After solidifying himself as one of the nationâ€™s most prominent hip hop artists, emcee Illy is ready to ditch the temperamental bitch Melbourne calls weather for some sunshine at this yearâ€™s Sprung Festival and 600 Sounds.
â€œIâ€™m really looking forward to both days,â€ Illy says. â€œBliss N Eso and Drapht are both mates playing at 600 Sounds and Sprungâ€™s line-up is crazy! I guess just getting up to Queensland, being among a bunch of cool crew and enjoying the nice weather and some good music should be really fun.â€
First realising his dream at just 13, the now 26-year-old Melburnian has toured the country extensively, performing sold-out shows with M-Phazes after the release of his sophomore album, â€˜The Chaseâ€™, late last year. â€œHaving â€˜Picturesâ€™ come #66 in Triple Jâ€™s Hottest 100 last year and then â€˜It Can Waitâ€™ reach #29 this year was awesome, not to mention playing Pyramid (Rock Festival) last New Yearâ€™s as well as Splendour, the Melbourne shows, and selling out an entire tour. Thereâ€™s been a lot of pinch-yourself moments lately and hopefully thereâ€™s still a lot more yet to come.â€
While â€˜The Chaseâ€™ has received rave reviews all around, producing the album was nothing less than an all-consuming effort in between touring and completing a law degree at Monash University. There were points when the workload just seemed overwhelming. â€œIt was pretty hectic making â€˜The Chaseâ€™. I was still a full-time student and I was touring flat out so there were times when it got pretty ridiculous. The whole concept behind â€˜The Chaseâ€™ was that at the time I was making it I was pursuing three different things: touring, making the album and finishing uni. I was chasing these three different goals but not actually realising any of them.â€
Now less than two weeks away from graduating, Illy has his head on his shoulders and a strong plan for the future. â€œIâ€™ve always said I wanted to push this as far as I could before I turn to a career, I just wanted to have the degree behind me. After graduation Iâ€™ll hopefully have a couple of years of just being able to focus on the music and see what happens there before I chuck on a suit and tie.â€
ILLY PLAYS SPRUNG FESTIVAL AT THE BRISBANE RIVERSTAGE THIS SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15 AND 600 SOUNDS - ON THE GOLD COAST - FRIDAY OCTOBER 21.