Fri | Feb 28, 2020

Lila Ike stands out with ‘Sensimena’

Published:Friday | November 2, 2018 | 12:00 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Lila Ike performing at Wednesday's launch of Rastafari Rootzfest 2018.

Lila Ike describes her performance at last year's Rastafari Rootzfest as mediocre. Not because she did not have the best lyrics or sound, but she was overcome with anxiety.

"It wasn't my best performance - I allowed myself to get nervous. As a young artiste booked on the same night as top entertainers like Capleton and Kabaka Pyramid, I kinda got jittery," she shared with The Gleaner.

Lila Ike is the youngest reggae recording artiste confirmed to perform at one of three nights of the festival and one of two females booked, the next being Kelissa. "Now, having performed widely locally and overseas, I am ready for this year," she said.

She entertained the guests at the Rastafari Rootzfest 2018 launch held at the Bob Marley Museum on Wednesday, singing tracks such as Biggest Fan, Gotti Gotti and Second Chance. But the song that really connected with the audience is the yet-to-be-released Sensimena.

The lyrics speak of her love for marijuana and the criticisms she's received as a female advocating for it. In the song, she reveals that even her mother broke her herb steamer after discovering that her daughter was consuming cannabis. "Is a true story," she said. When asked why the single was not yet released, she responded, "Personally, mi wah mek some more song that don't promote the rebel in me just yet. Plus, I have to think about mi mother." She continued, "As a young artiste, if you get invited to an event and sing a weed tune, especially as a female, you going to get looks, so that's why it is important to get educated. It is not just using and advertising it."

She revealed that her interest in using marijuana started after she was introduced to it in a musical setting but also stressed that it was not for everyone.

"It is a powerful plant that people are putting into their brains. It is important that people know what strain works for them and be mindful of where they are getting the herb from. I know that Cannabis indica makes me sleepy, so I would not smoke that before a show, and I don't overindulge in Cannabis sativa because I am naturally a hyper person. I don't smoke a bag of indica or sativa to get high or be inspired to do music. It is not about that; I am not even about the rolling up of weed in paper. Instead, I use an electronic steamer maybe once a day," she explained.

Lila Ike says she also uses byproducts of marijuana, including herb oil, which she applies to her skin.

The up-and-coming reggae singer says that while she advocates for marijuana, she does not think young artistes like herself should start singing about it until they have become properly educated.

Persons listening to reggae on the world stage pay keen attention to the lyrics, she says, "so as musicians, you have to know what you are talking about".