[INTERVIEW] Skysia + illoh Share Collaborative Single "Fragments," Instrumental Backgrounds, + More
Every once in a while, a song comes along that takes you out of the current moment and transports you into an otherworldly dimension. That song may even come with an overwhelming sense of euphoria as goosebump-like chills flood your senses every time you listen. When electronic producers Skysia and illoh merged together, they created a track that excels beyond musical escapism.
Released September 23, 2022, “Fragments” is filled with organic sounds and deep experimental bass that take you on a vivid journey through space and time. Perfectly blending their respected styles into one concise sound Skysia and illoh captured the essence of an enchanted forest through mind-expanding sonic frequencies that are both stimulating and meditative.
“Fragments” starts off with soft celestial voices over ethereal soundscapes that progressively pull you in. Just as you are being lulled into a warm, meditative state, deep bass takes over as you’re propelled into the void and taken on a tripped-out adventure through sound and nature. Not only does “Fragments embody the healing ambiance of nature itself, but it stands as an extraordinary example of the beauty electronic music can offer. iEDM caught up with both Skysia and illoh to further discuss the inspiration behind “Fragments,” their chemistry of their production styles, and more.
Check out iEDM's exclusive interview with Skysia and illoh below.
iEDM: Fragments has officially dropped! How does it feel to release a track of this magnitude together?
illoh: Phenomenal! Working with Skysia helped to bring out certain sounds that I have been pursuing for such a long time. I couldn't be more happy to have this track finally be heard.
Skysia: Feels like we really created some magic on this one. I've been playing this track out at shows and festivals for a bit now, and seeing such an awesome crowd reaction makes me extra excited for its release.
iEDM: How did you two come across each other and how did the idea of collaboration come to fruition?
illoh: I've been a Skysia fan for a long time. To me, he has always represented a genre that has a certain allure outside of bass music. When he reached out via DM to give props, I jumped at the opportunity to ask to collaborate.
Skysia: I really discovered illoh through a track he released called "Go There." And have been a fan ever since. Everything he's put out has been amazing! I knew our sounds would mesh really well together.
iEDM: While this is the first-ever Skysia and illoh collab, "Fragments" as a whole is extremely fluid, with both of your styles perfectly fusing into one concise sound. What was the chemistry like between you two while making the track?
illoh: Sometimes, a collaboration is as simple as sending a project file back and forth, but that was not the case here. We found ourselves having deeper conversations surrounding music as a whole, as well as discussing the track extensively. Communication was top-notch, and I think that resulted in a cohesive single-minded track. We found that our production styles and strong suits complement each other very well.
Skysia: For me, this was the most graceful collaboration I've ever been a part of. The initial idea came out rather quickly. We also never let the idea sit for too long. Whenever one of us sent the project back, we hoped on it ASAP. This led to a cohesive story. Working with Alec was an amazing experience! We were always on the same page about what the track needed, and we put much more focus on the story and theme, which helped us stay on track.
iEDM: What is it about your production syles that work together so well?
illoh: Skysia's musicality, lush atmospheres, and crisp vocal work provide an excellent foundation for the more experimental side of bass sound design. This yin & yang was the status quo of our workflow together. We both stepped into each other's musical realms and played off our individual styles, and the track that resulted shows that.
iEDM: The sound you guys created on "Fragments" has such a mystifying draw that really takes you on a journey. Is there a particular feeling or emotion you were trying to capture?
Skysia: Before I start working on a track, I like to envision an environment and almost create a scene in my mind. For this, I kept picturing being lost in a forest while distant voices pull us toward an unknown void. I liked this feeling of entering the unknown and stepping outside our comfort zones. To me, this track emulates feeling safe to explore new realms.
iEDM: It's clear that nature itself played a profound role in the inspiration for "Fragments". Is there any outdoor hobby or activity, in particular, you guys do to channel that inspiration?
illoh: Camping in the mountains of Colorado. Phone off tucked away in the car for 48 hours. Spending quiet time alone amongst the aspens.
Skysia: I think most of my tracks embody elements of nature. I love going on long hikes and really getting lost in that environment. Usually, my hikes are anywhere from 9 to 15 miles round trip and take me all day to complete. I usually go alone, and it's a perfect time for me to reflect and clear my mind. This plays an integral role in the sounds I create.
iEDM: You both come from instrumental backgrounds, with Skysia with the piano and illoh with the bass guitar. Do you feel the knowledge you've acquired from playing instruments helps you create music that's more so a composition such as Fragments than a typical bass track?
illoh: Playing the bass guitar gave me an appreciation for groove and low frequency, but not for composition. Playing the double bass in an orchestra was what really opened up the world of composition for me. Progression, dynamics, and contrast can fill a single note with so much emotion.
Skysia: Learning the piano taught me how to translate my feelings and emotions into a song. I think emotions are the backbone of composition. They lend themselves to the story and the journey you take the listener on. So I think having a background in an emotive instrument like piano helps me craft better stories.
iEDM: Lastly, can we expect any more Skysia & illoh collabs in the future?
illoh: Yes. You can.
Skysia: We actually wanted to make a full EP after we finished this track, but our busy schedules held us back. We definitely plan to make more tunes together!
Photos courtesy of Skysia + illoh
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