ILLY READY TO ROCK NIGHTQUARTER
Illy is not a man who does things half-heartedly. As of today, he’ll be halfway through a huge regional Catch 22 tour, with his Gold Coast show hitting NightQuarter Saturday night.
While he tours with the promise of getting “loose”, when you’re playing so many consecutive gigs Illy says it’s all about partying smarter, not harder.
“I’ve always put everything into the live show,” he says.
“I try my hardest, I never put in a half-arse show.
“The partying is definitely going to be cut back ... after so many shows there’ll be nothing left. A couple of years ago I had a bucks weekend in Adelaide and went straight from there to headlining in Coffs. That was probably the closest I’ve been to not being able to perform.
“But as soon as you get out there, you get the mojo.”
That’s Illy’s tip to curing a hangover – an eager and rowdy crowd waiting for you to step out and rap up a storm.
A typical Illy crowd these days is a bit of a mixture. The rapper has been one of the few who has successfully broken through into the commercial sphere, which the artist says has its pros and cons.
“All I can do is do the stuff I really believe in and stuff I’m passionate about,” Illy says.
“There are people who say, ‘I really miss what you used to do, I’m not with the new stuff,’ and I can’t be mad at that.
“I get it, it’s moved on a little bit and music is subjective. If people don’t like it, that’s cool.
“As long as they’re saying it with a good intention, not insulting, it’s all good.
“I thank anyone who’s ever listened to my music.”
Of course, the commercial listeners are certainly helping Illy embark on mammoth tours and hit No. 1 on the ARIA charts.
They’re also helping him make a name for himself internationally, which will play a large role in his next steps after this tour.
“After the tour I’ll be moving to New York with the intention to push the song writing that I’ve been trying and wanting to do for other people for a while,” he says.
“There’s been a bit of momentum with Papercuts and Tightrope and Catch 22 – songs I’ve written crossing over outside hip hop.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Now’s a good time.”
Illy performs at NightQuarter on Saturday. Tickets available from nightquarter.com.au
Australian rapper Illy is hitting NightQuarter on Saturday night.