OG ILLA, 28 from Richmond VA did a little Q and A session about his new project, his craft, his individual sounds and betterment of himself! OG has been in the music industry for about 10 years but says the last 5 years he’s really buckled down to take music and develop his craft more serious. He credits his two engineers VNICE and DLP saying they’ve helped him a lot with the advancement of his career and becoming a better artist.
Q: How did you choose your name?
A: When I first started rapping I went by SO ILLA. I was still learning my craft and developing my sound. When I was finished my first album “Marijuana Made” my old head told me I had grown and I was OG ILLA now. So I stuck with it.
Q: How did you start, what’s your long term goal pertaining to music?
A: I started making music when I lost my soccer scholarship to VCU. I got really sick my freshman year of college and I couldn’t pursue my career any longer… I had a bug void in my life. I had always written poetry and had a love for music. One day my homie got me to put one of my poems to a beat and it just instantly clicked… I was obsessed and it was like an undying passion thats taken over ever since.
His Latest project title ZONE is available on Spotify, TIDAL, AppleMusic, iTunes, GooglePlay, Amazon, Bandcamp and all other major platforms. He released it early this month and had dope features and production from artists like Ponce DeLeioun, Ms Proper, Dyfferant Demeanor, Awkward Shaman and Dr Millionaire. He also says “I got a different producer for every track but I want to shout out Real $teeze, Vizzy Venus, Vonn Suave and Guerilla323 for taking a special interest in the project they really cared about the outcome and the music.” He also creedits Creative Addix for the Cover Art.
Q: How long were you working on the project before it was released?
A: A year and a half … we started in summer of 2015 and finished everything in summer of 2016 and spent months mixing, re-recording, mixing, re-recording and mastering.. it was a lot of work but we were diligent and the results reflected the time we put in.
Q: What’s your favorite track and why?
A: Picking a favorite track is like picking a favorite child but Sour power (the intro) was super special to me.. I was actually recording it when I got the call my boy Wag was killed… it took a lot in me to finish the track but I felt the need in my soul to finish the track and put some extra in it and get it done.. it meant a lot BC it’s the one song on the project he didn’t get to hear but I know he feels me … I know he wants me to keep working.
Q: Can we expect any visuals to match anytime soon?
A: Yea the “SORRY” video is out and has gained lots of attention … I’m blessed to be able to work with the people I’ve worked with like MrGoodEvening who shot/directed the video.. it was an amazing process and the visual was a movie… the actors did great too, I got 4 more videos I’ve shot dropping soon too… we just gonna keep building and keeping the music booming.
Q: What message did you want to get across to your listeners with this body of music?
A: Be yourself… this project is a reflection of a year in my life where I was living crazy.. it’s about living life in the game… drugs money chasing women partying … going crazy while enjoying it at the same time.. something i needed to get out my system
Q: How has your “fan base” reacted to this project ? What’s your plan to keep your base growing?
A: Man my fans have showed so much love.. sales streams have outnumbered everything I’ve ever done… I think ppl know i worked hard and they’ve been seeing me doing work and it’s paying off.. the blogs and websites have gotten a hold of it they been doing a lot to boost my buzz too.. I’m just blessed to be where I am now honestly it’s nothing more or less than that.
Q: How have you stayed true to what you stand for and your individual sound in an industry that’s continuously changing?
A: Yeah… I’m an indie artist thru and thru… I think that’s what’s worked for me so well is that I continue to make MY music… I mean it’s just love.
Q: What makes your music different from other artists in your area?
A: My sound my vibes… i was raised in the east end of Henrico in the ghetto until I was 10 then I was thrown in foster care and moved to the west end Henrico and it was like the total fuckin opposite… i was young and my eyes were opened I saw another side of life , a better side , a side I honestly never knew existed .. and I think that’s what you see with me… you feel an air of energy even when I’m talkin gritty .. I’m really that person… I seen all sides of life, I’ve lived it all … every bit of what I’m talkin bout is authentic.. and that’s what makes me who I am.. it’s all there.
Q: How have you grown and developed as an artist overtime?
A: My delivery has gotten stronger and MY FLOW!! My flow has just truly progressed. I’ve been able to make the music I want to make and HOW I want to make it .. the vibes is right and the ambition meets the talent
Q: What goals have you set for yourself to accomplish this year? What steps will you take to make that happen?
A: I mean I’ve already set it in motion. We are doing a nationwide tour and we are even going international performing in Canada… this is my 4th tour but I think it’s my most important BC I’m really building from the buzz of my current project.
Q: Is there anyone outside of your hometown that you’d like to collaborate with in the future?
A: I want to make a Collab project with Lil Wayne.. our energy would just be amazing on tracks…. I also want to work with LowKeyTreez and Young Crazy from 757.. they make cool music and I fuck wit the vibes heavy.
Q: Will you be participating in showcase events or doing more performances in 2k17?
A: Yeah like I said I’m gonna be on tour this year and trying to perform at a few festivals as well
Q: What’s one of your favorite activities outside of music? What’re some hobbies?
A: Soccer is my other love… and I’m completely obsessed with Harry Potter lol it’s my one nerdy thing for sure.
The final question I asked ILLA was How has music changed your life for the better, and he said “It’s made me accept faults about myself .. if you want to grow in life and music you have to be open minded and listen to feedback … everyone who has ever worked with me knows I’m open to criticism and feedback.. I work very hard on my sound and it to reflect my style and brand.. so it’s really taught me a lot ive traveled across the country and seen places I would’ve never seen or experienced without my music and that’s really a blessing in itself like my music has put me in cities all over the country , allowed me to travel and it humbles me .. music has taught me to deal with expectations better BC we live in an instant gratification world but you gotta be patient and if you truly love this music know you’re in it for the long haul… it’s not many people who make it overnight.”
Make sure to follow OG ILLA on all his social media handles: Twitter/Instagram: @HLGNLIFE, Soundcloud.com/HLGNLIFE and you can visit HLGNLIFE.BANDCAMP.com
Listen to ZONE HERE: https://hlgnlife.bandcamp.com/album/zone#_=_