Ileana Garces

“There is no way to make it in life without God,” says twenty-one year old
singer, Ileana. “I didn’t always realize that. As a young teenager I
strayed from what I had been taught all my life. I thought there was
something better out there. Before I was out of my teens I came to the
realization that life without God is impossible. Now there is a burning in
my heart to show my generation how God can take a very simple,
un-extraordinary life, and turn it into something worth living for.”
God loves you. It is a confession that burns not only in Ileana’s heart,
but blazes with a white-hot intensity through every song on her debut album,Dare To Love . Set against a sonic soundscape that collaborator Dwight Liles
calls “the best collection of creative, exciting dance musicSsince Janet
Jackson1s Rhythm Nation,” Dare To Love explores themes of commitment
(Disposable), forgiveness (Dare To Love), and dependence on God (Looking
Back). “Dare To Love is dance music with a Latin influence, at times
bordering on techno-pop,” Ileana explains. “Musically it is an amazing
record. Alvaro Lopez did an incredible job with the music, and the lyrics
impart what my heart feels onto the record.”
The singer, like the album, is joyful, vivacious, and relentlessly committed
to bringing the message of God1s love to the world. Born into a loving and
nurturing Christian home, Ileana left her native Guatemala when she was nine
years old, relocating to Miami, Florida where her parents founded a church.
“My mother was the first artist on the One Voice label,” Ileana says
proudly. “I get my talent from God through my mother. It’s an
inheritance.” By the age of ten Ileana had published her first song, a
praise and worship piece called Dios De Los Cielos (God of the Heavens), and
she soon found herself in demand as a backup singer for numerous One Voice
artists. “But now, my own record, my own convictions, my own visionSwhat a
privilege.”
While Ileana proudly acknowledges Dare To Love is high-energy, hyped, dance
music, she insists the heart of the album is the lyrics.
“Like a lot of kids who were brought up in the church, I went through a
rebellious period as a teenager. I think perhaps when you have been taught
about God all your life you begin to take His love for granted. And
sometimes you begin to question whether the God your parents have taught you
about is really real. It sounds so ridiculous, but sometimes kids feel the
need to do something crazy just so God will turn and look at them. What I
needed to hear during that period in my life – and it is the same things
kids need to hear today – is that God really is a loving and comforting
Father.”
Ileana recounts her own struggles with hurt and reconciliation in the
autobiographical song, Looking Back. “This song is almost a follow-up to
Dare To Love. Dare To Love issues a challenge; Looking Back is more of an
aftermath, where you have already been hurt, and you seek God only to
realize that everything you have been through, everything you have suffered,
God has already taken it into His own hands.”
With Dare To Love this multi-talented singer/songwriter truly takes center
stage as a major new voice in the contemporary Christian music scene. But
for Ileana, ministry is more than a hit record. It is the core of her
being. “The reason the music is so hyped is because that is what kids want
to hear. It’s modern, it’s cool, and it is the kind of music I love. But
what separates Dare To Love from secular music is the message. We have a
message that is powerful; a message that is strong; a message that people
need to hear.”

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