to post their wish. My biggest wish is to help people make their dreams come true.
PPLA: There’s also a “Just Wish It” foundation in the works too, right?
IP: Yeah, and I also have a T-shirt brand that will be out pretty soon too. So every T-shirt and album sold, there will be a portion of the proceeds going to this organization, for people and making their dreams come true. There are people who’s wish is to just get better, you know, their health, things like that, that is really important to me.
PPLA: Now you’re in the states, have you seen any changes in yourself?
IP: I’m more confident. I’m not scared to show who I really am. I was like this before but sometimes upset when people judged me. But I decided to be on stage and be judged. So, I’m not going to be who I’m not, I’m not going to sing something I don’t want to sing. I believe that every choice I make in music and everything I do is me and I’m not lying. And you will or wont like me, but that’s ok!
PPLA: Where is Ilhame in the future?
IP: I want to see everywhere! I want to go around the world. I’m like a big kid in my head. I have no fears, and I just want to go. You fall, you get up and go. I really want everyone just wishing it and helping each other. Because I don’t just see myself, I see the world. If I’m doing good, I’ll be better if the people around me will be better too.
PPLA: Are there upcoming shows or tours in the states?
IP: Yes, I’ll be playing the House of Blues on April 19th at 11pm. There will be more shows listed on my website for everyone to come “Just Wish It” with me.
Watch “Girls & Boys” video.