Ilpha Kozhabekova was born in Almaty, Kazakhstan. At the age of 17 she moved to Moscow to study piano at the Moscow Conservatory. Following her studies, she began working as an accompanist at the same institution, as well as teaching at Moscow University. In 2009, Ilpha moved to Copenhagen, and soon thereafter to Malmö.

Ilpha comes from a musical family, as both her parents are professors at the Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory, where her mother teaches piano and her father music theory.

Since coming to Scandinavia, in addition to studying at the Malmö Academy of Music, Ilpha has also worked extensively at the Royal Danish Opera.