New York, United States
ILSE, the Belgian-born, Brooklyn-based singer who, months before releasing her debut album, gained international attention, knows first-hand what it means to hold on steadfast to her dreams. Born without her left arm, she overcame the odds and made her way to center stage, enchanting listeners with her voice and music and touching their innermost emotions. Drawing from childhood experiences in Belgium and her new life in New York City, ILSE sings about loss, courage, self-affirmation, attraction, romance, fear, and hope.
Music has always been her biggest passion, it runs through her veins. ILSE’s musical roots originate in the music of her father, a former bass player. Initially, it was his love of rock music that inspired ILSE, but the sound and spirit of soul music pushed her to find her own unique musical path. On the way, ILSE quickly discovered her passion for bearing her soul before live audiences and this passion is what makes the stage ILSE’s new place to call home.
After majoring in Psychology, ILSE moved to New York to pursue her dream. 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). ILSE’s commitment paid off one day when 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, BBC), 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.
Starting with her single, “I Am Human”, and the forthcoming album of the same name, ILSE stays true to her message by inspiring people everywhere to love themselves for who they are and hold on firmly to their dreams. 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.
With full-page newspaper and exclusive magazine interviews, appearances on national radio stations and a growing presence on television and social media, ILSE is loudly and proudly making people pay attention. International press reviews make this absolutely clear:
"Ilse Gevaert displays a talent for turning negatives into unlikely positives." - BBC NEWS
"The Lady is a Champ" -PENTHOUSE MAGAZINE
“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
With its bass-heavy, lavishly cinematic sound and undeniable charm, ILSE’s music dances between musical eras while pointing towards the future. Hers is music made for everyone—music made for you to feel. ILSE’s music is made to bring people together.