“Simple yet strong in the message that it conveys, “I Am Human,” the latest single by ILSE, the title track of her debut album inspires one to appreciate the honesty and reality in the music that has been created to express her most vulnerable feelings…” Design Magazine.
“ILSE is not afraid to be herself. She sings about her vulnerability and about finding her strength through hard work and love, from a deeply personal perspective. In “I Am Human” ILSE shows her determination to be true to herself and her vision, reminding us that “standing tall” after “going through it all” is no small victory…” ArtéMédia.
There are few artists active today whose music can traverse differences in musical tastes, radio programming formats, venues, countries, and cultures. ILSE shares about her struggles, victories, dreams and setbacks, all of which makes her real and… human.
Born without her left arm, ILSE grew up withstanding the challenges of being different, including verbal and physical bullying in her childhood and uncomfortable stares from strangers. Her experiences taught her that to be human is to be vulnerable, regardless of one’s abilities or appearance, and to love yourself and be real is the ultimate source of strength. This is the message behind ILSE’s very first single “I Am Human” and an integral part of her artistic vision. This new single is about finding the strength to push past the obstacles despite pain and despair, because to assert oneself proudly in the face of adversity is the ultimate triumph.
This same message is depicted in the single’s music video. Set in an abstract, surrealistic world, the video shows men and women of different shapes, sizes, and colours, ranging from younger to older, gay and straight, painted completely in white and moving uniformly. By the end of the song, they transform from their state of sameness to the full richness of their natural colour, revealing again all of the beautiful diversity that was there in the first place. Like the song itself, the music video for “I Am Human” is about finding the courage to be different in spite of the powerful forces that stifle diversity and encourage conformity.
The response has been overwhelming: listeners from all over the world say the song brings them to tears and gives them goosebumps. Others say “I Am Human” is already “song and video of the year” and “worthy of a Grammy”.
ILSE says: “I am standing up for love and tolerance. Love is why we fight against racism, bigotry, and intolerance because we know that every human being is special and worthy of respect. Growing up without a left arm, I quickly got exposed to bullying. I was lucky to have the support of family and friends. It was love that helped me heal wounds caused by hate. I tried to capture this type of pure, unrestricted love in my single “I Am Human”. I wanted to create a song that expressed my feelings towards humanity and remind myself and anyone who listened that we are all human and worthy of love. It’s only when we love ourselves and each other freely that we’re able to experience the very best of what life has to offer. Love unites us all, and it’s the ultimate inspiration for the very best in this world.”
And there’s more in store because ILSE is just getting started. Bolstered by a dream team of producers like Grammy-nominated Producer/Musician/Engineer Joshua Valleau (John Legend, James Blake), Columbia Records, Sony UK Composer/Producer Sebastiaan Vandevoorde (Moonlight Matters, Arches, Villa; remixed artists such as Adele, Lana Del Rey, Ellie Goulding, Moby), Violinist/Arranger/Composer Juliette Jones of Jules & The Dirty Collective (Florence + The Machine, Aretha Franklin, Janelle Monae, J Cole, Nicki Minaj) and Musician/Producer Sly5thave aka Sylvester Onyejiaka (touring with Prince and the New Power Generation, performed and/or recorded with musicians such as Gladys Knight, Rob Lewis), ILSE promises a sound you’ve never heard before and one that you won’t soon forget.