What does it take to make it in today's music industry? Ask any artist or producer and they'll tell you it takes strength, perseverance, drive, and an un-shakeable vision to guide the pursuit of your dreams.
ILSE, the Belgian-born, Brooklyn-based singer who, only months away from releasing her debut album, has already gained international attention, knows first-hand what it means to hold on steadfast to her dreams.
Born without her left arm, she grew up withstanding the challenges of being different, including verbal and physical bullying in her childhood and uncomfortable stares from strangers. ILSE has overcome the odds and made her way to center stage, enchanting listeners with her voice and songs of determination, romance, and, above all, inner human emotions.
Her newest single 'I Am Human' touches the heart and soul. The response has been overwhelming: listeners from all over the world say the song brings them to tears and gives them goosebumps. Others say 'I Am Human' is already "song and video of the year" and "worthy of a Grammy". Thousands of fans joined ILSE online and shared the song over the internet.
ILSE struggled during her first years in New York City, slowly finding her footing despite poverty and rounds of rejection.
She gained experience in regular performances at open-mics, where she has shared the stage with Lana Del Rey (formerly known as Lizzy Grant) and where one day she was approached by Michael Douglas after a show in Manhattan's Sugar Bar. Soon after, she had her first sold out show in the legendary Joe's Pub, The Public Theatre, a venue from the "Best of New York" list (where artists such as Amy Winehouse, Elvis Costello, Adele, Lady Gaga and many others have played).
Today she is collaborating with a dream team of producers like the Grammy-nominated Joshua Valleau (John Legend, James Blake), the U.K.'s Sebastiaan Vandevoorde (Moonlight Matters, Arches, Villa; known for Adele, Lana Del Rey, Ellie Goulding, and Moby remixes), and New York City-based Juliette Jones (Florence + The Machine, Pharrell Williams, Aretha Franklin, Janelle Monae, J.Cole, Nicki Minaj) of Jules & The Dirty Collective.
With full-page newspaper and exclusive magazine interviews, appearances on national radio stations in Belgium and the Netherlands, and a growing presence on television and social media, ILSE is loudly and proudly making people pay attention. Her press makes this absolutely clear:
"Singer-songwriter Ilse Gevaert could be about to create a musical earthquake not managed by a Belgian since her countryman Adolphe Sax invented the saxophone in 1841. Her forthcoming album I Am Human could be the best biggest thing to have come out of Belgium after the women's tennis rivalry between Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters." SPALDING GUARDIAN, UK
"After her studies in Ghent she started her journey into the wide world. After several dark years she succeeded, thanks to the 'Ghent's stubbornness'. Her newest song 'I Am Human' is a hit." HET LAATSTE NIEUWS.
"She is drop dead gorgeous with an incredible voice. ILSE grew up without a left arm, but with one big dream: to become a singer. Today she scores an internet hit and fans world wide with her song 'I Am Human'." HET NIEUWSBLAD