Up-and-coming new artist Ilham makes her debut with the moody single “Say Less.”
Born and raised in the Queensbridge projects of New York City to Moroccan parents, the emerging artist made it out to attend the prestigious Cornell University. The 21-year-old singer/songwriter is on a mission to redefine what it means to be a kid from the projects.
“A lot of people are under the impression that if you’re from the projects, you’re essentially trapped and won’t do much with your life,” she says. “But that’s complete bs. We can dream big and those who don’t believe can step to the side.”
In touch with her Moroccan roots, Ilham’s parents moved from Casablanca, Morocco to NYC to start their family. “I came from my mom asking strangers in Queensbridge Park for help with my homework, to being able to graduate Cornell a year early to pursue music. That right there shows that no matter the situation, you can do whatever you set your mind to. I know that one day my career and success will be payback for all my parents have done for us.”
Ilham’s debut single, “Say Less” is about people who don’t want to grow but talk negatively about those who want do more with their lives.
“I wrote ‘Say Less’ right after I hung out with a group kids that I grew up with,” says Ilham. “We were talking about our goals and all of them were content with staying in Queensbridge till death. They didn’t like the idea of me wanting to level up.”
She adds, “It’s also two-sided, the song is also about being in a relationship where you want a lot more but you’re receiving a lot of lip service.”
Take a listen below.