Interview: Phantom Shilla


Echotic chats to producer Phantom Shilla

Who is Phantom Shilla?
Shilla is the result of my surroundings, I’m inspired largely by feelings and atmospheres. I write with what I have available and try to push the envelope of creative sound.

If you could describe the sound of Phantom Shilla in 3 words, what would it be?
Atmospheric, heartbreaking, dusty.

What/who are your influences?
I am very influenced by the idea of emotions, I like my tracks to have a sense of longing and love. In terms of artists I am very into the work of Shlohmo, he can create brutally sad tracks with such incredible sound design.

What kinds of things inspire you during the songwriting and recording process?
I feel I have covered this slightly but to elaborate I try start every track with a concept, I will think of a time or place I’ve been and try to translate that into my chords, melodies and atmospheric soundscapes. I will also think of a sound I want, I’ll think dusty or hot for example, then I’ll try to create a sound palette around that theme from whatever I can get my hands on, in particular the sounds in my Hazy Days EP were largely created with whatever I had around me. I tried to limit myself as much as possible in the sense that I wanted the sound to be raw and organic. It’s hard to get that across in sequenced music.

Is Phantom Shilla a musical project that prefers seclusion or collaboration (or both), why?
I am very open to collaborations and have done a couple in the past but I just tend to work alone as when I have my most creative moments I like to get my ideas down from start to finish in case a creative block creeps in.

As a music producer, and given the current musical climate, where do you see music production heading?
I think music production is starting to take a step back in terms of sound design, for so long now electronic music has been all about getting the cleanest tightest sound possible with no blemishes or imperfections but I think real life has so many imperfections that it should be translated into music. I think we will see sound changing a lot as producers try to create more unique sounds and push the envelope of styles further.

How do you think your environment affects the way you write and record music?
Environment has a huge impact on me for sure, I generally need to be well organised and have my setup ready to go. Workflow is important so you don’t miss out on any creative moments you might have, this is a strange thing for me as my music tends to be raw and messy in places. Having said that I do have a very basic recording setup with cheap mics, and home-made percussion that I use to create a lot of the backdrops to my music.

If you could work with anybody (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
I really really would love to do a track with Chet Faker, that man is beyond talented and has a soulful voice.. I would love to sit down with him and just see what we could work on. Maybe one day.

Are there any other acts/artists you recommend people should check out?
Chet Faker. Shlohmo. FKA Twigs.

What is Phantom Shilla’s upcoming plans?
Currently conceptualising and planning for a follow up EP to Hazy Days and working on some other projects too. As soon as I have a breakthrough with this new EP I will be releasing a track from it so keep an eye out for that one.


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