Skrillex founded Nest HQ to shine a light on untapped talent — and San Francisco native Illenium fits the bill.
The present Denver resident – also known as Nicholas Miller – makes his debut on the free release platform with “I’ll Be Your Reason” after padding his resume with remixes of artists like ODESZA, The Kite String Tangle and Oh Wonder.
Commencing with watery atmospherics and a slow snare march, the moody downtempo burner unfurls around EDEN’s gravelly vocal line and shuffling synth-steered drops. A distant piano progression lends the production a sense of melancholy reflected in its refrain: “So I’ll be your reason. We won’t talk again.”
Billboard caught up with the Colorado transplant to discuss how the track was made, and why he feels Nest HQ was a good fit for the unconventional production.
What was your creative process on the track? How’d you link up with the vocalist?
I had been working on this fairly simple intro and then linked up with EDEN (formerly The Eden Project) and was just in love with this lyric he had written. He nailed the super cool vocoded/Imogen Heap type effect and that totally set the mood for the rest of the production. I wanted to surprise people with this tune and show that music can both be beautiful, complex, and diverse all at the same time.
Does this single have any specific meaning to you?
Every song I produce is pretty emotional for me… especially the melodic tunes that I write. This one was especially so. The intro really gets me with the simple but flowing melody, and then the sweet EDEN vocals come in and it’s just a slow jam. Definitely grabs the feels.
Why do you think Nest was a good home for this song?
I love experimenting with tunes every now and then. It’s an awesome journey to see what you can accomplish when you try to work outside the box. In terms of a record label putting out the best experimental music, I would say Nest nails it. I was so pumped to get connected with these guys because their musical integrity is on point and they constantly put out boundary pushing music. I would love to be a part of that.
Illenium’s “I’ll Be Your Reason” will be available June 8 through Nest HQ.