Illenium Tells Us How His Life Has Changed in the Past Two Years
Nick Miller, AKA Illenium, is a Colorado local who is quickly on the rise to the very top. You might know him for his melodic bass music originals, his remixes and features with artists like Kaskade, Zeds Dead, Odesza, and Seven Lions, or that one time he stole your heart when you randomly stumbled into his set at massive music festivals such as Electric Forest, EDC Las Vegas, and Bonarroo.
Speaking of Electric Forest, this isn't my first time chatting with Nick. In 2015, the same year as his first festival performance at Electric Forest, the man himself was kind enough to speak with me backstage at Decadence NYE in Denver, Colorado where we both live.
Now, in 2017, Illenium is back with his new Awake album and tour. Given that his first stop at 1st Bank Center on November 10th in Broomfield, Colorado is one of his biggest headliner shows to date, I felt it would be a great time to follow up with Nick to see how things have been going.
iEDM: We last spoke in 2015, which was a HUGE year for you. You played your first festival at Electric Forest, along with several others including Global Dance Festival, Dancefestopia, and Imagine Festival. Here you are, you have dropped a few albums, performed at countless festivals across the country, and touched the lives of millions with your music. My first question, how do you feel?
Illenium: Humbled and grateful. I never thought I'd get to this point. I wouldn't be where I am today without the support of my fans, family, and friends.
iEDM: When asked what your spirit animal was, you told us "a phoenix" due to a dark past and music helping you rise out of the ashes. However, to this day, your music is still very emotional and personal. How do you come up with your content? Is there a story behind your music?
Illenium: I try to make honest music that people can connect with. I've gone through a lot of ups and downs in my life and I feel like people relate to that. The content comes from experiences I've had and emotions I've felt. A lot of times the story behind it is a mixture of different things. What's important to me is that a listener can identify with a song and that it evokes some kind of feeling in them.
iEDM: Standing by your melodic roots, you mentioned that you also felt your fans would accept it if you dropped a trap single, or something else outside of the standard Illenium "genre." Do you still feel that way now? Give us some examples.
Illenium: I'm always trying to grow and part of that is experimenting with new things. My fan base has been incredibly accepting and open to that. The Awake album has a lot of alt/rock influence and I have some heavier stuff on the way that will be a departure from the emotional melodic. I'll always stay close to my roots but sometimes it's fun to do something different.
iEDM: When asked if you could have any mentor in the world, you told us you choose your dad because he's supportive of following your passion and is a giving person. Discuss a little about a time that you gave back to your community, or a time you're fond of when others gave back.
Illenium: Recently we did a campaign with Lights All Night that was a fundraiser to support victims of Hurricane Harvey. We've also done initiatives to support clean water with Electric Family. Its been great seeing so many people in the scene giving back to the community however they can.
iEDM: Your latest Awake LP is everything your fans have been waiting for. You're peaking at #3 on Billboard's 'Top Dance/Electronic Albums' and Fractures has over 5 million plays on Soundcloud! Tell us a little about the creation process, and what the album means to you personally.
Illenium: I worked on Awake for a year and a half during a time of seemingly nonstop shows and life changes. It was tough creating on the road and getting it to the level that I wanted but I'm super happy with the result. Thematically the album is a journey from a place of loss to one of hope and creating it was an emotional experience for me. The support it's received has been amazing.
iEDM: Your Awake Tour with Minnesota, Vanic, Dabin, Echoes, and Said the Sky kicks off in your home-state of Colorado early November and it already has some sold-out dates on it. You have almost 30 stops on this tour, are there any cities that you're particularly excited for? and what can fans expect from this tour as a whole?
Illenium: I'm most excited for the cities I haven't had the opportunity to perform at before and connecting with people who might be seeing an Illenium show for the first time. I'll be playing a live set every night and I can't wait for people to see the production and visuals. We're rehearsing the show right now and I'm stoked for how it's turning out!
iEDM: We have a fan question for you, Darien from Colorado Springs says, "A lot of people are so emotionally invested when it comes to your music and seeing you perform. They have all these personal stories about how you have changed their lives.. I would like to know how it makes you feel as the artist moving all these people."
Illenium: I love hearing stories about how my music has helped someone through loss, grief, or helped them make a positive life change. It's an honor to be a part of that. Music has helped me through some really difficult times so I totally get it and it's cool to be on the other side of that for another person.
iEDM: You told us in 2015 that your New Years resolution was to spend more time outdoors. Though we're sure you're still extremely busy with your music and your tour, did you get a chance to do this? Tell us about your favorite or ideal outdoor adventure.
Illenium: I was able to go to Hawaii recently which is probably my new favorite place. It's beautiful there and I did a lot of hiking and spent most of my time outdoors. Definitely will be going back.
iEDM: Do you have anything else you'd like to say to your fans?
Illenium: Illenials are the best fans in the world! Thank you for the support and for being a family to each other :)
A huge thank you to Nick and his management team for setting up this interview. Check out more Artist Interviews on iEDM HERE.