From his early beginnings as a versatile jazz artist to producing for artists such as London collective Last Night In Paris. London based producer Illegal Music has had a diverse career in music so far and is not looking to stop. His music sets an alternative tone with its fusion of influences from Massive Attack to The Weeknd, which ultimately results into dark distinctive melodic sonics that channel the fast-pace lifestyle and nightlife of London. He recently signed to Schizofrenik Records and is set to drop his debut project under the label this year. We caught up with Illegal Music to find out more.
MU: What was it that specifically attracted you to production?
ILLEGAL: Probably the expression and the yearn to want to learn to produce at A-level. Particularly listening to a lot of dubstep in 2008- 2010. Also DJ-ing in Camden a lot with friend Josh and wanting to play my own music. Josh taught me to DJ and has contributed to Illegal Music productions.
MU: You initially started off playing the harmonica. How has that impacted or influenced your current sound?
ILLEGAL: Well the harmonica is so unique I needed to produce music just as unique. Also having the talent of playing the instrument opened my eyes to a horizon of diverse music such as Jazz, Rock and Blues in which I began listening to musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis and Sonny Terry to name a few. This uniqueness made me want to create a different type of music something which no-one was producing that could still be classed as timeless in years to come.
MU: Do you think being able to play and have understanding of an instrument and their history is vital in music production?
ILLEGAL: Not really, however, I think having an understanding of music is vital particularly music you want others to understand. John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhaushen are some of my favourite musical producers because they truly understood their craft and were continuously challenging modern music.
MU: What was the first song that got you interested in production? And why?
ILLEGAL: Probably Kulture- Tonight the re-verb and rainy and smooth vocals got me hooked.
MU: What’s the name of the first track you ever made? And did it resemble Kulture’s Tonight?
ILLEGAL: The first proper track I produced was a track called “Toy Music” and that was like more Toystep orientated because I was producing a lot of that music at that time alongside Dubstep.
MU: What equipment (hardware/software) did you start off with making music? And what equipment are you using now?
ILLEGAL: FL 8 I think, and Logic Pro and I’m using an MPD 26, Vinyl converter for samples and Logic,FL and Garage Band mainly.
MU: Which one is your favourite to use?
ILLEGAL: Probably Logic and FL.
MU: If you only had one to choose from and you were producing for one your favourite artists or you were under pressure to make a hit record now. Which one will you choose?
ILLEGAL: I really can’t answer that question haha.
MU: What is your creative process like?
ILLEGAL: I think about some experiences in my life I’d like to recreate by music. That’s about it really.
MU: What type of artists complement your music the best?
ILLEGAL: None. I still think my music is powerful on it’s own.
MU: Does that mean you have no interest in featuring vocalist for your tracks?
ILLEGAL: I never have…my first mixtape was made of just samples,remixes and bootlegs. That’s why I called it Bootlegs,Remixes,Samples and Narcotics.
MU: How do you feel the scene is progressing in your town/city for your kind of music?
ILLEGAL: Personally at the moment it’s all sounding the same If it doesn’t sound like Bondax it sounds like Disclosure. But there are some good musicians both live and electronic.
MU: Do you prefer performing live or making beats in the studio?
ILLEGAL: Making tracks no pressure, but I enjoy performing live.
MU: What is the perfect environment that your music should be listened in?
ILLEGAL: Either whilst your being intimate or whilst your depressed.
MU: Haha great, anything else you would like to add?
Yeah. Bootlegs,Remixes, Samples and Narcotics the remastered & reproduced version will be released on Schizofrenik Records soon! Also a lifestyle collaboration with Tao Fashion coming soon.
Take a listen to Illegal Music’s suave mix and enjoy!! FREE Download!!
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You can find out more about Illegal Music’s music in the links below.