Doe-eyed with vampire skin, puffing on electronic cigs and singing her heart out each and every time, Ivy Levan is a girl of profound musical instincts. Hailing from Arkansas and now living it up in LA, she’s on a quest to create epic anthems that will jangle your nerves and sooth your soul. Currently on tour to promote her newest EP, ‘Introducing the Dame,’ Ivy pours passion into her ear-catching medleys and eye-grabbing aesthetic. Surrounded by a cast of characters fronting black balaclavas (homage to Pussy Riot, obvs) and pummeling hi-N-R-G riffs with break-neck beats, the 26-year-old is redefining pop with loads of panache. MTV recently named her their “newest obsession”; Diplo called her “off the hook”; and veteran hit-maker Lucas Banker said “she takes pop to the next level.” Heavily influenced by mid-40s sounds, hybrid jazz and delirious death metal crescendos, her references are obscure (she cites everything from Slayer to Siouxsie Sioux and Whitney Houston as her inspirations) and her sound happily skitzo. Made of a brash mash of punk, rock n’roll, jazz and bluesy experimentals, Ivy says she’s going for a “giddy-up sound with soulful ballads and energetic treats.” Whether she and her ruckus band are bashing out thrashy single ‘Hot Damn’ or levering down the pace for one of her spine-tickling roulades, Ivy Levan’s dynamic sound is instantly appealing and intriguing.
What are you smoking?
Blu Cigs/electronic cigarettes! They’re laced with nicotine and don’t smell as bad! They are my newest obsession!
How do you like NYC?
I love New York – it’s the best! I’m coming back when I’m done touring to hang out!
Where do you live?
What have you been listening to this summer?
Major Lazer, Kelis, Icona Pop, Fitz and The Tantrums, The xx, Sky Ferreira, Diplo and Die Antwoord; I really admire Ray Charles, Tina Turner, Amy Winehouse, Siouxsie Sioux and Ol’ Dirty Bastard!
What’s your current opinion of the music scene?
It’s hectic and hyper-competitive. But music is my passion! I’m amped-up by all the enthusiastic fans and I love my band mates!
What are your tattoos?
A hanging noose, a pyramid, a moon face, a heart and a few more. I love tats!
What do you wear?
Glitzy-glam dresses during shows. But I’m really into labels like Rick Owens, Sibling, Damir Doma, PRIESTESS NYC and a bunch of underground stuff.
Where are you off to?
Ohio, Texas and a bunch of places in between. Then back to LA.
What was it like to play Irving Plaza?
The best! NYC energy is inspiring and the crowd was splendid!
Any cool advice?
Follow your fucking dreams!
Check out her video!
Photography: Ivy’s Tumblr + Jed Ross, Ivylevan.com
Special thanks to Patrick Nissley and Lucas Banker of Blood Money Inc.