The Edit

NowNextFuture: ill-esha


Altered State is Colorado-based DJ, artist and producer ill-esha’s debut album on Audio Network.

Influenced by her electronic club scene background, ill-esha brings a unique approach to creating soulful R&B, the product being an impactful hybrid of catchy bass driven melodies.

When and why did you start making music?

I was a piano player from a very young age, and transitioned into composing my first songs at the age of 11 when I joined my first band as a bass player.

I’m never content to explore only one aspect of something, so I became interested in singing, DJing, and electronic music production, and have been enjoying tying them together all since.

How did you get involved with Audio Network?

Turns out that my seemingly useless ability to churn out more music than I could handle for myself, actually had a purpose!

Audio Network was brought up by a few different colleagues, I was very excited to connect with the amazing crew and find out yes, there were different ways to release all the songs I was making.

What is your writing process?

Being a keyboardist, it always starts with the piano. Whether I’m jamming out chord ideas or quickly building a drum kit and tapping out rhythms, the groove and melodies inevitably emerge from my fingertips.

Occasionally I’ll get a really strong lead melody in my head and then it’s just a scramble to mock it up quickly so I can start building the tune. After that there’s a lot of happy sound effect accidents, and so it goes.

For those who haven’t heard the tracks yet, how would you describe them?

Dramatic, emotional R&B with a little of the dark side.

Ultimately, we all boil down to love and fear. I’ve always loved melodic music over the top of harder beats and bass, because to me it’s a metaphor for both these extremes.

That’s what I’m trying to express both lyrically and musically – the battle between the two. 

Find out what our NowNextFuture artists are listening to

How can you imagine your music being used?

The modern fast-paced lifestyle, having analogue feelings in a digital world, the battle between light and dark - these are common contrasts in life and in art both.

I definitely am hugely influenced by cinematic film scores - writing scores is another passion of mine - so I feel like a lot of my songs could underline pretty emotional moments in a piece.

What music do you listen to for inspiration? What are your musical influences?

I love artists using technology in exciting ways like Imogen Heap and Bjork. Early glitch-electronic artists like Telefon Tel Aviv and lush downtempo vibes of Bonobo.

I’m a long time Ninja Tune and Warp Records fan as well, and as a producer I’ve always been inspired by classic producers like the Neptunes and Timbaland. Aaliyah and Brandy’s melodies are a huge inspiration for my writing.

What are you listening to at the moment? Any artists or band you’d recommend?

I’m blown away by the DIY scene in music - kids producing from their parents’ basements.  

One of my favourite artists right now is Tennyson, an amazing duo melding electronic with free jazz polyrhythms. On a more pop tip, I am loving Kehlani, and Lido always blows me away.

Finally, what projects do you have coming up, and what are you looking forward to further ahead?

I’m doing a lot of exciting collaborations and remixes, as well as my group Rapper Chicks - I’m fuelled by community and interaction in my art, and really enjoying being inspired working with new people.

Preparing for this summer’s festival scene with appearances at Euphoria, Sonic Bloom, Moonshine, and Down to Earth coming up as well as more TBA!

More NowNextFuture artists:
Dan Weniger
Glen Gabriel
Andy Powell

Listen to Altered State now:



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