Dancehall / Feature / News

Lila Ike Talks Debut Album, Working With H.E.R. & Why Skillibeng Is The Blueprint For Other Dancehall Artists

Lil Ike opens up about her upcoming project, working with R&B star H.E.R., and how Skillibeng’s work ethics and demeanor should be emulated by other dancehall artists.

Lila Ike says she’s presently working on her debut album, which will have a few “exciting” collaborations for her fans. The artist speaking with Deadly Links in London this week said that she’s getting ready to return to Jamaica to finish up some writing and recording. She was in the UK for a stage show performance which included the likes of Popcaan and Beenie Man.

“I’m actually going back home now to finish up some recordings, I have some exciting collaborations I’m working on right now that I’m very excited about,” she said, noting that she is still in the process of finalizing the length of her album and the songs.

Lila Ike declined to state what her progress on the project is but noted that “I’m very confident in the music that we’re making and I’m very excited to release the album and see what it does in the world.”

Ike says the features on her album will be with a few international artists, and the feel of the album will be along the lines of her musical style. Ike has previously worked with R&B multiple Grammy-award winner, H.E.R.

Lila Ike and H.E.R
Lila Ike and H.E.R.

“She is my favourite R&B/Soul artist right now. They actually reached out because she is working on a project and she wanted me to help with it, and just getting the opportunity to watch her work it’s definitely one of the greatest things I’ve experienced in my career, she’s exceptional,” Ike noted.

She added that H.E.R’s writing is expressive and reminds her of a young Lauren Hill. She added that H.E.R’s work ethic was also impressive.

“She plays almost all instruments, it’s something beautiful to experience and be inspired by. When I first went and came back home I was like, ‘gotta learn these chords girl!’” she noted.

Ike also has a collab with Skillibeng called “Thy Will.” According to Ike, she had met Skillibeng long before he blew up, but she reached out after his “Crocodile Teeth” song became the biggest song in Jamaica.

“I remember him asking me if Lauren Hill was one of my inspirations and I said ‘yea man’ and he said ‘you remind me so much of her’ and he said that his dad always played Lauren Hill music everything he hears second chance that’s what he thinks about.”

She added that Skillibeng, however, warned her not to be sucked in by his “gun tune” style of music and switch up her style. She added that despite the different styles of music between her and Skillibeng, the remix worked.

“Thy will was out and I remember talking to Protoje and I’m like for the video we should do a remix…but if I’m going to do a remix though, I want it to be with an artist that people wouldn’t expect to be on a song like that…I just remember saying that ‘you know, Skillibeng could pull it off’, cause I just feel like his talent he can do whatever, he’s not just the artist who sings about guns, I actually think he is a really smart writer and artist.”

She added that she, however, didn’t want any “Crocodile teeth” style on her remix, but Skillibeng did not disappoint.

“I was so freaking blown away. Like his interpretation of the song, the melodies, the style he incorporated, we had to do a whole new mix of the track. So if you realize, the “Thy Will” I put out and the one with him, we changed the riddim a likkle bit to a dancehall mix and I was like ‘I have to do a back and forth thing’ …the man completely tek over mi song.”

Lila Ike said that the shooting of the remix was smooth, and Skillibeng was patient and “so chill” and down to earth as they worked together.

The female reggae crooner says Skillibeng’s work ethic and attitude should be emulated by other dancehall artists.

“He sat, he was so patient…one of the most easiest bredda fi work with, so chill, so down to earth, no hype. I feel he is at a bigger level than me as it relates to numbers and everything right but he didn’t come and operate like he’s a bigger artist than me. He was like ‘yow we have this dope song together, let’s get the work done. I’m very proud of the character that he is, I feel a lot more of the dancehall artists ya should operate inna that regard,” Ike said.

Meanwhile, Ike hasn’t named the upcoming collaborations for her debut album, but fans are speculating that given the props she received for working on H.E.R’s upcoming Reggae album.