“Too many artists are actively building their fan bases daily. If you’re not, then you are way behind. And don’t be afraid to invest in yourself, financially and education wise. Sharpen your mind, it is your most valuable asset.”

Check out the interview with Illiminate exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Silly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
Illiminate:
I had a great uncle who wrote songs for hymnals and my mom was a singer. I knew very young that music was where I wanted to put my efforts. I mostly looked up to Rage Against The Machine and my style developed from this aggressive type of flow. I identified with their executing songs with a purpose to bring about positive changes in society.

What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
Grind and hustle. It’s a new music industry today. Too many artists are actively building their fan bases daily. If you’re not, then you are way behind. And don’t be afraid to invest in yourself, financially and education wise. Sharpen your mind, it is your most valuable asset.

What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
Being a one stop shop is extremely taxing. Finding the time necessary to put plans into action is the most difficult. Being hands on with the business aspect and also trying to set time aside for being creative is almost impossible.

We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
Word of mouth is best, but it’s slow to come by. Purchasing ad space in genre specific publications and boosting post on social media are two avenues I have used with some degree of success. Pressing hardcopies of the record for promotional purposes is also an avenue I take to get out hard around my city.

Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
My city is Nashville. Being Music City does make it a tough crowd to impress. We have great appreciation of all styles of music. If you come here half-stepping, we can tell and even if you’re doing okay you may still be playing to a room full of artists with their arms crossed.

Where do you see yourself a year from today?
I still have a day job in audio shipping for Warner Music. I’ve been permitted to get in as many shows on the road as I can until the seasonal rush arrives. At that time I plan to stack OT hours and book heavy for the following quarter. A year from now I intend to be doing music full time, writing, recording, and touring.

Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
My two main musical influences are Rage Against The Machine and Tupac. Both I feel were at the pinnacle as far as content, delivery, and consistency. Today I look up to artists like Tech N9ne for being able to build a brand into a powerhouse without necessarily having to be put on by anyone or seeking out a record deal.

How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
There is good music coming out today, but you have to look for it. I don’t listen to the radio because it caters to people who don’t really care what good music is. As long as everyone else is listening to it then it’s good enough. Some good artists get in there by popular demand but for the most part you will be fed whatever they have interests in.

Where can we contact you and find you online?
Official website: www.grindhustlehustle.com
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/illiminate
Facebook: www.facebook.com/illiminatemusic
Instagram: @illiminate615
Snapchat: @illiminate615
Twitter: @illiminate615