An Interview With Ivon Roberts
The latest release from Ivon Roberts features A.M.K. and together, the duo gives us a refreshing and bright summer single that speaks volumes for pop music as a whole.
"Solo." is an inspirational and colorful track that boasts such a vibrant energy it's almost compelling.
The single feels great to listen to as vocals fly through the songs atmosphere and leaves hooks stuck in your head for ages.
A relatable and danceable song, "Solo." is crips and comes through with a fun vibe that makes you want more instantly.
The song fuses pop with R&B and hits with a sweet rhythm that gets you moving in seconds flat while synths and keys keep everything afloat nicely.
This single has a smooth polish and sounds ready for the airwaves and you feel that everytime the chorus hits. By the third time around you're singing along out loud.
This song comes at a nearly perfect time and feels like the sun hitting your face on a summer day. It's a party song and an anthem at the same time and really gets you stuck on the sound quickly.
The track breathes and is performed with tons of heart along with its youthful gusto and it all hits in the best ways.
With such a great new single, we wanted to have a sit down with Ivon Roberts to find out where this came from, how he started working with A.M.K., and what may happen next.
Here is what happened.
TSWS: Okay so let's start with "Solo.", this track has a crisp and refreshing summer pop feel to it. Where did this track come from?
Ivon: Thank you so much for saying that firstly! We definitely agree, we love ‘Solo.’ so much. I think we were so lucky that all of the elements of this song (music, lyrics, vocals etc.) came together so well and so smoothly to make it what it is now.
Most notably the track, which was produced by the amazing JCKO (Jan Sanders) from The Netherlands. We came across Jan and this track specifically in the Spring of 2020 while A.M.K and I were working on a completely different project and we instantly fell in love with it. We knew it had to be ours.
TSWS: Is this a collaboration with A.M.K.? How did this come about?
Ivon: Well myself and Ann-Marie (A.M.K) have known each other for almost half a decade now - we actually met on the floor of a recording studio while we were each waiting to respectively work with an engineer that we’re both great friends with (LVNUE) and we just clicked there and then, and then we immediately started finding ways to work together. It started with doing covers on YouTube (which can be found on the ‘Karetakerz Prod.’ YouTube channel), and then last year we decided that we wanted to create original music together. We thought it would be such a special way to sort of “immortalise” our friendship through our mutual love of music. Initially, we were going to create an EP with JCKO producing the entire project and LVNUE also contributing vocals and lyrics but, due to the difficulties of making music while respecting the social distancing guidelines and managing to sync up everybody’s schedules, we decided that putting the focus on creating a solid single together was the better option.
TSWS: How did all of this start for you?
Ivon: Music has always been a safe space for me. I grew up with little-to-no friends (other than my dogs!) and in a society where it wasn’t very “acceptable” for boys to express their emotions, so I turned to music from a very young age to express all of the feelings that I had about life as a grew up - I’ve been writing songs since I was around 9 years old so over a decade now, and I’ve been recording my songs since I was around 15 years old so again the bones of a decade. It just became a normal part of my routine and it’s still the best form of therapy I’ve ever had. I think having music as that outlet for self-expression has helped me in coming off quite straightforward and uncomfortably honest in my songs, despite my preference of create quite polished, catchy pop songs.
TSWS: Can we expect more tracks from you this year?
Ivon: From myself, absolutely! I’ve been building up my releases as frequently as possible as 2021 goes by which is all leading up to the release of my first full album - ‘I’m Just Feeling Some Type Of Way.’ - that will be coming out before the year is out.
So I’ll be putting out the 2nd volume of my Vault EP series - a series in which I’m reviving a collection of songs that I’ve written in previous years and giving them new life in a mini album format, no relation to the Taylor Swift vault tracks! - and I’m also hoping to put out another collaboration single or two this year but that’s all dependent on the schedules of the other artists involved too of course, and then finally my aforementioned full album ‘I’m Just Feeling Some Type Of Way.’ will be the final release of the year for me as that is the project that I have been planning all of my releases around this year.
Then in 2022, there’ll be a few more volumes of the Vault EP series and also a collaboration single or two which are currently in the works. So there’s a lot of exciting projects in the works right now that I can’t wait to share.
As for future Ivon Roberts & A.M.K collaborations, we are currently in talks about it. Now that the world is closer to “normal” than it has been in a long time, there will be a lot less time to focus on music projects alone. However, we are aware that there is a clear demand for more music from us together, and we definitely have more music together that we want to share. Especially after ‘Solo.’ performed so well - #2 on the Overall Charts & the Pop Charts on iTunes in Ireland for several days, so much support and interest from radio (both Irish & International), and over 20,000 streams during the first week, among other amazing achievements. Both of us being independent artists and still very new in the music scene, we never could’ve imagined such an amazing response. We created ‘Solo.’ with the sole purpose of having a song together, so everything else that’s happened since the release has just been an added bonus and has been so far beyond our expectations. It will be very exciting to create together in a post-pandemic world and to experience a lot more of the process together in person if we get the opportunity.
TSWS: I'm hearing several great pop styles here. What artists really influenced you for this song?
Ivon: I’ve personally been finding a lot of inspiration from both honest and empowering yet catchy Pop artists lately, especially in ‘Solo.’ since that’s the main sound of the song. So I would say Dua Lipa, Ava Max and Carly Rae Jepsen have been my main sources of inspiration.
And I know that our producer - the amazing JCKO - was quite inspired by the music of Cashmere Cat when creating this track.
However, I do think that we created quite a unique song with a nice blend of our musical inspirations as well as our own voices, musical styles, and personal touches that allow ‘Solo.’ to stand on its own in the mix of the various empowering, summer Pop songs that are being put out this year and creating the soundtracks to our Summer 2021.
TSWS: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
Ivon: Wow that is honestly such a rare occasion - and the people in my personal life, including A.M.K, can vouch for this. I’m constantly inspired to create and I find so much joy in writing music so that does take up 90% of my time. But lately, especially after the past year, I’ve been really trying to live my life better, take care of myself, have new experiences and make as many great memories as possible. So that would include travelling more, planning trips with my closest friends and family, working out and strengthening my physical and mental health, and just being grateful for my life. I know how cheesy I sound, believe me, but I’m really just trying to enjoy my time, live in the present, and appreciate my life while I have it. 2020 has taught me how unexpected and fragile life is and that I owe it to myself to live mine to the best quality that I possibly can.
TSWS: What's next for you as an artist and producer?
Ivon: Well apart from the constantly growing number of projects I’m working on for myself, I’ve also been trying to put myself in the position of being a songwriter for other artists a lot more lately. I’ve been hearing so many amazing vocal talents coming onto the music scene lately and it’s been inspiring me to want to write for other voices and to hopefully help them in furthering their music careers by writing some great songs with/for them that they love and that they can be proud to have as part of their discography.
TSWS: How do you record your tracks? What software are you using?
Ivon: Well I started releasing my songs during the pandemic in 2020 so the option to record in a studio was off the table and I don’t have any properly functioning recording equipment myself, so I decided to record all of my songs on GarageBand on my iPhone. This has been what I’ve used for all of the songs that I’ve released so far, including ‘Solo.’ which was recording on GarageBand on 2 separate iPhones for our own health and safety. Obviously it won’t be the cleanest and most professional sounding music that I could create for the time being, but for the situation that I found myself in it definitely did the job well. I would recommend it to anyone who’s looking to start making music but they don’t have the proper recording equipment like myself, all you need is an iPhone, a few gigabytes of free memory and some free time to mess around with GarageBand until you start making some sounds that you like.
TSWS: Who are you listening to right now?
Ivon: Well other than my own future projects that I’m working on at the moment, I’d say I listen to Dua Lipa, Ava Max and Carly Rae Jepsen mostly, but I’m also loving my tried-and-true, longtime favourites The Corrs, Kesha, Taylor Swift and Aly & AJ - Their new album is another level of amazing.
TSWS: Are there any live performances in the future?
Ivon: Well since I started releasing music in 2020, there haven’t really been too many live performance opportunities. I didn’t mind that though because it gave me the time to release a decent amount of music first and to establish a following so there could be some level of demand for my future gigs. I will say that I’ve been offered some great opportunities for live performances, during 2021 especially, but I’ve been very conscious of the state of the world and I want to make sure that any performances that I agree to will be safe for everyone involved. I can definitely see 2022 being a much more performance-heavy year though!
TSWS: You have a massive amount of followers on Spotify! What kind of advice would you have for other up and coming artists out there?
Ivon: Thank you so much, I’ve been so lucky with all of the achievements that I’ve made and the extremely loyal group of supporters that I’ve gained on Spotify over the past year. It’s really been so exciting.
My situation was interesting because I started with little-to-no followers or streams - I initially only joined Spotify so that I could share my demos with my friends since it was easier for them to listen to my songs on Spotify than on SoundCloud! Then one of my songs - ‘Be With You’ - just happened to be heard by the right person and was added to a few decent sized playlists last August which then sort of had knock-on affect on the streaming numbers for my entire discography and it really turned heads in my direction on Spotify.
As an artist, I feel like the best advice I’ve learned that I could give to fellow artists is to make sure that the music you’re putting out there is true to YOU. Create the music that you love, use your own voice and say everything that you want to say about a topic in the exact way that you would personally say it. Don’t waste your time trying to emulate another established artist, we already have one of them. The world wants to hear the first YOU and your unique take on life. I feel like that’s one of the main traits that people appreciate the most about my music, especially songs like ‘Skinny’, because I write my songs in the same manner in which I would speak about the subject in person and I draw from the situation itself as much as possible - using quotes from the people involved in the situation/from journal entries etc. Then I just make sure to have a catchy melody, an annoyingly memorable hook and a solid pop beat to back up my words and make it as easily digestible as possible for the listener.
The attention span of the general public is shrinking more and more every single day with how easy it is to consume mass amounts of content these days, so make sure that your art is easily accessible for everyone, that it’s good quality content so they will stick around/return to consume more, and most importantly that it’s unique to you so it’s something new and exciting to the public that they’ve never experienced before.
Also, don’t have too much pride when it comes to promoting yourself however you need to. As well as being an artist, your discography is like a product that must be appealingly presented and sold to the general public.
TSWS: What are the best places to find your music?
Ivon: I would say my main platform is Spotify, but you can find me anywhere that you can stream or buy music online - Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, YouTube, SoundCloud, Amazon etc.
TSWS: You wake up in the middle of the night starving. What is your go-to midnight snack? (a question of character)
Ivon: Ooh that’s a great question! Well I’m quite the night owl so I tend to be wide awake and very peckish at night, and I feel like I’m always craving something crunchy. I’m not too fussy about what the food is specifically - crisps of the spicy variety, nuts of any variety, a gluten free pizza since they’ve got that extra crunch to their base, carrot sticks etc. Whatever it is, it’s gotta be crunchy.
TSWS: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of your music?
Ivon: I honestly have too much that I want to say to the people who have even streamed any of my songs just once, and as you’ve seen I can clearly say plenty! The number one thing that I have to say though is thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for every single stream and share and purchase and comment and tiny morsel of support that anyone has ever sent my way. Making music, while extremely fulfilling and a privilege to be able to do, is such a tough and sometimes thankless job and there is a sickening amount of work and preparation and promotion that goes into it that the public never even sees. I can’t stress it enough how even just that one stream or that one show of support really does make a difference and mean the world to an artist. So thank you so much once again for giving me your time, your attention, and your support. Feel free to stick around because there is so much more music to come this year, and next year too, and I can’t wait to share it with you all!