|Meet the Russian electronic pop artist I.L.Y.A. (I Leave You Amazed). He recently put out his new EP Hybrid. Inspired by his transition from Moscow to New York City, I.L.Y.A has created a 6-track EP that experiments with the sounds of both European and American underground and pop music.|
|I.L.Y.A.’s EP also includes lyrics that pull from his worldly perspective as heard in his first single “Pour It Out”. The track lyrically enforces the process of letting go and is enhanced with a minor downbeat arrangement. As a songwriter and producer, I.L.Y.A. brings purposeful lyrics to hooky melodies that make his music addictive.|
|Listen to “Pour It Out”|
|I.L.Y.A. has also released the music video for “Pour It Out.” Directed by Madina Akhmedova and through their collaboration, both I.L.Y.A. and Akhmedova were able to create a symbolic visual piece of who I.L.Y.A. is as an artist.|
|Originally from Moscow, Russia, I.L.Y.A. began exploring music producing in 2008 with GarageBand. By 2014, he released his first single “Talk To Me” and followed up with his 2015 EP Music For You. Gaining traction in Russia and wanting to explore musically, I.L.Y.A. made the decision to venture to New York City in 2018 where the diverse artistic space has only fueled his creativity. He released his first US-inspired single “Franklin”, which was praised by KALTBLUT Magazine, “his sunny demeanor is as effortless as the ease with which he flits between his songs and delivery.” Now I.L.Y.A.’s ready to bring more hybrid music to his fans.|
Learn more about I.L.Y.A in the following All Access interview:
What does a typical day look like for you? What do you have scheduled for the rest of today and this week?
Well, I don’t really have a “typical day”. But if we kinda unify all my days, I’d say that in a morning I usually do some work stuff, then I may work on my music, after some lunch I may go to explore the city to visit some nice places by myself then I usually go to my gym to workout after, and by the end of the day I may meet with my friends to hang out. Now I feel like I gave you a perfect spying tool. I hope it’s in the right hands (laughing). In general, it’s essential for me to learn something new every day or you know keep going towards set goals. I think you need to work on it every day.
Now that we are in the latter half of the year, how has 2019 treated you? What are some goals that you have had for yourself this year? How close are you to reaching them or did you already? What are you already excited about for 2020?
My main goal was to release my EP with all follow-up music videos that gain more attention of listeners than my previous releases and this goal is complete. I’m very happy about it. But I also planned to release more new music by the end of this year following 2020. So, I’m very excited about it. You just need to be persistent to stay on track and follow your plan.
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be in this industry? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
You know it was quite natural for me in away. I’ve been into music all my life. I remember how I used to listen to lots of 80s-90s music when I was a kid and I was charmed by their groove and catchiness. I know the exact moment when I realized that I had that need to make my own music. It was when I listened to the first songs from Lady GaGa’s debut album “The Fame”. It was so outstanding and groundbreaking for that time. It was a fresh angle on all pop music and those days I started writing my first songs. I wanted to make sound pop and unique at the same time and I also tried to deliver some important messages with these songs and that’s actually what I still perceive. I evolved in my skills but my definitive points are mostly the same
Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing? Would you be as fulfilled in life?
Sometimes I may have these periods without having inspiration for new songs and I feel that maybe I can switch to something else but later when something inspires me and I write bunch of songs in a few days I really feel that’s my favorite thing to do while I’m in all process of it from the first melody ideas to the final release of a project. I love every stage of it. That’s my thing and I don’t really see myself somewhere else but since you’re asking I’d say that being a travel blogger could be my thing. I already give lots of advice on trips wherever I travel.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all? What has been the best part of it all?
I’d say that I’m still waiting for that big surprise that can wow me because for now, it’s all the results of developing my career. But now, I’m very happy that I gain even more traction with my recent EP and more people started listening to my songs. That means I’m on the right way.
Let’s talk about your latest EP, “Hybrid.” What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you about the overall process? How did moving from Moscow to New York City influence this EP?
In the beginning, when I hadn’t figured out the concept of the EP, I wanted to make it super cohesive but then suddenly it dawned on me that my cohesion is versatility. It’s just who I am and it became so clear to me. I wanted to repress different music styles on EP while delivering catchy and meaningful music.
That EP definitely contains that part of my transition from Moscow to New York. An equal amount of songs were recorded in both cities. The selection process was quite challenging because I wanted to put my best songs on that record. Thus, I believe that everyone can find “his” song on that EP because it’s true mix of music styles, topics, and music backgrounds.
Where can people see you perform next? Do you have any fall tour dates scheduled yet?
We’re still working on booking the venues so I don’t have any precise information on that topic but I’ll be definitely performing soon, at least in NYC.
How do you think you have grown as a musician since you first started making music?
Yeah, for sure. I’ve been developing my music production, songwriting, and vocal skills by taking classes, attending different music industry events and self-studying but of course, my vision of my artist identity also got clear.
How do you feel about social media? What has social media done for your career so far?
I would say that Instagram is quite essential, Facebook is good in finding people you need and YouTube is just a platform for my music video placement. I’m really confused about how a growth mechanism works there.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
Lady Gaga, you could guess that earlier. I listen to different music so that list is really versatile., for example, Tame Impala, Lana Del Rey, Grimes, the Black Eyed Peas, Troye Sivan, Scissor Sisters, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Charle XCX. I hope someday I’ll have an opportunity to work with at least some of them. I just feel it should bear under certain circumstances when you have some kind of chemistry when you’re really on one wave and you write something special then. I’m not really into collabs when it’s just about to make any song with the artist just to have it, to make it done. All my collaboration choices are for something really special and I want to keep doing it that way with local artists.
If you had an unlimited budget and your schedule was free, what would your dream music video look like?
Well, it all depends on a song. I have a vision for a music video for each song I write. And these concepts really differ. What came into my mind first is if I had to make a music video about ecology issues or humanitarian problems, or people’s unity (I got a song for that) I would love to shoot it somewhere in places like Greenland, Iceland or Patagonia with all these astonishing views and locals so we can show the imbalance and some genuine values. I’d love that.
Where would you love to hear a song of yours played?
Everywhere! (laughing) A good song should be played everywhere. From a pharmacy when I pick up my prescription to a gym where I workout. That would be a victory. I mean the more plays the more people can listen to important messages that I put it mays songs. That’s my goal, sense-full pop music.
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
I would like to inspire people for bigger deeds and raise their awareness on some topics as well as elevating the mood because that’s in music core, right? In my opinion, that’s what meaningful pop music stands for.
Would you like to share anything else about yourself or your music with our readers?
Just follow your dreams because self-realization is a thing that really makes us happy. Big dreamers are really the people that push our world further and you can become one of them.