After all, the 18-year-old from Albuquerque, N.M., was even Hannah Montana for Halloween in fourth grade.
“I went into the blind audition kind of already leaning towards Miley,” Ilianna said during a conference call with the media this week.
“I almost picked Blake, but I’ve just always been such a huge fan of Miley since I was little,” she added. “She’s always had a big influence on me … I think it was just always going to be Miley for me.”
Both coaches turned after Ilianna showed off her unique vocal style covering “New Soul” by Yael Naim.
The fact that she landed a spot on Season 13 was more impressive considering that Ilianna hasn’t performed much as a solo artist. And unlike many Voice contestant, she doesn’t have a YouTube channel chock full of covers.
She has been singing for quite a while. Her father is an FBI agent, meaning her family moved a lot while Ilianna was growing up. Which meant she switched schools a lot.
“Going to my room, writing and playing music was always one thing that took my mind off everything else,” she told The Voice.
She told Voice Views she was part of her church’s choir for a long time, then got involved in choirs at the schools she attended. In her junior year, her choir performed at Carnegie Hall.
But it was her successful audition for a spot at the Berklee College of Music that convinced Ilianna to step into the forefront as a solo artist. She’ll begin attending college in Boston next fall.
“I always wanted and pictured myself as more of a solo artist but I never, I guess, had the confidence and drive to put myself out there until I auditioned for Berklee.
“That was my first accomplishment, seeing myself as a solo artist. And then that’s when I decided to audition for The Voice.”
Auditioning meant she missed her high school graduation, but Ilianna has no regrets. She calls auditioning “the best decision I ever made.” Besides, she still has a college graduation to look forward to.
As for her music, Ilianna says she’s “more of a pop artist.”
Her influences include Ingrid Michaelson, Sara Bareilles and Norah Jones.
Here are her social media links, followed by the one cover she has posted to YouTube. You can check out snippets of other covers on her Instagram page.