London, United Kingdom, March 08, 2016 --(PR.com
For Bulgarian singer/songwriter ILONA, appearing at this year's Country to Country Festival at The O2 on March 12th/13th will be a very profound experience. It represents, almost literally, her journey from a very different kind of Country right into the heart of the world's biggest Country music event outside of the USA.
ILONA was born and raised in a tiny town in the East of Bulgaria where her family had very little money and had to struggle for everything. She grew up avidly listening to British and American music whenever she had the chance (Shania Twain being one of her biggest heroes). She lived in a place where no one had ever gone on to achieve anything outside the country and she dreamed of escaping and having a life singing music.
When she was 12 her mother, a Dr in Bulgaria, brought her to the UK when the British medical service needed more trained people to cope with the ever expanding demand. ILONA began to immerse herself in the music she loved.
Fast forward to 2011 and a chance meeting led ILONA to working closely with musician/writer/producer Tony Moore (Ex Cutting Crew and Iron Maiden). Tony has played a key role in the early careers of many new artists like Ed Sheeran, Paolo Nutini, James Morrison, KT Tunstall and James Bay. With his encouragement and guidance ILONA has created a large body of work, played over 300 gigs, and released three EPs on Moore's independent label miniMAJOR Music. “When I first heard her voice I knew she had something unique and special. Initially she had little experience but I could see the massive potential."
Of the C2C invitation, ILONA said “Having grown up in a place that was so far from the mainstream of US music, I am thrilled and honoured to be performing at this amazing festival. I am also incredibly proud to be doing something no Bulgarian has ever done before.”
Joining ILONA onstage for the March 12th show (and augmenting the regular band) will be legendary pedal steel player BJ Cole (Elton John, Joan Armatrading, Garth Brooks, Shania Twain) and electric guitarist Dave "Bucket" Colwell (Bad Company, Humble Pie, Samson).