Interview: Toronto's illVibe


[Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with one of the most well spoken and inspirational artists I’ve ever met. Illvibe. An articulate, driven rapper that made it clear to me he is not up and coming, he is here and ready!]

Tell me your process when creating an album, some artists lock themselves away from the world, no phone or computer.

I want to have the most impact as possible, I look for tracks that have the most impact, whether it be piano piece or a sick beat I’m trying to be the most efficient artist, I try to create impactful and emotional music.

What has been your biggest obstacle trying to move forward in the industry?


To be honest it’s money bro, the business is here in Canada, there’s a lot of good talent, and people and mentors, but almost everyone is struggling financially. So basically you are getting mentored by someone who is struggling financially, but that’s the business. I have high expectations in my life, and I don’t necessarily want to be rich however I don’t want to be struggling my whole life. My video’s are god sent, I started producing videos 2 years ago myself, YouTube is a great tool. I couldn’t pay someone to edit my work so I figured why not I try and see if I could do it myself.

Where or who do you draw inspiration from?

I really write about life, if there is one thing I’m going for is I kind of just put it out there, I’ll write about a break up in a pretty real way. I’ll write, about struggling financially pretty specifically. I draw inspiration from Blues, and old Motown you know?Gritty real life stuff.

Tell me how it was recording Don’t Look Down ft. QShinobi?

That was the concept track of the album and the whole idea behind that is, I’ve been working and climbing towards this goal for so many years, things are happening, you don’t want look down or behind, there is no time to hesitate. Everything I’ve ever wanted is right here right now. Well not everything, but a lot of the things I envisioned and dreamed are happening.

You’ve obviously performed a lot and most of it aboard, where is your favorite place to perform and why?

My favorite experience was Paris because it’s the only place I’ve ever played where they didn’t know my language but they tried to sing along to my music. It’s sounds kind of cliché when I say that but that was definitely my favourite experience. But my favourite place was Bristol, England. Hip-hop is so alive there it’s crazy they just love talent and love hip-hop.

What advice could you give to young rappers in Toronto trying to make it in this industry?

I would say focus on having a voice & something distinct about you, for me it’s actually my voice, but it’s important to have something different about you that can be explained.

PSssst – Ill was kind enough to invite us out to his first Survival of the Illest event. Basically it’s a platform for the best of the best in the rap community. About 8 local acts, 10min sets, industry judges pick the favorite 2 acts, and then the audience picks the winner. The winner receives a free music video from Ill himself, a free album cover, a new logo design and cash from the door. The first Survival of the Illest was a complete success. Round 2 is coming up Sept 21st at Rancho Relaxo in Toronto! Be sure to come out and show our boy some love!

Don’t Kill Me, Cee Jay Gi

InterviewsConway Gaskin