"Create from the heart and you can't go wrong." It's a philosophy IFE has embraced throughout her life, and it's led to some interesting journeys for her along the way.
Both parents accomplished musicians, IFE was born in Detroit Rock City with music in her blood. Her mother, Teresa Mora, lit up the stage as an avant-garde Jazz vocalist and percussionist. And her father, Francisco Mora, made his mark as a drummer and composer, playing with legends like Max Roach, Miles Davis, Tito Puente and The Cuban All Stars.
Even as a child, music was all around IFE. Her mother was known to hold her daughter on her hip as she performed on stage. As she grew older, IFE squirreled herself away in the basement, practicing her own music at the ripe age of nine. There, she fiddled with her father's Rhodes keyboard and composed buoyant songs about boys and bumblebees.
But the serious craft of music was not lost on IFE, either. Her parents instilled a deep understanding of music in their burgeoning little musician. When IFE expressed an interest in the violin, her father disciplined his eager daughter to practice a Concerto each and every day.
IFE still remembers her very first piano lesson from the famous Sun Ra, given to her back stage at one of her father's concerts. He urged her to become uninhibited with her art, and "let the music come from the soul." This sort of advice, along with her parents' support, led a teenaged IFE to conquer her initial fear of singing in front of large groups of people. At age seventeen, IFE took voice lessons and worked on her craft with local Detroit musicians and producers.
IFE boldly moved to New York City at eighteen, and quickly caught the attention of famous musician and producer, Tricky. Impressed by the maturity and style of IFÉ’s quirky demo, Tricky signed her to his label, Durban Poison/Dreamworks SKG. Tricky then co-produced a Trip-hop/R&B album with The Autumn People, a band specifically assembled to support IFÉ’s unique style. The album was well received by audiences and critics, but Tricky's label was unfortunately dissolved shortly thereafter.
Undaunted, IFE moved to Atlanta to explore a more southern-infused style of music. As her talents evolved, IFE appreciated the raw courage and unique storytelling found in classic R&B, jazz, and the blues. She infused a new soulfulness into her writing and recording while playing at various jazz clubs and piano bars. It was in Atlanta that IFE put together her first band (self titled), an aggressive electro-metal group that uniquely combined the naked honesty and bold energy of her favorite musical influences.
Five years later, IFE returned to New York City and formed her second band, LIVE MAS. The band made its mark as part of the Afro Punk Movement, playing on the New York club circuit. But it was IFÉ’s third band, SwEEtiE, that really made some noise. Saturated with electric guitar stylings, SwEEtiE's fast-paced, take-no-prisoners punk pop sound took the New York club scene by storm, resulting in SwEEtiE recording one successful EP. But after five years of hard rocking, IFE yearned for something different.
The ever-evolving artist followed her heart by returning to slower-tempo songs that would better showcase her wistful voice. The result was "In Love Story," IFE's most intimate and mature work to date in which IFE wrote all the songs and Ricc Sheridan from Earl Greyhound produced the album. "In Love Story" is a personal tribute to her husband Chef Aaron Sanchez and their daughter, chronicling a love story that never truly ends. This searing and sensitive examination of love and trust was a bold departure from her recent SwEEtiE sound.
But IFE would have it no other way. Because she's long believed in staying true to her own values in creating her music. And so, her boundless passion and insatiable curiosity are always propelling her to explore new music muses. And continue to create from the heart.