[INTERVIEW] CHYL Shares An Inside Look Into Her New Monstercat Collab, 'Ignite', Transitioning From Finance To Music, + More

CHYL, Ignite, Monstercat

| August 30, 2023

A DJing and production wizard when it comes to speed house, CHYL has proved to be one of the fastest rising stars in the electronic dance music scene. This Columbia University finance graduate turned EDM sensation has taken the music world by storm, carving out her niche in her surrounding high-energy subgenre.

With support from industry heavyweights like Habstrakt and Ghastly, CHYL's infectious personality and energetic tracks have earned her a dedicated following. From viral remixes to the mainstage at Insomniac's Countdown Festival, CHYL has consistently captivated her growing base of listeners and fans.

In this exclusive interview, we explored her latest collaboration, “Ignite,” with speed house pioneer Haus of Panda and multi-talented artist MYLK. Out on the prominent label Monstercat, this banger promises to set dancefloors ablaze with its high-octane beats and catchy melodies. CHYL enlightened us on the creative forces behind “Ignite” and the relentless pursuit of her passion, signifying that following one's dreams can lead to an incredible journey.

Check out iEDM's exclusive interview with CHYL below.


iEDM: Your new single “Ignite” is a collaboration with speed house pioneer Haus of Panda and vocalist MYLK. Can you share the process behind bringing together your distinct styles to create this track?

CHYL: It is actually a pretty cool story of how this song came together. When I was working on “Hachiroku” (my last release), I hit up MYLK because I used her Japanese Splice vocal sample pack in the song and asked if she wanted to be featured. She said no need because the sample pack is for public download. 

We kept in touch and after a while I sent her the instrumental for “Ignite” and she loved the idea and sent me original vocals for it. Haus of Panda and I always talked about collabing so I sent him this initial idea as well and he was into it. I worked with him on several different drop ideas and finally came to this final version; the first drop is a bit more Haus of Panda style and the second drop is a bit more of my style. I really think it’s a perfect combo of all of our visions.


iEDM: What sparked this collaboration and what were your favorite parts about working with Haus of Panda and MYLK on “Ignite”?

CHYL: Combining all of our styles was my favorite part about working on this track! The ideas came pretty naturally after getting MYLK’s vocals and it did not take that many rounds to finalize the track. I love how the first drop we used Panda’s typical square lead synth and the second drop we used my typical bouncy bass. 


iEDM: Collaborating with trailblazers like Haus of Panda is a significant step in any artist's career. How did this track contribute to your growth within the speed house genre and what does it mean to you to be able to work with Haus of Panda?

CHYL: I got really into speed house because of Haus of Panda and ALRT! So being able to collaborate with Haus of Panda is a milestone achieved for me. I also think because there are so few of us making speed house, it is really important for artists in this genre to collaborate with each other and show the strength of the community. 


iEDM: What soundscape, layer, or segment of “Ignite” are you most drawn to, and why? 

CHYL: In addition to the drops, which we are super proud of, I actually really love the buildups with MYLK’s rap vocals. I have never used rap vocals on builds before and it adds additional energy leading up to the drops. 


iEDM: How does the cover art for “Ignite” encapsulate its sonic vibe? What do you love the most in regard to the single’s artwork?

CHYL: I love the 3 characters on the artwork that represents all three of us! I think it is super cute. It was done by the same artist who drew the cover for “Fool Me”. I love this art style and hope to continue this style with Monstercat. 

CHYL, IgniteiEDM: The speed house movement is characterized by its high-energy beats and fast pace. How do you approach striking a balance between maintaining that speed while also infusing musicality and emotion into your songs?

CHYL: Speed house is definitely known for its high energy. For me, personally, I like to pair the high-energy drops with melodic vocals for the verses. It creates a lot of dynamics and emotions in my tracks. “Fool Me”, “Eclipse”, and “Ignite” are good examples of my style. 

iEDM: You have had the opportunity to perform “Ignite” at renowned festivals like EDC Las Vegas and HARD Summer. What makes this anthem primed for festival crowds, and how does it fit into the atmosphere of different stages and audiences? 

CHYL: At both EDC and HARD Summer, musical exportation and innovation is paramount. The high energy drops of “Ignite” create such an adrenaline rush on festival grounds, and I believe it’s what festival-goers were eager to hear. 


iEDM: What were the highlights from your set at HARD Summer? Which tracks do you think garnered the best crowd reactions?

CHYL: I played one of my best sets at HARD Summer! I think my mashups of pop tracks with my speed house and unreleased IDs resonated very well with the crowd. I am thankful and touched to see so many of my fans and ravers show up in the heat and jump with me at 2 PM. 

iEDM: Your live sets are known for their unrivaled energy. How do you curate your sets to provide an immersive experience for your audience while showcasing your signature style of speed house?

CHYL: I try to curate my set with a lot of fun edits that mixes well-known songs with speed house drops. I also play a lot of bass house in between and slower tempo tracks to create more dynamic. In general, if you come to my sets, it is a super fast and fun experience! 


iEDM: Your Formula-1-inspired racing brand is a unique element of your identity. How does this brand influence your music production and performances, and how does it tie into the theme of “Ignite”? What were the best moments from your EP release party at a K1 Speed location?

CHYL: I have been a big racing fan since last year (a Netflix documentary got me into it) and I am very inspired by how both Formula 1 and EDM are deeply rooted in the shared elements of adrenaline, energy, and intensity. Both evoke such a sense of excitement and push the boundaries of human experiences in their respective domains.

Especially with my main genre speed house — the pulsating bassline, intense drops, and fast-paced music connect with the concept of racing. This is what inspired me to create my brand around. I love the energy and I live for it! 

The EP release party was such a blast. It was perfect from beginning to end, and I am so happy Dim Mak and I pulled this off. My favorite moment was definitely playing the set while people were driving go-karts around me. 

iEDM: The content you make surrounding your project and new releases are so engaging and often hilarious! In what different ways do you brainstorm ideas and where do you look for inspiration? How do you analyze if the promotion is a solid fit for the release?

CHYL: I don’t think I’m a beast in social media but it is definitely important to try. I have a lot of random and wild ideas to promote my music, so sometimes I just throw it out there and see what sticks. 

In terms of process, it’s kind of random. I try not to overthink it and just go with whatever I think might be entertaining. Being your most authentic self is the most essential factor.  

iEDM: From finance to dance music production, your journey has been inspiring. How does your finance background inform your approach to the music industry, and how have you managed to find success in such a competitive field?

CHYL: Making the leap from finance to dance music production has been one wild ride, and I have got to say, my finance background has been an unexpected asset on this journey. The best thing I have taken away from working in banking was the discipline. I treat every week as work days and I have a very strict work schedule for myself. 


iEDM: What was the toughest challenge you faced when transitioning from finance to your music career, and how did you overcome it?

CHYL: The transition from finance to pursuing a career in music definitely had its fair share of challenges, but one of the toughest hurdles I faced was self-doubt. Stepping into a completely new industry, I questioned whether I had what it took to make a mark and succeed. The fear of the unknown and the comparisons to my previous career path weighed heavily on my mind.

Overcoming this challenge required a combination of self-belief, resilience, and a strong support system. I constantly reminded myself of the passion that fueled my decision to switch careers, and I began surrounding myself with a positive and encouraging network of friends, mentors, and fellow musicians who believed in my potential. A good support system is very essential. 


iEDM: With the music industry being pretty demanding, how do you prioritize self-care and personal life equilibrium amidst a busy schedule of producing, performing, and promoting your music?

CHYL: One of the strategies I have adopted is setting clear boundaries. I establish dedicated work hours and personal time, and I make sure to stick to them as much as possible. This helps prevent burnout and ensures that I have quality time to recharge and focus on other aspects of my life. Incorporating self-care and exercise has also been key – doing activities that allow me to disconnect from work temporarily can help a lot with mental and physical health. 


iEDM: You have signed with labels like Monstercat, Bassrush, and Dim Mak, which all have diverse audiences. How do you adapt your productions to resonate with various listeners while staying true to your musical identity?

CHYL: I always stay true to my musical identity with my production, but yes, with different labels there are different styles they look for. For Monstercat, I have been submitting the tracks that are slightly more melodic, emotional, and light-hearted. With Dim Mak, I submit the tracks that are straight up club bangers that pop off live. I try to match the style of the labels with my releases. 


iEDM: The electronic music scene is continuously evolving. How do you maintain your creative edge and innovation in the speed house genre to stand out amidst the evolving trends?

CHYL: Collaborating with different artists has been very inspiring to me. I have had the pleasure of working with different artists in genres such as Melodic Bass, Psytrance, Electro House, Bass House, and more. It keeps my production fresh and it is always a great learning experience collaborating with other artists. 


iEDM: As you continue to build your presence in the EDM circuit, what message or feeling do you hope your music conveys to your listeners, especially those who are new to the speed house genre?

CHYL: I want my music to communicate not just the energy but also the power of pushing boundaries and embracing the unknown. Speed house, being a genre that is quite new, is a reflection of this fusion. I hope my music encourages listeners to step out of their comfort zones and to explore new sounds and experiences. 


iEDM: With the speed house genre gaining traction, how do you see the future of this movement evolving, and what role do you aim to play in shaping its direction?

CHYL: As speed house gains more momentum, its future is an exciting canvas of possibilities. I anticipate further experimentation and genre-blending. Just as speed house with Haus of Panda emerged from the electronic dance music landscape, I believe it will continue to absorb influences from other genres, creating fresh and innovative sounds that captivate audiences. 

As a producer focused on speed house, I hope to inspire a growing community of producers, DJs, and fans who rally around this genre. The energy of speed house is contagious, and I am confident this community will keep expanding. 


iEDM: What can we expect from you in terms of upcoming releases and projects? Is there anything in particular you are really excited about?

CHYL: Currently, I am working on my next EP and have more singles coming with Monstercat in the near future. I am excited to release more tracks showcasing different styles, blending speed house with other genres. I’m very stoked to see what the future holds! 


Photos courtesy of CHYL.


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Connor Phillips


Fueled by his passion for EDM, Connor’s life revolves around dance music and its ability to bring people together. Raised in upstate New York, Connor was deprived of festivals and raves until he attended Florida State University, where he was instantly hooked. Fast-forward to today and Connor has become a house and melodic techno DJ, an avid EDM-based interviewer and writer, and has worked PR for the likes of Matroda, Bleu Clair, and other new-wave house icons.

Outside of music, Connor loves pretty much any sport (huge Knicks, Yankees, and NY Giants fan), going on hikes, traveling, and food. Based in Florida, there’s a good chance you will eventually run into Connor at one of the popular festivals and clubs throughout the state.

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