INTERVIEW: LLusion

You’ve garnered a large and loyal following of fans via the social media phenomenon known as TikTok. How instrumental has TikTok been in getting the word out about you and your music? 

Plain and simple, if there wasn’t any social media, I wouldn’t be [be here] […]It’s incredible that because of these phones that we all have and the internet, I literally don’t have to leave my home to make a name for myself and also, to get messages from people saying “your song changed my life.” The fact that I don’t need to leave my house and I don’t need to leave my dogs and my wife, it’s mind blowing to me. So, I absolutely wear social media on my sleeve as far as success and really being able to get everything out there for people to intake themselves. So, yes, it takes a huge part in my career for sure.

How do you decide which artist you want to take on for your brilliant lo-fi remixes? 

I think the most known was Comethazine’s song “Walk” which is why I call it “walk but in the garden” because now it sounds like you’re walking through a garden that is just a raw, angry, sounding rap song and it’s hard as hell. It really was like for shock value kind of thing and how you’re able to make something so aggressive into something so sweet and pretty. If there are any really trending songs, whether it’s “Pushin P”, whether it’s you know, a female vocalist, it doesn’t matter. I like turning. I like just being able to see if something’s able to turn into Lo Fi because it’s so like I said it goes back to it’s extremely universal and so many people use Lo Fi beats and YouTube videos or commentaries or this or that. So to add, you know, vocals that you weren’t expecting over a song that you’ve been hearing for months and then you hear it over love Lo Fi song. It’s just it’s still fun to this day. I’ve been doing it for three years now, if no longer, and it’s still so fun.

Your stomping grounds are in Orange County, California. How does California inform your music?

If you go to my album, Buffet, and you hit track two which is “Feel The WAV” featuring Valentine and love-sadKID, two absolute incredible vocalists – that is like the most perfect description of how being 30 minutes away from any beach has really influence me. The song starts off with beach sounds and people at the beach and you hear the waves crashing and then you hear these little like keys and the guitar come in.[It’s] Just a super West Coast feeling and it’s funny because whether people are from the Bay or Atlanta or from New York, you can really hear a distinctive sound. And Los Angeles being the most cliche but the biggest music city and the West Coast sound and everything even though it already has that established sound. I never really wore Orange County on my sleeve like I’ve said that so much in all these but I never really liked representing OC like that. And in a way I still don’t but there’s no doubt that nine times out of ten you’re gonna catch us listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers with the windows down, driving anywhere. That’s kind of one huge thing but it’s funny because for a really long time, my biggest dream was to move to Seattle or a rainy city and just listen to jazz music like the Smiths or something but whether I like it or not, being on the West Coast in Orange County, California, that’s always going to be subliminally in something I create. I mean, you can’t see my studio right now, but I have three windows and I’m on my third floor of my house and you can just see just blue skies and trees everywhere and so, anytime I’m making music I ‘m seeing that constantly so that’s always going to be a huge influence for sure.

When can fans look forward to a full length album from you? Is there one in the works even as we speak? 

My debut project, Buffet, came out back on November 8 and has incredible songs. I highly suggest people go check that out, it contains over 15 vocalists, some new, some underground. That’s such an incredible project to me that I hope to represent for many years to come just because I really do think it has a very good sound. With that being said, I’m kind of taking it back a little bit to how everything started and the roots of everything and I am currently working on my first actual album. I mean, Buffet was really an EP, but this album is going to contain 99% instrumental music again with some features from producers. As I said, it’s incredible to make these great songs with vocalists like “After the Tone” with UPSAHL you know, it feels really good to get to focus hardcore on the instrumental music itself. I know that’s what a lot of people at the end of the day like, I’m being honest with myself, it’s my decision in my choice to bring a vocalist that I think is really good to feature on a song of mine, but whether it’s not 100% my demographic or this or that I know instrumental music, excuse me will always be there. So that’s why I’m really focusing on that. So we’re hoping by summer time-ish to get some more music out there. It’s going to range anywhere from Lo Fi to Funk instrumentals. It’s going to be good, it’s gonna real good.

And, aside from music, something that I’m absolutely extremely excited to announce and finally release is my podcast with my wife called “Six Illusion.” We’re interviewing everyone from incredible artists from Freddie Dread to TikTok creators like TootieMcNootie. All these different people that we’ve become friends with, whether musicians or content creators in general. We’ll be dropping that extremely soon. We’re trying to get tons and tons of episodes set. But yeah, dropping extremely soon.

What did your collaboration for After The Tone look like?

I love talking about this because this was half a year before the vaccine ever came out and we didn’t even have conversations about a vaccine. My team really wanted me to get into sessions and this was before I even worked with any artists in person. My publicist was like “Hey, Zoom sessions are a big thing right now in the industry.” And I’m like, “I don’t see how that’s even possible of working and the audio is gonna sound terrible.” I didn’t know if it was going to work out. And he’s like, “Just give it a shot.” This was a few days after Christmas of 2020 and my publicist’s like, “Okay, you got it with UPSHAL and I knew UPSAHL from “Drugs” and “People I Don’t Like” — one of my favorite songs from her. I knew that she worked with Max Prior so that made me relieve the stress. So anytime I was struggling during the session, I knew Max would fill in all those spots that I possibly couldn’t, at that time.

Anyways, we got on Zoom, met them for the first time and within those four hours we came out with “After The Tone.” It’s crazy to think that that was my first session working with an artist in general, let alone it being zoom. It’s a song that’s now finally out for people to hear. And it’s funny, I didn’t even know how I felt about the song until I again, I’ve mentioned my wife sticks a lot because she’s, I consider fit 5050 With illusion. Just because she’s like my naked ear since she doesn’t create, she plays guitar and everything but since she doesn’t like to create music, I always love letting her listen to stuff and she’s kind of like my barometer. And when I showed it to her, she’s like, this is actually really good and I was oh, it made me really excited to see the potential of it. So to think of where to think that it was made in that session and I think we really created something special there. That’s how that whole thing came about, and then I’m so excited. Yeah, Taylor’s awesome Max is great, and now Max is like a great friend of mine and we work together all the time.

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