Interview: Ivory Layne on Expressing Your Unique Perspective

Photo: Cedrick Jones

Singer and songwriter, Ivory Layne, recently signed with Justin Timberlake’s artist development company Villa40. While Ivory hasn’t had the chance to collaborate with Justin yet, she has met him several times to discuss her music. Ivory recently sat down with Glitter to talk about her new single “Me,” the songwriting process, and how she manages to stay grounded in the business. We also love her dream collaborations. We’d be down to see a duet between Ivory and either one of her picks. Read on for Ivory’s message to women reading this right now. It’s empowering.

GLITTER: How would you describe your sound?

IVORY: Drama-pop.

GLITTER: What does being an artist mean to you?

IVORY: Being an artist means expressing your unique perspective with the world for the greater good.

GLITTER: What can you tell us about your new single “Me?”

IVORY: “Me” is a self-written confession of my struggle with selfishness and a call to look outside of my little world for beauty and fulfillment.

GLITTER: Where do your musical influences come from?

IVORY: Peter Gabriel, Imogen Heap, Coldplay, Tori Amos, Elton John.

GLITTER: What’s it like to be part of Justin Timberlake’s artist development company Villa40? Have you had a chance to work with him directly yet?

IVORY: Though I haven’t had the honor of working with him directly, Justin and I have met several times to discuss my music. His vision for the company, allowing artists to grow and brand themselves independently, has given me the freedom to find myself and my brand. I’m very grateful for the platform he has given me!

GLITTER: Do you play any instruments?

IVORY: Yes! Piano and a bit of guitar and ukulele.

GLITTER: What is the songwriting process like for you?

IVORY: It’s different every time, but usually I’ll have a melodic idea pop into my brain and sing it into my phone. I’ll play it over and over until some words come, and I try to let the song write itself. If it gets too difficult or frustrating, I shelf it for another day. To me, the best concepts have a natural flow.

GLITTER: Will we see a full-length album from you soon?

IVORY: I sure hope so!

GLITTER: How do you stay grounded in this business?

IVORY: I’ve learned to prioritize community in my life, both business and personal. Having people in my corner who love me for who I am, regardless of my music or success, has become one of my greatest joys. Authentic people love authentically, and I’m grateful for friends and family who call me out when I’m wrong and don’t allow me to quit when I fail.

GLITTER: What positive message do you hope to send women who follow you?

IVORY: There. Is. A. Place. For. You. Keep being yourself and don’t give up!

GLITTER: Many women are coming forward in media and standing up for their rights as women. How important is this issue to you?

IVORY: There is no life without women. It’s exciting to see changes being made to give women the voice and opportunity they deserve. We’re all human beings and worthy of a safe, functional, and equal quality of living.

GLITTER: What is one thing your fans may not know about you?

IVORY: I make the most incredible sweet potato fries.

GLITTER: Glitter has a Celebrity #SelfLoveCampaign, what’s self-love mean to you?

IVORY: To me, self-love means gifting yourself the time, energy, and emotional effort needed to ensure personal balance.

GLITTER: Who is your dream collaboration with?

IVORY: Peter Gabriel! Or Imogen Heap!

GLITTER: What do you have planned for the upcoming year?

IVORY: I’m beyond thrilled to be releasing a song a month.

GLITTER: How can fans follow you?

IVORY: I’m doing my best to stay “hip” on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook! I’m a big fan of InstaStories.