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Unveiling the Heartbreak and Redemption Behind “Game Boy”

Step into the soul-stirring narrative crafted by ILA, an artist whose latest creation, “Game Boy,” transcends the boundaries of conventional love and heartbreak songs. In this exclusive interview with Void Magazine, ILA takes us behind the scenes of this emotionally charged track that emerges as a poignant anthem of empowerment and retribution.

“Game Boy” unfolds as a visceral response to a personal experience, a night that began with high hopes and ended in heartbreak. Seated in a cocktail dress, hair impeccably styled, ILA’s anticipation was shattered by a cold text, setting off a recurring pattern of short-lived connections and abrupt endings. The song mirrors a frustrating journey, where romance and genuine connection seem elusive, replaced by a series of encounters that lack depth and sincerity.

The words of ILA for Voidmagazines All Rights Reserved © Void Magazines

Okay, so “Game Boy” was like nothing I wrote before. It wasn’t a love song or a breakup song.

I was sitting in my living room one night late last year after being on a few dates with a young man I really liked. I was all dolled up in a black cocktail dress, my hair done up to the 9s after going over the fantastic night of drinks and flirting. He texted me that he didn’t want to keep seeing me, nothing more and nothing less. I was shattered, crying, and hurt, to say the least, but this kept happening. I would go out with a guy for a few weeks a month or so, and then the text, “Hey, we need to talk”.

I sat there thinking I couldn’t be the only one this happened to. Any man I went out with lost interest in a few dates if I wouldn’t go home with them.

Sadly, I wasn’t the only one. After telling my mum, she and my dad agreed he was only after one thing, and I wasn’t offering; I was still so upset. I wanted romance, wine, and dining, the things you see in movies and read in old novels, but I didn’t believe it was real then. Everything was cold.

I was full of frustration and asking myself what I did wrong. I felt used and manipulated, and that’s where the main character of my song, “Game Boy,” was born.

I wanted to let these kinds of people know they get their karma regardless of status, gender or money.

It was always a name I had in mind for a song, but I didn’t know what it would become. I knew I wanted something jazzy, rock and a real punch-to-the-gut song. I wanted “Game Boy” to suffer and lose his cards, cool, and game.

The sound was in my head, and I stayed up all night thinking of the image of my setting. A cold basement with poker chips scattered across a roulette table with the players giving all their money for a glimmer of hope of a win, but no “Game Boy” is cocky. He doesn’t care who he steps on to win but meets his match when his ego takes centre stage. He “had his chance, but he lost it.” the game was up, and he had lost everything.

For “Game Boy”, I took a step back from a happy ending because, in life sometimes, that is not always the case. I wanted the song to feel gritty, and a black-and-white 1950s feeling swept over me. Bingo almost a detective finding out who the killer was all this time.

The song starts more as an interrogation into what’s to offer, shall I say, but we all know none of this really matters; I can tell you what you want to hear and get what I want from you.

“Never know where he stands, but his plans are in demand.” This world is full of game boys, and we can’t let them lie their way to our hearts and take everything in the meantime. I wrote it for everyone who felt cheated by someone they trusted and deserves a taste of their own medicine.

“Take me back to younger days” is a nod to how dating has changed, and now everything matters; nothing is enough. As you get older, the pressure put upon this generation is so eminence the bar is so slow, and in return, people get badly hurt. “it was simple fun”.

The use of “had his chance, but he lost it” is repeated over and over again to show the pain and betrayal, and now the feeling of growth from finally understanding what he was, being able to forgive yourself for blaming yourself for falling for this trick a joker card if you please.

With my story making the song easy for me, writing about karma and a well-deserved lesson felt empowering. I wanted the song to be fun and catchy, and the repetition of “Game Boy” had to be front and centre.

I want the listener to play the conductor of the criminal’s downfall that has fallen from their throne. When I had it written that night (a long night), I was so delighted with myself. That rush you get when it’s your work, and you made it. Like any artist, it’s like your baby, and my goodness, wasn’t it beautiful.

When going to the studio to record it, Beardfire Rohan and Al asked how the intro would start, and he sat there playing the electric guitar, strumming away as I hummed. BOOM, we had made something magical.

I felt like we needed to have a breather before the climax to build up the real frustration of not having answers to questions. The guitar solo brings everything together as it is carried out through the whole song, giving it a resolution, and the smooth drums get heavier and louder to signify a new beginning. A phoenix rising from the ashes.

The vocals came so quickly and just flowed out; I wanted you to feel my emotion through the song and how it progressed. There is no sorry, or I forgive you, I will forget you, but this is the end of us.

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