Illenium [Exclusive Interview]
San Francisco native Nick Miller, better known as Illenium’s is one of Denver’s most talked about EDM artists. Illenium’s began making electronic dance music in early 2008 and quickly became known for his production quality and content. Illenium’s latest EP titled, Risen exemplifies just that.
Illenium got his start on the scene when he released his 2013 debut self-titled EP with LA based record label, Prep School Recordings. Adding his own blend of intricate melodies and powerful rhythms into electronic dance music fuels his sound and makes him one of the most innovative acts within the EDM world. Since his debut self-titled EP, Illenium has touched the track’s of many such as Flume, with his remix of “Say It.”
Check out our exclusive interview with one of Colorado’s finest.
- Introduce yourself to us!
My name is Nick Miller and I am Illenium
- If you could describe your music in one word, what would it be?
- When did the group or project begin? Did you always know music was what you wanted to do?
The project began a little over 3 years ago. I didn’t always know that this was the path I wanted to go down. It started as just something I did for fun and became much more than that. I get a lot out of making music and now it’s something I don’t think I could ever give up.
- What musical genres do you most identify with?
Pretty much anything that’s really pretty and full of emotion. As long you can really feel the emotion behind the song I can get into any genre. I particularly love vocal based music.
- At the moment, what artist or group in the industry have your attention?
Flume’s music has been really inspirational for me lately. He always pushes the envelope and that makes me strive to be more experimental in my own music.
- How do you hope your music influences your fans?
My main goal is just to get people to feel something when they hear my work. I hope people can make it out to one of my shows especially the headlining ones. My fans are amazing and I think it’s really something special when you are surrounded by people that all feel connected to the music on a deeper level.
- Should we be expecting new tracks from an upcoming album or EP at Backwoods?
Maybe! I’ve got a few tunes in the works right now that are almost ready to go. I’ve just wrapped up my first headlining tour so it’s been hard to get music finished while traveling so much. I’ll have some more time to get work done in the studio now that it’s over, so hopefully I’ll have some new songs ready soon.
- Heading Backwoods a festival with such an eclectic music lineup and diverse headlining acts Nero, Big Gigantic, Nahko & MFTP, MOE. & many more, what do you see yourself bringing to the performance to make it stand out?
I try to play as much of my own music as possible so I think that stands out from a lot of DJ’s that are playing. I also play a live set with a drum pad and keyboard. I think this can really help you stand out. I just try to do my own thing and let the music do the work.
- How has your music changed over time? Reflect on the past two years.
I think a big thing that’s been changing in my music is just the sound quality. The more you practice something the better you get and I feel like I’ve learned a lot about how to get something to really sound good. I try to keep my music pretty eclectic and not get bogged down in one genre which really helps me not get creatively stuck.
- Where and how do you work? Are there places or environments you draw inspiration form more than others?
I like producing stuff in my studio at home but recently I’ve been getting used to producing while on the road. Music is always on my mind and I’m always just trying to get ideas down. I draw a lot of inspiration from vocals. When I hear a really good vocal the music just rushes out of me. I’ve produced a lot of songs that had vocals sung over them after they were finished but I really feel like things happen a lot faster when I get a vocal that I really love. I also spend a lot of time in the outdoors with my girlfriend and best friends and I feel like that keeps me centered.
- If we turned on the stereo in your car, truck or tour bus, what tracks would start playing? Any favorite jams you want to turn us on too?
There’s a good chance you’d hear anything from Eden, Porter Robinson, Flume to some Blink 182 or 30 Seconds to Mars. I try to stay current though and I’m always checking out new music from people I’ve never heard of before. Recently I’ve been really stoked on Graves. His recent collab with Rickyxsan has been one of my favorite tunes to play out live.
- Is there anything (besides music) you are passionate about?
I really love movies. Going out to the movies is one of my favorite activities.
- What is your favorite aspect about making music?
Probably just getting out of my head and losing myself in the creation process. I get a kind of high when I make something that I really am proud of. And then getting to share it with everyone is always really fun too.
- Any news we should know about? Anything you want to spill the beans about?
I just recently teamed up with Electric Family to release a shirt and bracelet that goes to a really great nonprofit called Charity Water. My girlfriend is an environmental studies major and her main focus is clean water. Its one of the biggest problems our world has facing us and Charity Water is doing really great work. I really hope the release is a big success so that we can raise a substantial amount of money for the organization and make people more aware of the issue. If you want to find out more about the organization you should check them out here http://www.charitywater.org/about/
- Besides your hometown fans, which city audience stands out and gives back the maximum amount of love?
It’s hard to determine which feels more like a hometown when comparing Denver and San Francisco. I grew up in SF but live in Denver now and both areas show so much love. I think outside of that, pretty much all of California and the Pacific Northwest have been amazing. Its really hard to say though because there’s been so much love in cities all over the country. Chicago, Minneapolis and New York are also definitely up there with cities that have shown incredible support. There’s still a lot of places I need to make it out to.
- What instruments do or have you enjoyed playing and incorporating in the producing possess? One of my favorite instruments that I incorporate in almost all of my music are Taiko drums. Its a group of different Japanese drums that are really cinematic and just epic sounding. My drumpad that I bring with me to all my shows is all different Taiko drum samples. I love the vibe they create.
- Do you like attending music festivals as a patron? If so what was or some of the last events you attended.
Yeah definitely! I love being able to check out so many different artists in such a short period of time. Festivals definitely all have their own unique feeling and its been really cool to be able to check out so many different events. One of my favorites recently was Paradiso. Not only was the crowd amazing but the Gorge in one of the best venues out there.