Thursday, June 7, 2012

Interview with ill-esha for Impulse Festival

Knoxtronica 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 it.

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 music!

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?

I 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 Autonomous roster.

(KP) What artists would you like to share the stage with that you have not already?

I 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 with.

(KP) 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 music?

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.

Amazon Voice Link:

Knoxtronica- So you've given some insight into what influences the music that you as Ill-Esha creates. If I was to pick up your iPod, what would I see on your "most played," electronic and non-electronic?

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 Ocean.

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 there?

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...
ill esha Facebook Link:

ill esha Soundcloud Link:

Impulse Music and Arts Festival Website:

Impulse Festival Facebook Link:

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