By Ashleigh Fielding
A SHOT of Jameson’s Irish Whiskey with his tour crew is a must, before Alasdair David George Murray, more commonly known as Illy, jumps on stage to rock out with his fans.
The Weekender spoke with the hip-hop sensation just before he kicked off his Two Degrees regional tour in Mandurah.
“As a kid, I did a lot of creative writing and poetry, and that started my interest in singing,” Illy said.
“I started listening to hip hop artists like 2Pac, Jay-Z and later the Hilltop Hoods, and I never looked back.”
Illy learned to play the drums when he was 11, but other than 6 months of formal lessons, his musical career has been based on self-teaching.
“I started singing lessons last year, just to keep improving my voice and making sure everything is in good shape, but I was mainly self-taught,” he said.
Illy got his foot in the entertainment door with band Crooked Eye, who he performed with after high school until he was 22.
The crew split after members decided to focus on their individual careers.
“I owe a lot to those guys for their guidance; they showed me the ropes,” he said.
Illy’s solo career took off in 2009 after signing with Obese Records, but then later decided to build his own label, OneTwo, with a licensing deal with Warner Music.
Illy has had many chart hits, with his 2012 Bring It Back album winning him an ARIA Award and his 2016 Two Degrees album hitting number 1 on the ARIA album.
Illy’s favourite performances are with his ‘big songs’.
“They are the best to perform as you get big concert reactions,” he said.
“I love all of my records; I can’t pick a favourite.”
Illy will be performing at the White Star on August 19.
Tickets are on sale now and are available from illyal.com.