Ill Clinton - An Interview - OurVinyl
Ill clinton

Ill Clinton – An Interview


An interview with Ill Clinton, a slick instrumentalist hip hop producer from Philadelphia, who has just released his new album ‘DEPTHS’ (read the review of that stellar album here).

Q: First, what is the story behind ‘DEPTHS’, your newest album? How was it created, concepts behind the works, etc.?

I’ve always been real intrigued by the ocean, the animals in it, the different species that live at different levels of the ocean. I remember watching a documentary exploring the sea floor and being blown away by the life that lives so far down there. It takes a different creature to survive in that element and that’s something I can relate to. Gotta adapt. I wanted to create an album that explored the depths of me, my mind. Really bring an honest, personal feeling to the table. I wanted each song to make the listener feel a certain way, be able to connect to their own emotions through my music, or maybe even understand what I was feeling….if that makes any sense. I wanted to create a solid body of music. There was a certain mood I found myself in when this was created, and it shows.

Ill Clinton DepthsQ: What does DEPTHS mean to you? When creating it, was there a singular idea that drove the album?

To me, it’s about exploring beyond the surface of anything. It’s a play on words in a way. When you decide to go deeper than that and actually try to explain yourself, what you are feeling through your music, rather than just making a beat. Music has always been about feeling to me. I have no classical training in music; I just always knew that it made me feel a certain way. DEPTHS is about going beyond the surface. Leave it all out there, if they don’t like it…fuck it. That’s me…. A part of me at least.

Q: When approaching this album, were there any new ideas or approaches that were different from before?

I think over the past few instrumental projects I have worked on I’ve been sort of more focused on creating a single body of work, rather than a bunch of individual beats. I kind of gave up on the idea of making a “beat tape” in the classic sense, where the beats were seeking a home on a rappers album, or something. When I made SKYWALKEN, I felt like that really achieved the sound I was looking for, when I started working on Depths I knew that I wanted to take that and expand on it totally. I wanted this project to be the sum of all the experimentation I had been doing, really showcasing the way my sound has developed. I wanted it to sound different than anything else. I wanted it to have a feeling like nothing else.

Ill Clinton’s “Ill Bundy”

ill clinton interviewQ: What are your main influences? Whether other artists or people in your life, what drives you?

I think my main influence is stress. The whole process of creating, whether musically or through other mediums, is very stress relieving to me. It’s almost like if I don’t create I’m gonna lose my mind. There are a lot of other producers out there that I listen to and I think that is a big influence. Any music I hear that is different or innovative is very influencing. I wanna push my own limits, also. Making music is definitely a meditative process for me, it really helps me. My girl, my day to day life, I don’t know, I want to create something timeless. I have dreams.

Q: Is there a dream collaboration or a dream venue to play at? What is your goal being an artist? Is there even a goal?

Dream collaboration, huh? If it’s with a MC I gotta say Redman. That dude has been my favorite MC for a long time. He’s a huge influence on me. If it’s a producer? I gotta say right now, above all the greats, Dr. Quandary. That dude has shown me that you can extract human emotion through sounds. He has def been a big influence on my sound. I don’t think much about a venue, I’m not built to be on stage. I’m a humble dude. My goal as an artist is just to be honest and put out what’s true to you. That way I don’t have to wake up regretting anything. I’ll let the people who hear my music decide. The goal will always be to create the greatest beat of all time.

Q: Any last words?

Yeah, Peace to John E Cab. Us Natives Records, go cop our music Instrumentals from the soul. Nothing less. Thank you.

Written by Dylan Tracy

OurVinyl | Contributor