Getting To Know... ION

After cementing himself with his vibrant offerings '1 Of 1' and 'Mrs Different' in recent months, fast-rising artist ION has now unveiled his eagerly-awaited new EP 'The Blizzard Awaits'.

Capturing more of that warm and enticing hip-hop-inspired direction he has cultivated for himself of late, 'The Blizzard Awaits' makes for a brilliantly inventive listen. With some brilliantly progressive flows measured against a blistering and adventurous production, his newest collection is a bold and enticing step forward for the artist at the helm.

So with his new EP available to stream now, we sat down with him to find out more about his origins and what has been inspiring him over the years.


What was the first instrument you fell in love with?

I’d definitely say the Piano, reason being that it was the first instrument I started comprehending music with (I took lessons for it when I was much younger)! Like with any new skill that you learn, the foundation of your understanding is always based upon those first interactions. So for me the Piano is that foundation whenever I come across something new, such as an unfamiliar instrument.

What kind of music did you love when you were younger?

I grew up listening to a lot of music from the 80s, my parents always made sure to have a nice listening environment in the house with a hefty sound-system so they could playback their vinyls.

What was the first album you remember owning?

A digital copy of J. Cole’s “Cole World: The Sideline Story” was the first piece of music that I have a clear memory of me buying. This was before digital streaming platforms became the norm so it was the only thing I listened to for about a year.

What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?

There are no songs that I choose for this because for me this is not how creativity should work! If everyone wished that they wrote certain songs then all music would sound the same, and this type of thinking ultimately hinders the advancement and evolution of art.

I personally feel very grateful to the artist whenever I come across music that has had a strong effect on me. This is because they have been gracious enough to put their thoughts, feelings and ideas into a listening experience that has now become a stimulant for me and that should be applauded not envied.

Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?

Every artist has their own ways of extracting creativity out of themselves! However, I wouldn’t say that I rely on repetitive habits/rituals because every musical idea needs its own approach in order for it to develop into something that’s unique. All I simply do is constantly remind myself that anything and everything that I do or expose myself to can become the inspiration that I need to overcome my creative blockages. You just have to allow yourself to be inspired by what’s around you.

Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?

One of the artists that I’ve been listening to lately is JPEGMAFIA, the way his music constantly has you questioning whether the song has changed due to the wacky progressions is really interesting to me. I like to applaud artists that try to break musical boundaries.

If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?

Again I’m going to say JPEGMAFIA because I’ve seen him live so I know the energy that his audience brings, even for the opening act which is so cool and motivating to see.

What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?

Definitely the most rewarding thing for me is being able to have a conversation with someone about the concepts I’ve developed in my music. With me being a conceptual artist, it means that stringing together ideas into cohesive musical analogy and embedding depth and meaning into every layer is what I do. So when someone comes to me with their interpretations of how I’ve put together certain ideas I find it really satisfying. Because it means that my music has had an effect on this person in some way. I’m looking forward to having more interactions like this in the future.

And what is the most frustrating part?

I can sometimes feel a bit frustrated when it comes to getting through creative blockages. However, I constantly remind myself that the process must be trusted! Because all of these frustrations that I experience are just small hurdles that I’ll overcome, and so I should take in and enjoy all of it!

And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?

The best piece of advice I’ve received is to just be myself! And that came from me.


ION's new EP 'The Blizzard Awaits' is available to stream now. Check it out in the player below.