London-based duo iLL BLU are no newcomers to the game. After nearly a decade of working tirelessly behind the scenes and adding their golden touch on tracks for the likes of Ray BLK, Sam Smith and Cheryl, the pair are ready for the spotlight to be shone directly on them.
New single ‘Chop My Money’ features a stellar line-up, including Krept & Konan and has amassed over 5.5M global streams. These boys ain’t playing! After a strong 2018 we sat down with the pair to discuss their journey, wish-list collaborations and plans for world domination in 2019.
Talk us through your creative process when producing.
Our creative process varies but most of the time we might start rough ideas on our own set-ups and then we will link up or send ideas to each other and develop the idea together. Sometimes we may build things from scratch in the studio with an artist but we tend not to put pressure on anything we do as we like things to feel natural as sometimes you can hear forced energy.
Does this change at all when working with other people – what was the process for ‘Chop My Money?
For ‘Chop My Money’ we had the idea to sample the riff from ‘Fish Go Deep’ as it’s so infectious, and flip it in a different way. When we started the riff it felt weird as we had slowed it down a lot compared to the original, but it sounded sick once we gave it a dancehall groove. Once we finished the beat we then worked on coming up with a melody for the hook. We were already working with Zie Zie and we knew he could deliver a wavy hook. We had previously worked with Krept & Konan on Mostack’s ‘Liar Liar’ and Loski topped it off. It all came together nicely.
‘Chop My Money’ is the start of a new journey for you. Where do you see it taking you?
Yes you could say that it’s a start of a new journey, sonically behind the scenes we have always produced different genres for artists we have worked with while our own releases as iLL BLU have usually fallen into the House/Electronic genre. ‘Chop My Money’ is definitely like iLL BLU 2.0. and it ushers us into the market as creators not bound to any particular genre, just quality music.
The track you chose to sample – Fish Go Deep’s ‘The Cure & The Cause’. What made you choose it?
It was a personal favourite for us, it was the inspiration that gave us the energy to start making Funky when we started iLL BLU.
We knew that we wanted to expand our sound and make something different from what we were know for as iLL BLU.
What’s planned for 2019?
We just want to release more bangers and do a lot of collaborations with different artists that we respect.
Who’s on the dream list of collabs?
On a production level to work with Calvin Harris, Pharell, Dr Dre and Dennis Ferrer would be a dream. If we could bring some one back Aalyiah, coupled with Drake would be an interesting combination. An iLL BLU track featuring those two would be incredible.
Favourite collaboration so far?
Mostack is always fun to work with. It feels organic when we are in the studio with him and he is very spontaneous so you never know what you’re going to come up with.
You’re working on MoStack’s debut album, how’s this going?
The album is sounding wavy and we have definitely got some bangers on there. He’s got some different styles on there as well but we can’t say too much just yet.
One of your first tracks that really made waves was the remix of Shystie’s ‘Pull It’. Any advice you’d have given to yourselves back then?
Maybe keep the ‘Pull It’ the instrumental and release the tune as an iLL BLU track as it was going to be big tune.The remix was a blessing and went on to shell down many raves and carnivals to this day. To be honest advice-wise it would be to keep doing what we were doing and make sure we keep having fun, be consistent and alway try to elevate to the next level.
You’ve been in the music business for a long time now – and wild stories for us?
A lot of great raves and a few drunken nights and great sessions in the studio. Too many to tell but we did stay in LA for a month in a Bel-Air mansion and that was a funny old time. We will leave the rest to your imagination.