INTERVIEW: illstrtd Talks Future R&B & New Single “Wings”


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It’s been almost a month since the release of illstrd’s new single “Wings”. The silky smooth Nu Disco track had us in love from the first time we heard it so we decided to catch up with the producer to get some details on the new track and the future R&B genre as a whole.

How did you first get into music production?

I started off making Hip Hop & R&B beats in my bedroom and posting them on myspace in high school. As I progressed and went deeper into production, I started experimenting with different genres and eventually carved out my own sound, combining electronic music with R&B and Soul influences.

What are some of the elements of R&B that really appeal to you as a fan of the genre?

To me it’s all about the chords. I love the chord progressions that you only hear in R&B and Soul music and so combining that with forward thinking electronic sounds is super exciting.

Where did you first get the inspiration to blend R&B with modern electronic production styles?

It would have to be hearing Cashmere Cat for the first time. His production is incredible. I had never heard beats like that before. He had real pretty R&B chords with super trappy sounds and electronic arrangements, with no vocals. Hearing his music opened up that world for me for sure.

How did remixing songs like “No Scrubs” by TLC on your #throwbacktothe90s mixtape inspire your new single “Wings”?

Actually I produced Wings halfway through the time the mixtape was finished. I think the mixtape allowed me to really experiment with different sounds & samples and bring a lot of different influences into my sound, and you can definitely hear that bleed over into the production on Wings.

Your new single is labeled as Future R&B. Can you explain to us the idea behind the genre and what sort of characteristics songs in that genre have?

I guess basically it’s a cross between the Future Bass genre and R&B music. It’s combining R&B chords and sometimes vocals with the electronic sounds and synths you hear in Future Bass music.