Interview with CHiLL-iLL

Tell us about yourself, who are you and where do you come from?

Hi! My name is CHiLL-iLL and I’m an Austrian hip-hop-artist – active as a DJ, rapper and producer since 1999. Born in the year 1986 and raised in St. Pölten, lower Austria (near Vienna). In this last two decades I’ve released several albums and ep‘s and played more than 350 shows in Austria, Germany and Czech Republic. I’m also working as producer under the name of Mr. Freed – a brand new project with focus on instrumental music, between Boom-bap and Lofi sound. Furthermore I am involved in many other projects and collaborations (like Dynamic Drift, Steelsquad, Bad Breaks etc.).

How was your passion for music born? Who are your idols?

I was infected with the hip-hop virus in all its facets at a young age through the influence of my older siblings. Alternative and urban music was always there as a kid. Like many others from this generation, I was heavy influenced by the year 1999, where German rap had its first peak (acts like Freundeskreis, Curse, Samy Deluxe, Blumentopf and many more conscious rap) and I discovered this expression and passion for me as well. I started writing lyrics at first in standard German, later in Austrian dialect. After my first live experiences and DJ gigs, my interest in creating own beats grew quickly. Since then, most of the projects and recordings have been produced and recorded in my own SoulStormStudio.

What kind of music do you do?

The music of CHiLL-iLL stands for authentic, intelligent lyrics and conscious rap – pure melodic boom-bap production influenced by soul, jazz, electronic or reggae-music. The affinity to sampling and all those influences can be heard clearly in my music. Organic sounds combined with personal lyrics and positives vibes, as well as social-critical and political content.

What is the most important song for you? What message do you want to convey to the listener?

That’s a really hard question. Because there are many different songs with various concerns that are important to me as an artist and that I want to convey. It always depends on the situation in life. I think the best thing is when the listeners can identify with the music, when they can take something from the message and find themselves in it. Basically, I want to spread a good vibe. If I have to choose one of my catalog, I would say it’s my brand-new song “Raum & Zeit” (space & time) because it fits very well into the current time we all live in. There are too many favorite songs where I don’t know where to start. Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Anderson Paak, UK stuff from High Focus (Pitch 92, Four Owls etc.) or Megaloh from Germany. The list would be endless…

Why should a listener who doesn’t know you listen to your music?

I try to make catchy and authentic music that I also feel comfortable with. Who knows, maybe I can achieve something with the people already only with my beats and instrumentals. The rap songs are entirely in Austrian dialect, so not understandable for all people out there. But those who listen carefully to the lyrics and music can hopefully draw something positive from it. That’s my main goal as a rap-artist and beat producer. No matter in which country you live or language you speak – music is a universal language.

What are your future projects? Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

We can be curious, there are several projects and recordings in the pipeline including some international collaborations. My third solo album is coming next year with several guests on vocals as well as various musicians who complemented my beats. With rapper Antrue (of the Linz-based crew „Da Staummtisch“) is also a very exciting project in the making. Some releases with my new side project Mr. Freed will be also published on various labels in 2022. A lot of things are happening right now. So I don’t know what’s going on in 5 years. I try to make short-term plans in days like these – we will see. :)

Tell our readers a funny episode that happened in your career as an artist.

Never eat extensively directly before a live show! I can not recommend that in any case. A few years ago on stage it was very close and almost ended very badly for the first row. Luckily no one noticed ;-)