Ila Barker shares on her new single, “Intuition”

ILA BARKER

Ila Barker inspires others with her new single, “Intuition”

Winnipeg-based singer-songwriter Ila Barker has unveiled her evocative new single, “Intuition.”

“Intuition” is an introspective track that serves as a reminder to listen closely to your own truths when you feel you might be sinking. The heartfelt single was produced by Sierra Noble and Rusty Matyas.

“Intuition is a song about my relearning to trust myself,” says Ila. “After years of being in an unhealthy relationship, my connection to myself had withered away. With a lot of hard work, I have slowly rebuilt a rock-solid relationship with myself.”

With a soulful voice and lyrics that wash over the minds and hearts of audiences like waves, Ila is a force to be reckoned with. This Canadian folk-soul artist takes listeners on an introspective journey, inviting them to connect deeply with their own emotions.

Ila will be performing on June 9, 2022, at The Painted Lady in Toronto for Canadian Music Week. Don’t miss it!

Listen to “Intuition” below, and find out more about Ila Barker via our mini-interview.

First off, care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Aniin, boozhoo! I’m Ila Barker, a folk singer-songwriter based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, of Anishinaabe and Settler heritage. My Indigenous family is from Berens River First Nation in Treaty 5 Territory. I love food and laugh too hard at my own jokes, haha.

You have unveiled your new single, “Intuition”, what can you tell us about the writing process behind the single?

My newest single, “Intuition,” was fun to write because I approached It differently than I usually do!

I worked virtually with a group of youth in Nemaska, Quebec, a community in the Cree Nation. After class, one day, we were visiting, and the Youth Artist Assistant we were working with told me how he had recently heard a story from an artist who wrote a song after getting inspired by a tv show and asked me how to do that and what that process looked like.

This is one of my favourite things about working with young artists is they ask me questions that challenge me. I had pulled inspiration from other art pieces before but wasn’t sure how to put that into tangible steps. I told him to give me a couple of days, and I would report back with my findings. I started consuming all sorts of art; movies, shows, podcasts and music.

I listened to this one podcast that talked about the mind-gut connection and how our physical, mental, and spiritual health are super connected to our guts! This gave me a spark of inspiration and led me to write “Intuition,” a song about my relearning to trust myself. After years of being in an unhealthy and often abusive relationship, my connection to myself had withered away. I had lost the ability to trust my intuition and even doubted my thoughts.

With a lot of hard work (and a lot of therapy!) I have slowly rebuilt a rock-solid relationship with myself. I can now hear even the softest whispers of my intuition guiding me in a good way and keeping me on the path I need to be on.

You worked with Sierra Noble and Rusty Matyas on the single, how was that experience?

It was a great experience working with my producers, Sierra Noble and Rusty Matyas. Since I was a young teenager, I’ve been a fan of Sierra’s and just learning my chops, so it was surreal having them working closely with me on this project. My younger self was definitely fangirling throughout the process.

Rusty brought an incredible amount of experience and wisdom to the recording process, too, and between the three of us, we created some magic in the studio!

It was also imperative that I had a more diverse team, which was a big reason I sought Sierra out to work with. Gender minorities in engineer and producer roles are severely underrepresented in the music community. I saw this as an opportunity to work with someone incredible and do my part to change the statistics of women and non-binary folks working behind the board.

In addition to creating and performing music, you mentor emerging Indigenous artists in AIRsessions, your own self-curated music workshop series. What can you tell us about this workshop?

Artist in Resident Sessions (AIRsessions) is a music workshop series focused on community connections, safer space building, and artist mentorship. I created this series to address the need for sustainable, recurring music programming for youth and young adults. Taking a decolonized approach to music knowledge transfer and interaction the sessions were crafted to allow for vulnerability with the intent to develop a variety of music skills and create art.

It’s crucial to me that I do more than sing songs in my career and make an effort to impact my community positively. My long-term vision is to help develop the next generation of Indigenous artists and industry folks and connect them with their peers, industry, and established artists. We have had some pretty incredible artists come through as guests, including Fawn Wood, Leela Gilday, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Burnstick, Sebastian Gaskin, Boogey The Beat, Jade Turner, and more!

This is my fourth year running this program, and after receiving long-term support from the National Arts Centre. They were able to hand the program over to me this year after I successfully was awarded three years of core funding from the Canada Council For The Arts. The most significant part of this is that the program is now completely for Indigenous, by Indigenous!

What else can we expect from you in 2022?

The launch of this first single is just the start. I’m putting out a few more singles and a couple of music videos. My first full-length album, Fool Under Water, will be released this fall. I’m so excited to share these stories and new songs with everyone! I will also be playing a few festivals locally in Manitoba, with more to be announced soon!

Connect with Ila Barker:
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