Northern California pop singer and songwriter Salem Ilese’s brand new single and video “Dinosaurs (S4E7)” is out now via 10K Projects/Homemade Projects. “Dinosaurs (S4E7)” is the final single ahead of her forthcoming EP, ‘(L)only Child,’out tonight at 9pm PST/ midnight EST. With “Dinosaurs (S4E7),” Salem asks “did the dinosaurs see it coming?” and grapples with mortality, climate change and the general uncertainty of life. The title of the song, as well as its music video, directed by Jason Lester (Lauv, Cautious Clay), references the iconic final episode of the 1990s show “Dinosaurs” that shows the dire consequences of disrupting nature in favor of profits, a message more relevant now than ever. Salem’s new project arrives on the heels of her recent writing credit on TikToker-turned-popstar Bella Poarch’s “Build a Bitch” single, which has been streamed over 7M times on Spotify alone this week. Similar to Salem’s very own smash hit “Mad At Disney”, Bella’s “Build A Bitch” is an anthem of female empowerment, turning establishment led gender norms on their heads.
A strong proponent of environmentalism and social justice, Salem hopes to spread awareness about important issues through her catchy pop songs. This mission included her breakout single “Mad At Disney” (174M Spotify streams, 15+ weeks on Today’s Top Hits) which unpacked Disney’s harmful stereotypes of women as well as her brand new EP, ‘(L)only Child,’ which is full of coming of age electro-pop anthems about self-acceptance and the social issues plaguing our world.
ABOUT SALEM ILESE:
21-year-old pop artist Salem Ilese has been preparing for this moment her entire life. Born and raised in Mill Valley, CA, right outside San Francisco, the singer & songwriter has been “doing music for longer than [she] can remember,” and to prove it Salem jokes that her parents have “plenty of blackmail tapes” of her earliest music endeavors. “I’ve written songs since I could speak. As a kid, my songs would be about anything from stuffed animals to a guy in preschool I liked.”
With an innate drive to make music, her parents quickly put their precocious daughter into music lessons and introduced her to their favorites, namely, David Bowie and The Beatles. “My Dad likes to consider himself an ‘expert music listener,’” she says, “and even though they aren’t musicians, they made sure I knew the greats. Listening to a lot of Bowie had a huge influence on me because I love pop music, but my taste always veers a little bit left of center.”
Salem attributes her music career to legendary writer Bonnie Hayes, her first songwriting teacher. Credited for creating hit songs for Cher, Bonnie Riatt, David Crosby, Bette Midler and more, Bonnie Hayes immediately saw then-12-year-old Salem’s gift for storytelling; “she took me under her wing. She’s like a second mom to me. I probably wouldn’t be here without her.” Hayes eventually moved to Boston to head Berklee College of Music’s songwriting department and shortly thereafter Salem also relocated across the country to enroll in her department. After a couple years of intense learning, Salem made the decision to move back to the West Coast, this time settling down in Los Angeles.
Salem’s dedication quickly attracted interest from big-name publishing companies, hoping to work with her as a writer. Following some unexpected playlist support, the growing buzz soon led Salem to partner with 10K Projects/Homemade Projects in August 2020.
Soon after her signing, Salem’s breakout hit “Mad At Disney” gained viral momentum on TikTok, sparking the creation of over 3.2M videos and holding placement on Spotify’s coveted playlist Today’s Top Hits for over 15 weeks. Salem premiered her follow up single “Coke & Mentos” on Zane Lowe’s Apple Music 1 show in November 2020. A massive year for the budding popstar, she assures that she is not resting on her laurels. “It’s important to write as much as I can,” she told Rolling Stone in a recent interview. “Songwriting is a muscle.”