“We don’t see our collaboration as a balance of opposing forces, but more as a reunion of ideas and sensitivity.” A transcendent conversation between sound and space, il:lo is an evocative musical journey fueled by the synergy of Dejan Dejado and Andreas Schütz. Despite living in different countries and operating within the constraints of time and distance, the duo deftly weaves a tapestry of emotion. With Myriad, their upcoming EP, the French electronic duo il:lo artfully expands their downtempo roots while exploring the realms of deep house and danceable sounds. One such example is their new single ‘Cynnes,’ a captivating and atmospheric track that seamlessly blends deep house with ethereal piano melodies and delicate vocal textures.
This deliberate evolution reflects not only in the music but also in the minimalistic architecture that graces the cover art, embodying the essence of stripping away the excess to reveal the true power within. This fusion of creative forces showcases the magic that emerges when Dejado and Schütz unite, exemplifying the power of collaboration and the boundless potential of growth and learning together.
In our interview, we delve into the story behind their latest release, the bond of their friendship, and the crucial role their fans’ feedback plays in their creative journey.
photography by Christophe Mauberqué
In your artwork, I see your love for nature. Is nature a source of strength for you in your creative process?
Indeed, for our single “biome,” we were inspired by nature to create a jungle atmosphere with organic elements. Hence, the cover with plants. But, in fact, for the majority of our covers, it’s more about architecture and the sky. They are often geometric and minimalist buildings, simply because we find them beautiful and we think that they fit well with our music.
Your new single, “Cynnes” is once again characterized by your signature minimalism, which emphasizes only the essential elements. Do you apply this minimalist approach to your everyday life as well?
It’s funny because we have the impression that, on the contrary, our songs are very rich with lots of superimposed elements. Our work sessions can approach a hundred tracks, but it’s very cool if people have the feeling that it’s minimalist because that’s our goal.
For my part (Dejan), I would say that I have a simple approach to life. I avoid the superfluous in my consumption, and I try to concentrate on moments of life with friends or family.
(Andreas) As Dejan, my everyday life is kind of simple too, filled with music, friends, and family.
A fan once described your music as “swimming in the clouds,” and I think that perfectly captures its essence. Are you pleased with this description of your music, and how important is the feedback from your fans to you?
We create music to make the listeners feel the same emotions as us when composing: melancholy, joy, depth, sweetness, etc. So when we get feedback from our fans telling us that they feel these emotions when listening to our music, that’s the best thing ever.
Our music is made to be listened to when traveling, on the train, on the plane, to escape from reality. Then diving into the clouds makes sense!
“I avoid the superfluous in my consumption, and I try to concentrate on moments of life with friends or family.” Dejan
Your musical style has continued to evolve over time. Do you let your current emotions guide your musical development, or do you stick to a specific concept?
Exactly, we let our current emotions guide our compositions, with the only limit being that we like it. So, in general, it’s the same sounds, melodies that come back and make the soul of our project. We are challenging ourselves by fixing other kinds of tempo and drums in our new projects; we try to visit other genres like deep house and UK garage.
Your music is influenced by a variety of sources. What particularly inspires your musical creativity the most?
For me (Dejan), the samples are my main source of inspiration. I listen to tons of sounds, and I build around the best sample I have found.
In your last track “Shifted,” you collaborated with singer Fractures. What was your experience like working with a singer for the first time, and did you learn anything new from the collaboration?
We’ve learned that collaboration is easy when the original materials are good. For “Shifted,” we listened to some of Fractures’ acapellas, and we chose the one we liked the most, and we built the track around it. It’s easier than sending beats and waiting for toplines from singers.
You have been friends since 2010, having met in Prague. Are there ups and downs in your friendship, or has it remained strong throughout the years?
We had a lot of downs at the beginning of our collaboration for the il:lo project, with all these bad times when a project flounders and takes a long time to launch. Being in the grip of doubts together causes conflict and uncertainty. We have learned a lot from that and have taken a step back to relativize and have less pressure in our music. And because the project is going well, there is more serenity and joy that is reflected in our relationship.
“We create music to make the listeners feel the same emotions as us when composing: melancholy, joy, depth, sweetness.”
The musical project “il:lo” represents the balance of opposing forces, like Yin and Yang. Do you have any solo projects in the works, or is that not a consideration at the moment?
Haha, we don’t know which one is the Yin or the Yang. We don’t see our collaboration as a balance of opposing forces, but more as a reunion of ideas and sensitivity. At the moment, we are only doing music together, and a solo project is not something we are thinking about.
What is the most beautiful word in French?
Ahah, it’s a difficult question; there are a lot of beautiful words in French. For me (Andreas), I would say ‘Retrouvailles,’ which means a meeting with people from whom we were separated. For Dejan, ‘Onomatopée’ is a written word used to transcribe an unarticulated sound, for example, ‘crac,’ ‘boum.’
What are you most excited about for the year 2023?
We will release a new EP and play a lot of shows, including our first US and Europe tours as headliners. This is really exciting!
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