Electronic artist ILTON is here with the summery cut, “ALRIGHT”. Brimming with experimental sounds, the artist masterfully carves out a unique spot for himself in the industry with production-heavy beats and melodic bars with the help of producer, Aguava. And, with his latest track hoping to offer listeners an insight into his upcoming EP, “POTENTIAL”, the track only furthers the promise of more exciting drops from the artist very soon.
“I wrote the lyrics and melody as a stream of thoughts and sent it to Aguava,” explains the artist. “He doesn’t usually say much, but I could tell by his very modest reaction that this was something we had to develop. He is incredible at capturing a moment. It’s a simple lo-fi hip hop beat, but there are so many elements and hints of Latin percussion and this infectious guitar riff that make it very groovy and special.”
Upon the release of “ALRIGHT”, the artist sat down with Wonderland to discuss his upcoming EP, how he made his start in music and what the future holds. Read our interview with ILTON below
Hey ILTON, how are you? How has this past year been for you so far?
I am doing quite alright but I have to be honest the concept of time has completely gone out of the window. I can’t even grasp my head around who I was or what I was doing a year ago. Things have changed a lot. The only thing that has remained constant has been making music and working on these records.
With everything that happened last year, was your creativity affected?
l relocated after 10 amazing years in NYC. I’m still in shock. I was inspired and defined so much by that place, the people that I met, the venues I performed at, the artists I collaborated with and many other things that shaped me as a person. You’d think this would make me feel very unmotivated, but as a creative, I thrive in chaos. It re-inspired me and helped me find a new purpose in being an artist.
How did you first get into music? What sparked the interest?
I have been writing and singing songs for as long as I remember, but moving to America really changed that. I felt like there was this pressure to not disappoint my parents and waste my time with this fantasy. I knew I was crazy enough to want it but felt like I owed them a doctor or a lawyer degree. It took me a long time to shake that off. The first years, I was just trying to hang out with people that made music. Then I worked up to “ I want to make music” . I eventually was in a band hiding somewhere in the back while losing my mind, to finally “Hey, I am ILTON and I make music”. Quite the trip.
You’re originally from Greece but moved to the US, do you think this had any impact on your sound?
Hell yeah! I am about to release my first song in greek. it’s so rockstar to not really stick to a genre, a sound or even a target a specific market. I am in awe of international artists that cross over into the mainstream. They have this power to connect with that “je ne sais quoi”, with no limits and certainly no language barriers. In my head, I don’t see why we can’t have a #1 global hit in greek. Maybe it will be my song.
And now you’ve released the second single from your new EP “POTENTIAL”, talk us through the new single?
I was working on a bunch of tracks and really wanted to focus on an indie dance direction. This track steered the project to become more versatile when it comes to genre. I think it represents me better.
I wrote the lyrics and melody as a stream of thoughts and sent it to Aguava. He doesn’t usually say much, but I could tell by his very modest reaction that this was something we had to develop. He is incredible at capturing a moment. It’s a simple lo-fi hip hop beat, but there are so many elements and hints of Latin percussion and this infectious guitar riff that make it very groovy and special.
It’s a very vulnerable single and shines a new light on you, what was it like tapping in an emotional subject?
I was smiling the whole time recording the initial demo. The song is about that moment of needing to call a friend just to hear them say “it’s going to be alright”. I am a very strong person and I like to be self-sufficient, but there are a few select friends that at this point should be charging me for therapy. I really don’t know how they still put up with me. Either way, I’m thankful to have a strong support system in my life, and I want anyone that’s scared to show a soft side to open up and allow people to help at times of weakness. This is the message here.
What do you want people to take away from your sound?
My most used dad joke is “Beyonce wasn’t built in a day”. This is a lot of work, and it takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there. I want people to see that fight and the process of getting where I am through the evolution of my artistry and skills. There are people that have followed me since my first release a couple of years back. They talk to me about their personal experiences and how much they appreciate seeing this journey. I guess technically they are fans, but I like to refer to them as “best friends”. Every time I put a track out, they get excited and really hype me up. That energy makes me feel like I ‘m on the right track and that the music is connecting.
And your EP, what can we expect?
Oh lord, I am so excited. It is so difficult to tell your story by releasing just singles. This is a chance for the listener to get to know me and be part of my world. Some of my favourite artists are the ones that I can just put on their album and listen to it from start to finish and then repeat it again. (Ctrl by SZA, I love that woman, she is god) . I also really gotta give a shout out to Allen Chen, Aguava. I have never worked with a producer that has been so hands-on to see the project through to the end. This really was such a collaborative effort and I learned so much. I am excited for you guys to listen to it. I‘m trying to be humble but I personally think It’s fire.
What’s next for you? What are you most excited for?
Before the world stopped, I was playing shows and rehearsing a lot with my band. Unfortunately, we all got separated so now I kinda have to go back in the drawing board and put it all back together. I want to be on stage very soon. That’s what I am looking forward to.