NEW EP OUT THIS SPRING
Pop singer/songwriter Salem Ilese releases new single “(L)only Child,” out now via EMI Records/10K Projects/Homemade Projects. This is the first single to be released ahead of her EP, (L)only Child, due this Spring. In the titular track, Salem Ilese sings what she considers to be the “most me song ever lyrically,” discussing what it was like to grow up as an only child in search of approval from others. Written since the release of her breakout single “Mad At Disney” (160M Spotify streams, 15 weeks on Today’s Top Hits) last summer, Salem Ilese’s upcoming EP is full of coming of age electro-pop anthems about self-acceptance and new adulthood. “(L)only Child” is accompanied by a music video, directed by Jason Lester, and is available for streaming now.
Salem Ilese: “(L)only Child” took about 2 years to make, and I went through countless versions in the process. I feel like this song says more about me than any bio could. On the surface, it details my experiences of being an only child, but at the root, it’s about my acceptance that all I have is myself at the end of the day. Being an only child taught me how to be my own bestie.
21-year-old pop artist Salem Ilese has been preparing for this moment her entire life. Born and raised in Mill Valley, CA, right outside San Francisco, the singer & songwriter has been “doing music for longer than [she] can remember,” and to prove it Salem jokes that her parents have “plenty of blackmail tapes” of her earliest music endeavors. “I’ve written songs since I could speak. As a kid, my songs would be about anything from stuffed animals to a guy in preschool I liked.”
With an innate drive to make music, her parents quickly put their precocious daughter into music lessons and introduced her to their favorites, namely, David Bowie and The Beatles. “My Dad likes to consider himself an ‘expert music listener,’” she says, “and even though they aren’t musicians, they made sure I knew the greats. Listening to a lot of Bowie had a huge influence on me because I love pop music, but my taste always veers a little bit left of center.”
Salem attributes her music career to legendary writer Bonnie Hayes, her first songwriting teacher. Credited for creating hit songs for Cher, Bonnie Riatt, David Crosby, Bette Midler and more, Bonnie Hayes immediately saw then-12-year-old Salem’s gift for storytelling; “she took me under her wing. She’s like a second mom to me. I probably wouldn’t be here without her.” Hayes eventually moved to Boston to head Berklee College of Music’s songwriting department and shortly thereafter Salem also relocated across the country to enroll in her department. After a couple years of intense learning, Salem made the decision to move back to the West Coast, this time settling down in Los Angeles.
Salem’s dedication quickly attracted interest from big-name publishing companies, hoping to work with her as a writer. Following some unexpected playlist support, the growing buzz soon led Salem to partner with 10K Projects/Homemade Projects in August 2020.
Soon after her signing, Salem’s breakout hit “Mad At Disney” gained viral momentum on TikTok, sparking the creation of over 3.2M videos and holding placement on Spotify’s coveted playlist Today’s Top Hits for over 15 weeks. Salem premiered her follow up single “Coke & Mentos” on Zane Lowe’s Apple Music 1 show in November 2020. A massive year for the budding popstar, she assures that she is not resting on her laurels. “It’s important to write as much as I can,” she told Rolling Stone in a recent interview. “Songwriting is a muscle.”
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