Illy Interview – The Two Degrees Regional Australian Tour.
Interview was conducted by Jamie Pavljuk.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Australian hip hop artist Illy about his upcoming and most extensive tour of Australia to date – The Two Degrees Regional Tour. The tour will be kicking off this August and making a wrap up in late November.
This tour will be promoting his ARIA No.1 album ‘Two Degrees’ for the first time to regional Australia following his largest ever capital city tour, featuring sold-out shows in 4 major Australian cities earlier this year.
Here’s what the talented hip hop artist had to say about his extensive regional adventure:
J: What was your reaction when Two Degrees reached number one on the ARIA Album chart?
Illy: I was over the moon, it was a real milestone in my career; as it would be in anyone’s career. We really celebrated – I can tell you that much.
J: I’ve noticed that you’ve been doing collaborations with various artists, is this something that you’ll look at continuing in the future?
Illy: Um, yeah, definitely. I write all of my own stuff but unfortunately sometimes I can’t quite nail the big choruses because I’m more a rapper than a singer. I love collaborating and I really find that the people that I’m working with have added so much to the tracks that I have released so I definitely can see that continuing, yeah.
J: So your upcoming regional tour is very extensive, was it your aim to reach as many regional spots as possible within Australia?
Illy: Yes! Yeah, that was always the goal. We knew off the back off the album – the success of the album – that we really did want to kind of go as hard as we could for the regional tour, which I think we’ve done that and then some. I can’t wait.
J: What do you think of the current hip hop scene in Australia?
Illy: I think it’s great. I think it’s evolving and changing a lot – especially in the last couple of years. There’s a lot of young dudes doing a lot of interesting and cool stuff, and I think it’s in a really good spot.
J: Where do you get the ideas to write the music that you write?
Illy: Um, kind of, it’s hard man… Really you just draw from wherever the inspiration comes from. I’m sorry I can’t give you a more straight forward answer – I don’t try to pigeonhole it – it can come personal experiences, friends, general life.
J: What’s the funniest thing to happen to you on stage?
Illy: I don’t know if it was the funniest thing, but the creepiest thing that people found funny was I got thrown a pair of dudes boxer shorts which was kind of full on. I also don’t know what the logistics involved were in making that happen but yeah (haha)
J: So who is your biggest inspiration?
Illy: Musically there’s a few! I guess my favourite rapper is Jay-Z, but closer to home, Hilltop Hoods have always been a big inspiration for me. I’m surrounding by people who are really big influences on me.
J: So what are some of your passions outside of music?
Illy: Well, I’m a big Manchester United fan by blood – so that’s probably my main thing. I don’t really have a whole lot of other time so catching up with family and friends is really a big thing for me, so that’s about it.
J: Last question – What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Illy: Put yourself out there as much as possible! I know it’s hard in this day and age to get onto open mics, to actually get out and be on stage, but you have to take absolutely every opportunity you can to do that. The one aspect that there is no short cuts for is how you perform on stage.
The last thing – Believe in yourself and absolutely back yourself.