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SPOTLIGHT ON IVY ADARA

Apartment No. 2 is out now!

Image: Supplied.


Australian-born and Los Angeles-based singer and songwriter Ivy Adara is back with her new single, Apartment No. 2. We caught up with the singer to chat about the release, safe spaces, her move to LA and so much more!



Tell us a bit about how you came into music…

I grew up with an obsession for singing. Everywhere I went, I was the annoying one who would sing every word until you couldn’t stand to be in the same room as me. When I was old enough to write sentences, around age 7, this became my next obsession. I started writing all the lyrics to the songs in my head on paper. Then when I was about 10 my dad taught me 4 chords on a guitar and I started writing full songs. I wasn’t great with melodies, but I wrote anyway because I liked it. I probably finished more songs as a 10 year old than I do now.




We’ve been loving your latest releases! Could you talk us through your songwriting process? Does it differ from song to song?

For this project, the majority of songs were birthed in a studio, on my own in LA. Usually a concept or a word that I resonate with will swim around in my brain for a couple of months. At some point, the song falls out, either onto pro tools, or my notepad. Songs are like puzzles to me, the song already knows what it should sound like, but it still gives me the privilege of designing it and piecing it together.



Your latest single, Apartment No. 2, discusses running away from a painful world, can you elaborate on the meaning within this song, and can you also break down the significance of this title, and apartment no. 2?

I really wanted to wrap my conceptual idea of escapism through people, in a literal or physical experience to make it as relatable as possible and that’s where the title comes in. When I first moved to LA my safe space, or my escape place was my apartment (number 2) and my roommates.


When writing a song, it’s important to add enough detail in the lyrics to create a sense of a real environment, but enough space to leave it open for others to place themselves in it.


Finding your safe space or escape place in a chaotic and often traumatic world is hard at the best of times so this song is really a tribute to the bond of siblings, blood or chosen. It’s a tribute to the people who are with you through the hardest times of your life.



Will there be a video release for Apartment No. 2 and if so can you give us a bit of an idea as to how involved you are in the process of telling the story through visuals?

Yes definitely! Visuals are so important for expressing the world of the song. I’ve been dreaming up a world for this project for over 2 years and it’s all about finding the right people to bring it to life. I work with an incredible creative director Yasmeen Audrelia and together we ideate, actualise and release.



Your recent releases fuse genres like pop, hip-hop and electronic-pop, how has your musical odyssey evolved over the years? Who or what are your influences when writing new music? What inspires you?

It’s so easy for people in the industry to pressure you into having the best or coolest references to associate with, because it will somehow make you more likeable. My musical odyssey has really been the search of courage to be honest about my favourite artists because I believed the lie above for a long time. I just love story telling. Any great story teller has my attention. Ranging from Eminem to Johnny Cash or Carly Simon to ABBA. The production is a reflection or support of the story being told in my opinion.


Any sort of new, intentional, emotional art to my brain and heart is inspiring. It could be an album from the 1950’s that i’ve never heard, or a new movie that’s just been released. People are also inspiring. Characters of courage and tragedy move me an insane amount.



If Apartment No. 2 was a piece of pre-existing art what would it be?

A realist, installation piece - a large, empty, tree house in the middle of a park. I think it would be fun to add a sort of youthful nature to the song, that we should all remember to live life in.


In three words, how would you describe Apartment No. 2 to someone who was about to press play on the track?

Dark, raw, silky.



You’ve travelled from Australia to Los Angeles, how have these locations shaped you as an artist creatively?

Australia has taught me authenticity. It’s taught me to be true and honest. We say it how it is, we stand up for what’s right and we give a crap about everyone, including the little guys. I love that about Australia. My first mentors in music were the albums of Kasey Chambers and INXS.


America on the other hand has taught me passion, courage and creativity. Los Angeles might be one of the most creative places on earth. The intention to detail and depth of emotion in the people I met there has stuck with me and changed me for good.




What’s a particular line from Apartment No. 2 you find at times could be stuck in your head?

It would swing between two lines.


The bridge - “If I got you by my side i’m okay, we’re gonna make it”. A reminder for myself to stay vulnerable and open up to people in love, even when it’s hard.


Also the opening line - “Daddy’s always working, mumma’s always high”. A cheeky homage to the dull, underlying tones of traditional male and female roles in the home.



We’re hoping there’ll be more music coming soon, what exactly can we expect?

You can expect a full project next year and one more single after Apartment Number 2, before Christmas!!!




You’ve written songs for a number of amazing artists, including Jessica Mauboy, Dami Im and more. Out of all the songs you’ve worked on for other artists, which one would you consider your favourite?


This is a hard question. Every song I write means so much to me. Then I Met You by Jessica Mauboy was a song I wrote with a producer named Lindsey Jackson. It was written about my two little brothers who came along when I was 16. We were short term foster carers for a long time, but these boys were going to be long term (forever). After a long spell of hurt and emptiness, these boys gave me hope. So this would be my favourite song by far.



Australia has a diverse and vibrant music scene, who are some of your favourite Aussie acts and why?

It does! Australian musicians are so resilient and I adore their authenticity. Lisa Mitchell, Gang of Youths, an up and coming act Allegra Neve, and my darling friend, CXLOE are among many of my favourite brilliant, Aussie artists.



RAPID FIRE


Biggest musical influences?

My dad.



Dream collaboration?

Jon Bellion.



Album that has had the most impact on you?

Lana Del Rey Born To Die.



How do you define your musical style in 3 words?

Raw, Lyrical, Slick.



Best song of 2021 so far?

ALL YOUR EXES BY JULIA MICHEALS.



If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?

Some sort of dark, super hero movie.



Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?

Smiley Miley ofc.



What was the first song you loved to sing?

Am I Not Pretty Enough Kasey Chambers.



A song you would love to cover on tour?

Johnny Cash Hurt, Complicated by Avril Lavigne.



Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?

Tom Petty and the Heatbreakers - She’s The One.



First concert you went to?

Haha Kylie Minogue!



Best concert you have been to?

Kendrick Lamar.



First album you ever bought?

Kasey Chambers Barricades and Brickwalls.



Would you rather be a Spice Girl or a Backstreet Boy?

Spice Girl 1000000%.



If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?

Sweet and Sour Spice.



Most memorable show you’ve ever performed?

COACHELLA!



Guilty music pleasure?

At the moment.. it rotates between Katy Perry, ABBA and Dua Lipa baby.



An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.

The Beatles.



What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?

Don’t give up. I know it feels like your only option, but it’s not.



The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?

The moment I slipped out the womb.


Apartment No. 2 is out now!