Reggae songstress Lila Iké has revealed that she was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
In an interview with Yendi Phillipps on Sunday’s airing of the Odyssey, Iké, 27, broke her silence about her mental health struggle and how it threatened to halt her music career.
“I just learned a couple weeks ago that I have bipolar disorder, I was formally diagnosed with that,” she revealed. “It’s something that I have been experiencing for a while and didn’t even recognize what was happening to me. Like after an extreme high or coming off of a stage or learning about a big accomplishment, I almost always go into feeling depressed.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, bipolar disorder, “formerly called manic depression, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).”
Lila, who rose to fame with songs like Where I’m Coming From, Second Chance, and I Spy, explained that prior to her diagnosis she never understood why she would have these erratic mood swings.
“Everything that you’ve accomplished and all of your skills and your talent, it just gets clouded, like I just can’t see beyond it. You get extremely low and you just don’t want to do it anymore,” she said.
In November 2021, the singer shared a series of cryptic tweets about her sexuality, followed by a troubling Instagram Live alleging that there were people threatening her life.
Speaking about that episode, she said “recently I had one of those moments, wasn’t sleeping, can’t seem to just steady myself and calm myself down. So within that moment you know, I’m scared, I’m paranoid, I’m thinking the only way to protect myself is if I go on my Live, cause there’s no way anyone is going to hurt me in front of everybody watching.”
“So I went on my Live and at this point, I’m crying telling people ‘yo dem trying to kill me and I need y’all to save me, somebody call Protoje, Jaz Elise, Sevana … somebody’.”
“And these are all people that I could have just picked up my phone and called,” she added.
“In this moment, the only reality I know is what is happening, is what I’m feeling. I don’t know anything other than the fact that he’s trying to kill me and I need to try and find a way to save myself,” she continued.
Lila said it didn’t take long for her friend and fellow singer, Jaz Elize and her stylist to catch wind of the Live and go to see her. Soon enough her family offered support and took her to the hospital, where she was medicated and ultimately diagnosed.
Lila told Yendi that the experience has caused her to reflect on herself as an artist.
“Everything that I stand for and everything that I believe in, I have put it into my music. My main purpose here is just to make music that inspire people, music that inspire the youth dem, music that is positive, music that is uplifting, that’s literally all that I’m trying to contribute,” she said.
According to Lila, her manager Protoje has since lightened her workload, deciding that she would release just one single per year. From there they’ll see how well she manages and hopefully progress into performing at more concerts and stage shows.
Born Alecia Grey, the Manchester native signed with Protoje’s In.Digg.Nation label in 2017. She released her debut EP The ExPerience in 2020, under a partnership between In.Digg.Nation and RCA Records/Six Course. Lila’s last single, released in August 2021, was Batty Rider Shorts.
Wrapping up the interview, she shared an exclusive sneak peek of a new song True Love, which she plans on releasing soon. Watch the full interview on Odyssey with Yendi: Untold Journeys below.