FULL GAMUT OF EMOTION
Non-traditional singer-songwriter Iluka describes her musical style as an eclectic mix of rock and roll, psychedelic motown and tribal torch pop
Iluka doesn’t envisage herself as a traditional performer. Instead, the Sydneybased singer-songwriter, real name Nikki Thorburn, uses music as a platform to express and invest herself through both sadness and joy.
“I want the audience to be able to relate to that experience and have their own emotional response,” she says.
“Whether that’s to be up and dancing, or share a quiet reflective moment. Much like life, vocals and music can just as easily go from a powerful high to a fragile low. At least that’s what I hope my live show is like.”
Currently touring her latest single 12th Of July, the soulful, retro-pop songstress says she penned the song on the road.
Iluka says at the time she was “very young and chasing any kind of feeling, adventure or story”.
“I heard from a friend that a group of nomadic wave chasers were driving across Europe from east to west,” she says.
“They had a spare seat in the van and I just went. I never thought twice.”
Iluka says 12th Of July is an ode to the open road. “It’s an ode to the grand highway and the lovers and haters and crazies and searchers and leavers and dreamers and schemers who dwell upon her endless shores,” she says.
Having supported Australian artists Matt Corby, The Rubens and Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes, Iluka’s soaring yet smoky vocals are gaining a strong following.
Currently working towards a debut release, Iluka says her style lives “somewhere along the lines of rock ‘n’ roll meets psychedelic motown meets tribal torch pop.”
“As far as ‘flavour’ goes, let’s say half a pack of cigarettes, a bottle of honey whiskey, capped with a 70/30 cocktail of uppers and downers,” she says.
“It is fractured at times, smooth at others. It will have you up and dancing but occasionally break your heart. Whether or not it turns into an EP or album remains to be seen.”
Iluka and band play The Loft