So for those of you just jumping on board the ill-esha train, you may or may not know that I’ve been making music since I was in diapers.  Kind of literally.  My mom tells me (and there are some old VHS tapes kicking around).. that as a child I woke up from my naps humming instead of crying. Of course, my repertoire was a little more limited back then, but I could hum “twinkle twinkle” best on the block!

But seriously.. I debated whether I wanted to re-release these mixes, it’s kind of like awkward childhood photos.. except with music.  I decided that some people still enjoy old drum & bass and listening back, awkward though they might be, I’m still kinda proud of them.  I mean, some people were TPing houses and getting blackout drunk at 17, right? At least I was only annoying my neighbors and probably my long-suffering amazing mother.

I’m going to release one of these each week for the next little while.

This first one, Vivid, has no vocals on it, and I can’t find the tracklist, so it’s not a super exciting place to start, but it is the earliest mix that I feel comfortable releasing :).

This was the first time I really stuck my neck out to promote myself as a DJ.  I’d been building a little bit of a name for myself as an MC/vocalist, traveling around in the most ghetto way possible – working part time jobs until I could save enough money to go hang out in New York City (aka the Center of my Teenage Universe) and network around there.  Facebook and Youtube and all that didn’t exist, so in order to connect with people you had to actually physically be there and if you were lucky, get their phone number and maybe email address.

I hand-burned a hundred odd copies of this CD, which I recorded at my friend Ilias’ house, and handed them out everywhere in NYC.  One copy got left at Breakbeat Science Records, where I first made the acquaintance of the stunning, hilarious and blunt (in many senses of the word) Reid Speed.  Apparently I impressed her enough with it that she wanted to know honestly if I had used Pro Tools to fix my mixes up (to which I responded no of course not, and I had eyewitnesses from the recording session to prove it).  “Well then…. respect!  Good job!” she responded, and has been an inspiration and supportive energy ever since.  (And now, she runs one of the most honest and artist-supportive labels in the game, Play Me.)

So.. this is it.  This mix is 12 years old.  There are producers making tunes right now that are younger than that, phew!!! Hope you enjoy..

VIVID (2000)

Download ill-esha – Vivid (DJ Mix, 2000)

Me during the set up of a party I DJed at the same year this mix was released

One Reply to “[Old Skool Beats Series] #1: Vivid (2000)”

  1. Thank you for releasing this old mix! I do believe I first heard you MC around this time, if not in the late 90’s.
    Thank you so much for keeping us abreast of your music, new and old. You truly inspire!

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