Presents (Christopher Ryan)- First off I want to say a big thank you
for giving Knoxtronica Presents the opportunity to hold an interview
with an artist of your caliber. For our fans that do not know who you
are, do you mind introducing yourself and giving a little back info?
ill esha- My
name is ill-esha and I'm an audiophile of many stripes.. I love
making noise with my mouth, various instruments, computers and random
found objects. Electronic, acoustic, scoring film or games, you name
Knoxtronica- Impulse Music fest is getting closer and closer. You played a
wonderful set at Dexfest last year. How did that festival compare to
being in your normal environment? And, how does it feel coming back to
the east coast for another festival?
ill esha- The
energy of a West Coast festival is quite different; proximity to the
ocean and surf/skate culture as well as Burning Man really creates a
special kind of vibe. I think that having an older history with
electronic music makes the authorities and neighbors a little more
comfortable as well. Dexfest had some wonderful people involved, but
I was saddened to see them seemingly locked in a stranglehold with
both the cops and the surrounding population. All things considered,
it was amazing that the show went on, and I hope that people will
keep throwing more festivals in the area to bring their neighbors up
to speed! A festival is such a beautiful way to show people new
Knoxtronica- You've become famous for your west coast style and your drum and bass
roots. What influenced your transition from Drum & Bass to your
more prominent Glitch Hop style you play now?
ill esha- Between
12 years of doing it and not really ever having it go anywhere.. And
feeling like the music itself was going nowhere. It was time for a
change. I dabbled in the live music scene for a bit and then started
working in the film industry until I met Dewey dB.. He showed me a
ton of great bass music I had been missing out on and I was hooked.
But I object to being pigeonholed as "glitch hop".. I feel
like I've always been between genres and it's a conscious choice. I'm
also really excited at how much everything is blending together again
now that we're running out of ridiculous sub categories; even the
scene itself has retitled everything "bass music" and I
couldn't agree more. I love, listen to, and create from a myriad of
ingredients including dubstep, juke, trap, R&B, downtempo, future
hip hop.. If you had to teach the word to your auto correct I
probably love it. :)
Knoxtronica- You play a big role in Glitch Hop Forum, where did the inspiration
come from to help create this site and where do you plan on going
with it in the future?
ill esha- To
be honest I don't really anymore. I used to live with Dewey and we
strategized stuff in person, now I'm far away and busy so my role
these days is a little more flexible. I love the community we've
built, and I love sharing knowledge, so I've been trying to keep our
producer Q&A going and also try to help out kids asking their
first production questions. I love to help! (although I apologize in
advance for not having time to listen to everyone's tunes)
Knoxtronica- I've seen you share the stage with some pretty great artists. Who is
some of your favorite artists to play with and why?
love people who rage and I swear there's something about Colorado
vibes that creates a completely un-self conscious desire to do so.
Aaron Vibesquad is the epitome of this, his megawatt grin could power
a PK sound system; same with Unlimited Aspect, Fresh 2 Death.. I think
it's a combination of having a cracking scene with a total lack of
hipsters. I also love watching other artists who incorporate live
musicianship, like heRobust, Govinda and pretty much the whole
What artists would you like to share the stage with that you have not
want to go on tour with Bjork, Imogen Heap, Emika, Kito and Natasha
Kmeto. Damn did I just get all woman power on it? I didn't mean to.
That's not a thing I want to emphasize, but the truth is they are all
incredibly talented musicians and creative forces I'd love to work
The last year and a half the electronic music scene has exploded
across the country. Are you happy with your newfound exposure?
ill esha- I'm
so happy and grateful to be able to meet amazing people and play
music for them. I do wish there were a few more ways for artists to
pay rent besides touring, because I am always struggling to find
enough time to write new music or prepare new performance elements.
But the road is the reality, and I'm still infinitely grateful.
Knoxtronica- In your music there are so many styles coming together with so much
behind it all, where does this influence come from? And how do you do
such a phenomenal job of bringing together so many different types of
ill esha- well
thank you! :) as I said before I enjoy everything, with the exception
of racist death metal and new country... I was brought up with
several cultures and parents who enjoy and have exposed me to music
from all over the world. I think this has always taught me to be open
minded. I never belonged in one ethnic group so why be in one genre?
I also hate over repetition.. All my tracks have multiple sections,
nothing loops too long, in a variety of tempos and keys. Hearing the
same tempo and patterns for an entire set kind of drives me crazy. I
guess some people don't understand why I therefore choose dance music,
but that's what pulled me into early jungle and hardcore music.. The
spastic, changing elements. Also why I don't last long at a minimal
techno event, although I very much appreciate the music. I think I've
also had undiagnosed ADHD my whole life, so I cope by changing things
up all the time. I have to force myself to slow down my mixing during
shows so I don't drive everyone crazy!
Knoxtronica- Recently you have
collaborated with Unlimited Gravity called Intelepaths, any news
about any new releases from you both?
ill esha- Both
of us are just loving this opportunity to work with both electronic
and acapella, and the music has just been flowing! Our first ep will
be released very soon to support the amazing Critical Beats/Amazon
Voice project, which is aiding indigenous tribes in learning media
production and building centers to help them communicate with and
have a voice in the outside world.
ill esha- I'm
kind of obsessed with heRobust and Thriftworks. They are both diverse
and incredible artists who release ridiculous quantities of cheap and
free amazing music that is clutch on road trips. I also am a sucker
for the new generation of emo r&b like The Weeknd and Frank
Knoxtronica- New artists are popping up almost every day. Who are you currently
listening to that most of us have probably not heard of or that we
should keep an eye out for?
ill esha- See
the first line of the last question! I've also been fortunate enough
to release music I love through the label I do a&r for, Street
Ritual. Artists like jOBOT, Miroslav Losonsky and Joe Mousepad are
names you should check out for sure. Freddy Todd is always amazing,
and the homies ChrisB, B.Lewis and Insightful are also
absolutely killing it.
Knoxtronica- Thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to
us at Knoxtronica Presents! Any last words for all of the fans out
ill esha- Sometimes
melting hearts is better than faces.
Knoxtronica- One last question.... Any chance on an exclusive knoxtronica presents
track or mix? :D
ill esha- Let
me see. Will get back to you.
For more info on ill esha or Impulse Music and Arts Festival...