As the new year kicks in, R&B/Pop singer Ieuan, wastes no time in starting his brand new musical era VELVET. Looking back at Pink Suburbia, Saint California, and Over the Garden Wall, I’m still not sure how he manages to outdo himself every single time. As someone who’s been watching his journey in the music scene since 2016, I may be a bit biased. However, I have no doubt in my mind that even if Ieu wasn’t one of my favorite people in the world, I would still stream every single piece he has ever put out.
After his first ever show here in Chicago’s very own Elbo Room, my friends and I met up with Ieu and his team for pizza (because what else does one do in Chicago). After eating and talking for most of the night, it came to the part where he let me ask him a couple of questions.
Chicago being the last stop on his 4 cities, Technicolour Tour, I was curious as to what he thought was the best part about touring: Well since this is my first tour, I think I’m gonna just say seeing people who I’ve never seen before and how they like freak out. It’s like they’ve been following me for years and so they think I’m some f**king celebrity. But cause like to me that’s really weird cause I don’t think I’m that and so to see people run up to me and tell me I saved their life or that they drove 5 hours to come see me just makes me really grateful that I have people like that in my life.
When asked about what inspired his “color aesthetics” in the first place, he says: I’ve always had this thing growing up when I was writing music. When I was writing a song I’d be like “oh, this is like a pink song” or “this is like a blue song” just by the way it sounds. And so I just thought “oh, that would be really cool” like making my Instagram and my cover arts that color.
In regards to his albums titles (or should I say mixtapes), he mentions how each of them actually tells a story about where he was at the moment: Pink Suburbia was a reflection of growing up in this teen subculture of going to parties every weekend. Saint California was when I was in a deep reflection. It was the moment I realized I was like… really gay. It was when my first ex-boyfriend and I fell in love when we were in Catholic school. I thought putting Catholic imagery to show a gay love story would be really cool. Over the Garden Wall was about feeling like I was somewhere where I wasn’t supposed to be for an entire year. Like I’m sort of OVER the garden wall. It could be anywhere. It’s also the name of a really cute cartoon that I loved so, yeah.
Photo by Kennedi Holloway
Of course this made me want to ask him what his personal favorite era has been so far, to which he says: Ooooh sh*t. Well, I think they’re like all really good. Like pink was really cool because that was the year that everything just came into my life, like all the people that I’m best friends with now. Blue was aight. It was a year of learning. But I think purple actually, has been the best because like everything has just gone super well. So yeah, probably purple.
In regards to his favorite lyric and song, he said: IEuAn! My Jason Derulo ass track opening to which he laughs and then adds: Wait oh, here we go! I’m a f**king genius. “Man’s on an east ting. Yellow black diamonds like a bee sting.” Song? Uh, I think Pink Suburbia? I’m kidding. I think like either Ramona, or What Are U Looking For? I think with this new album, I’ve just gotten to the point where I know what I like and I know what people who like me would like to hear. So yeah Ramona, What Are U Looking For? and Honey Lavender.
After a couple of laughs, it came to the point where I decided to ask the ~soft~ questions. You know you were expecting these. When asked about what he felt was his biggest accomplishment so far, he said: I got to perform at San Francisco Pride this year (2018) which was really cool. There was like a few thousand people so yeah I think that.. probably.
Photo by Kennedi Holloway
In regards to his biggest struggle, he said: I just think like not comparing myself to other people. I get jealous really easi- “I get so jealous, too easily!” He started to sing. Anyways yeah, I think that I compare myself a lot to other people. It’s not a good thing I do, but I’m getting over it.
As if to be an even bigger softie (sorry?), I also decided to ask him what was one thing he wanted to accomplish as an artist to which he said: I think it would be to sell out the music venue called The Concord Pavilion. In my town, that’s where like EVERYONE goes. And we had our high school graduation on that stage. When I was a freshman in high school, my friend and I would hop the fence and go like stand on stage at night when no one was there and like talk to each other about how “one day we’re gonna perform here.” And so I think, yeah. SAD! Y’all crying yet?
Seeing as to how he is only 20 years old and already has 3 albums out (can you believe the TALENT) I went on to ask him what his end goal was: I think my end goal is like I want to do as much as much as I can like tour, you know? Hopefully have some stuff on radio and like meet a bunch of people. But like what I really want, like my END END goal is to be able to have my own Cartoon Network show like animated – like Adventure Time. I want to voice a character and make the soundtrack. That sh*t really inspires me now. I have two albums named after cartoons! So yeah, that’s like the end goal. After all the music stuff dies down, like that’s something that I would want to spend a good portion of my life on.
Now, what’s next for the R&B/Pop singer?: Well, right now we’re putting an EP together and were about to change colors. (this interview is from December 2nd, 2018!! hello velvet!!) We are, you know, looking to do more music videos and get on another opening slot of a tour next year. So I think it’s more of the set up stuff, you know! The fun stuff, business, merch, audible.com/tyleroakley! Sort of taking what I’ve done these past three years where I’ve worked through it on my own, and doing it more like professionally.
When asked if he has anything else to add, I was nowhere near shocked to hear him sing “IeUaN.” I mean, what else did I expect? But aside from that, he left a little message for you guys: when I come back to Chicago all the people reading this better be there! It won’t be in two years! It will be… one year. I’m kidding. Goodnight!
On that note, I just want to thank Ieu for a great show and for overall being such a sweetheart. We miss you already!
Make sure to follow Ieu on Twitter and Instagram: @ieuanofficial
You might want to keep up with his socials xx hehe
Stream Over The Garden Wall: