As the excitement for Malaysia’s most epic cruise party continues to build, we took a moment to speak to one of the acts from the It’s The Ship lineup who will be pretty much (but happily) stranded on the ship with everyone else, Jillionaire. Otherwise known as part of the Major Lazer trio. Also known as “Jilli”. But we’ll introduce him to you as Chris 🙂
Not a complete stranger to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Chris has been here previously with the Major Lazer crew. Here’s the thing though – he’ll be playing a solo set at It’s The Ship for the first time ever to a Malaysian crowd. Is it going to be challenging for him? Has he already got his set planned out? We find out in this exclusive interview with Jillionaire:
Hi Chris! How is it going? Where are you right now and what are you currently up to?
Hey, how are you? I just got home. I had a studio session so..I just got home from the studio.
What were you looking forward most to when you heard that you’re coming to Malaysia?
I was in Kuala Lumpur with Diplo as part of Major Lazer in November or December 2012 – we played at a club. Man..it’s Asia, you know? It’s just such an amazing place and it’s so far away from where I am. Different culture and different lifestyle as compared to the West too so I’m definitely looking forward to going back.
I don’t think Malaysians have ever seen you play solo and It’s The Ship is going to be the first time for us! Taking those 2 factors in, how are you planning your set?
Yeah! It’s going to be my fist time doing a whole solo tour over in Asia, in fact. I’ve been to Seoul before but outside of South Korea..I haven’t really done much in Asia. So I’m really looking forward to it. I think It’s going to be a lot of fun, yeah..it’s going to be crazy! I’ll probably include a little bit of dance elements in my set, mix it up a bit, and get a good dance party going, you know? Give people something they can remember!
Your gigs with Diplo are especially high energy. How do you unwind after a show or ride out the adrenaline rush?
Hmm..we’re very low-key guys, you know. We would always like to give 100% on stage but once we get off stage, I mean, after shows we would usually just hang out with friends who came with the show and decompress. Maybe we’ll go to the after party. We’re just really low-key, you know? We just pretty much hang out just us or we’ll hang out with the crew afterwards.
Does that mean you’re gonna party with us after your set on It’s The Ship? Is there anyone in particular that you’re looking forward to seeing?
Oh, definitely! I’m gonna be on a ship and there’s nowhere for me to go so I’m definitely going to be hanging out. Hell yeah! I’m gonna see all the DJs and I have some friends who are playing also so..it’s something I definitely wanna check out. My friend LOUISAHHH!!! is playing and of course Lil’Jon who’s my homie..he’s playing as well. Maybe also catch some of the local DJs because I know that there are some local Malaysian DJs in the lineup as well so I wanna see those guys.
Let’s talk about this huge project that you’ve got that’s already in the works – your record label. What inspired you to do that and how long have you wanted to do it?
It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do ever since I started doing this full time since 2010. I travel a lot and I meet a lot of people who are super talented, you know, they can create new music and do all those crazy stuff. And you know what? Everybody is just trying to get help to get their music out there. So if I can use whatever relationships and connections that I have to help other people get there then..yeah. It’s just basically me..using my relationships to benefit others.
What would be some of the stand-out qualities that you’ll be looking for prior to signing an artiste on “Feel Up Records”?
There are no particular qualities that I would look for, actually. We just wanna work with people we like and the music that we like. I guess..we wanna work with people who are ambitious, hardworking, and self-motivated. It’s more like, “Hey, I have this product that I think you guys can help me get it out there” and I’d be like, “Okay, let’s just work together and see how we can make this happen”. Everything is a collaborative effort and we don’t wanna exercise creative control over somebody else’s work but we can help give direction and ideas, and tell people what they should or shouldn’t do..just kinda help people along with their path. So if they have an idea of what they wanna do then we, as “Feel Up Records”, can definitely help them – like release an EP, make a music video, you know? From that standpoint.
The music sphere has evolved in the recent years and now the electronic dance music spectrum is huge! How have you as a producer adapted to changes?
Music is constantly evolving and there’s very little that we can do to control it. To make a little bit of difference, we have to adapt every day. Because every day there are new producers, artistes, sounds, and there are also new young kids who are coming up with some crazy stuff! Stuff you wouldn’t have though much of a few years ago. It’s just about keeping your head to the ground and listening to what’s coming out or checking out what’s happening on SoundCloud and social media, listening to a lot of promos and just kinda keeping up with what’s out there.
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Do you actually have time to do that though e.g. be on social media, listen to all the promos that flood your inbox, etc. considering your busy schedule?
Man, you know what? To be honest, sometimes I don’t! I try to listen to them as much as possible, I mean, I try to listen to everything that people send me. I think it’s important to do that because you might never know when you’re going to overlook something that’s crazy or groundbreaking.
What’s your guilty listening pleasure?
This is a good one! I guess, uhm, I’ve always listened to Brazilian Tropicália or Brazilian free jazz from like the 70s or the 60s. So that..is pretty much it.
Last but not least, what would be the one advice that you’d give to your Malaysian fans in preparation for your It’s The Ship 2014 gig?
One word of advice? Wear really comfortable shoes (laughs) and loose clothing, because it’s going to get crazy!
Thank you so much for you time, Chris! We’ll see you at It’s The Ship 😉
Thank you! See you soon.
For more information on It’s The Ship, click!