We here at Colorado Culture are proud to announce our involvement with this year’s Global Dance Festival! And, in an effort to stay true to who we are as a company: our sole purpose being to bring Colorado culture to Colorado people, we’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to some of our favorite acts who will be rocking the stages at Red Rocks later this month. With that in mind; please take a brief moment out of your day to meet one of our favorite artists out there:Illenium.
We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit down with Illenium, aka Nick Miller, and steal a few minutes of his time recently; fortunate because his time is becoming exponentially more valuable by the day. Currently, he's hard at work preparing something special to be unleashed for the first time at Global this year…but more on that in a bit. Despite Global being the initial focus of our conversation, we always seemed to circle back to life, love, and the never-ending pursuit of musical bliss.
We’d be lying if we said we hadn't been looking forward to this opportunity for quite some time. Illenium first showed up on our radar a little under a year ago, and blew us away with his melding of melodic dubstep, house, and trap. At the time, shortly after a close personal friend of Colorado Culture and loyal fan of Illenium introduced us to him, he had a few thousand followers on Soundcloud, a number comparable to our own social media following. Less than a year later, he has over 60,000. Same timeframe: his tracks had a few thousand total plays, at present time he's got well over a million. Needless to say, but we'll say it anyway: Nick's come a long way in such a short time….and continues to evolve and grow.
Born and raised in northern California, Nick can best be described as a humble dude who comes from humble beginnings. He moved to Colorado a few years ago for the same reason that so many others do: the mountains were calling. During his time up in the hills, he hoped to not only find and better himself as a person, but also to let the mountains and surrounding mainstay beauty and ambience of this incredible state speak to him; much like it speaks to all of us.
After a stretch during which he lived as a self-proclaimed “ski-bum”, he moved to Denver 2 years ago to further diversify his talent, and to tap into his love of music; a love that had been growing since childhood. With interests ranging from punk rock to hip hop, he’s found inspiration in everything that music is and can be, with no specific genre drawing more than the next. But as his love grew, so did his curiosity, and he wanted to learn more about the production side of it: the end goal being to earn a degree in the field. When we asked him what it was that inspired him to change his approach, the answer was much simpler than we could have imagined, and was very similar to a few of our own stories: “I saw my first Red Rocks show. Nectar. 3 years ago. After seeing “Butterfly” live, I went out and bought Ableton the next day. I was convinced I had to give my life to music”. Going forward, he was able to so immerse himself in Denver’s burgeoning music scene, that a year ago he left the formal studying behind in order to focus on producing his own art full time, something he had only previously dreamt of.
Like most artists, he tends to draw influence from his contemporaries: Porter Robinson, Odesza, and the aforementioned Bassnectar to name a few. However, he manages to create a sound that is unlike any other, leaving us with a feeling of joy and jubilation that can only come from a true connection with the music, not unlike that feeling of falling in love for the first time. It's a feeling that most people will never be so fortunate as to have the pleasure of experiencing multiple times, yet he brings it to us with every new release that he adds to his catalog. Whether it's an original like “So Wrong”, or a collab/remix like his newest release “Operate", which happens to be a Kill Paris original. His constant delivery of fresh sound almost seems “So Wrong" (yeah, that just happened).
Fast forward to present day, and here we are. Nick has not only had the experience of slaying smaller clubs like Beta, and larger venues like Red Rocks, but also bigger festivals like our own Decadence New Year’s Eve celebration, as well as the Electric Forest festival in Rothbury, Michigan-a little less than a month ago. The Culture Crew members who attended the Forest are in agreement that his performance was no doubt in the top three of the whole experience: he absolutely destroyed his set and left the crowd in an overwhelming consensus of awe. Now, he’s poised to bring his passion for music to Global, to continue his path as one of the best up and coming artists out there; and to share his love for life and music with anyone who is willing to put their ear to the ground….their hands in the air….and jam.
His set at Global will be a special one this year, as it’ll be new. A test run of sorts, as he looks to expand on his live performances: aiming to make them bigger and better than the last. He’ll be muting some of the instrumentation on his CDJs and playing some of his instruments and synths live: including a bunch of piano, and a taiko drum; much like the ones used by The Glitch Mob for their live sets. The goal of the new approach is to not only allow him to showcase just how multi-talented he is, but to also provide the crowd with that freshness we mentioned earlier: our own musical head-stash. That being said, and much like every Illenium set, he also wants to share with the crowd his love of both life and music, as that love is what he credits as his main inspiration; along with the love and support of his family, friends, and fans who allow him to continue to live his dream. He aims to touch a feeling with every piece of music that he makes, and onstage is where he is happiest.
Simply put, everything that Nick does as Illenium, he does for the love of music, the love of people, the love of life, and the eternal love of his family and friends. To hear Nick humbly tell it: "I couldn’t be anything without them, I couldn’t live this dream without all of you, I am blessed each and every day and I want to make sure you all know it”