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Kira Ilona: Dark Mystical Creature (Biography)
Upon looking at her, one might not suspect that she was the face behind the soulful, strong voice and the introspective, witty lyrics that take precedence in her songs. Her somewhat soft physical nature in comparison to the grit of her voice and subject matter is jarring, yet strangely compelling. This is a girl who was singing and writing before she could actually talk, growing up in one of the most diverse areas in Toronto to a middle-class Hungarian-Scottish family. Identifying with her Hungarian side strongly, she came from a long lineage of poets, actors, and singers who she bore a shocking resemblance to, physically and temperamentally, more so than her own mother and father. Often imagining herself as a fairy, mermaid, or some other dark mystical creature and writing stories of that ilk as a young child, it was clear to her family that she was an extremely artistic soul who yearned to create. The combination of this old-worldly elegance she had inherited, combined with the grimy roughness she picked up by growing up fast in a particularly rowdy and poor area of Scarborough, attributed this sparkling young talent with a definite edge and certain amount of eerie darkness to her.
From birth she had started to immerse herself in the arts, enthralled by music, theatre, art and design. She started attending the Young People's Theatre for acting, and singing solos in musicals, concerts and various other shows growing up as a kid. By grade 7 she had fallen completely in love with hiphop and later, neo-soul music. She had been jumping from social group to social group, eager for experience in all its forms. She started hanging out regularly in the rougher, more violent part of her neighborhood, much to her family's disdain, dealing with issues that she now says were "completely past her maturity level". By the age of 15 her favorite artists (who's work at this point she had completely devoured) were acts such as Nas, Erykah Badu, Sade, The Roots, D'Angelo, Maxwell and Alicia Keys. At this point she was attending Wexford Collegiate for the Arts in their competitive Musical Theatre program, and after almost getting thrown out numerous times for behavioral problems, finally had a solo in a performance that ended up landing them the Glee championship in 2011.
It was around this time when her boyfriend at the time swiftly and suddenly went to jail - for a home invasion and robbery. She spent 2 years waiting for this boyfriend, deeply affected and touched by the circumstances that led not only her, but him and others she cared about in these types of positions. She began needing an outlet, and started channeling her first love, music, in order to help her. A midst attending court dates and jail visiting rooms while also handling the pressures of the 12th grade, Kira started performing in Toronto at Urban Youth shows. Starting off performing at Redemption Centers in Scarborough, she completely threw herself into the lives of people dealing with these types of problems and was immersed even further in this type of lifestyle. She ended up expanding her performances to talent shows (many of which she won), rap shows (in which she sang and hosted), clubs, and open mics around the city. She put out her first demo mix-tape under the stage name "Olive Oyl" and dubbed her first work, recorded solely in her basement, "JailByrd", as a self-deprecating jest. This title gave a nod to her current situation, in which she kept secret from many in embarrassment. The mix tape, combined with her live performances and YouTube videos, started to generate a little buzz around her in Scarborough and Toronto, as many were intrigued by this pale, curly-haired girl with the big voice. One thing was unmistakable, she had raw talent - and was different.
After releasing her first little mix tape before heading off to McGill University in Montreal to study literature and political science, Kira was more determined than ever to follow her passion of creating music. There is no denying the soulfulness and range of her voice, and her introspective, intelligent lyrics show themselves as equally impressive. She seeks to bring a breath of fresh air to the industry, while also combining an older element and flavour that newer artists seem to be lacking. The 19-year-old Toronto native is currently writing music and studying in Montreal, making frequent trips back to her beloved hometown and performing there. Her natural ability to transform her observations, pain and experiences into well-crafted and original artwork is extremely impressive. Within her genuine, sensitive personality lies a darker side, all of this coming across clearly in her music and lyrics. One thing is for sure - Kira Ilona has got people's attention. All it's a matter of now is seeing how long it takes her to take the world by storm.