INTERVIEW: Ilan Bluestone talks Debut Album + Anjunabeats
Ilan Bluestone has been an unstoppable force since first joining Anjunabeats in 2011. In a handful of years, the London-based producer has notched 10 #1 singles on the Beatport Trance charts, joined epic international tours, and has played some of the largest stages in the world – including Madison Square Garden, Red Rocks, and Wembley Arena.
Now, after headlining the 2016 & 2017 Anjunabeats North American tours – Ilan has embarked on his own international tour in support of his debut album Scars. We recently caught up with Ilan before his show in Washington, D.C. to talk about Anjunabeats and his forthcoming album.
You’ve become an integral member of Anjunabeats — signed to the label, and releasing a lot of music with them for years. What’s your experience been like working with them, and how has that shaped your upcoming debut album?
It’s been incredible to work with them – obviously they’re very influential and without them I don’t think this album could happen. Having them listen back to my tracks and give me guidance, and say “oh, maybe you can turn this up, maybe you can turn this down” is definitely a major help. Especially, when it’s coming from people who I really look up to, and are experts in the industry.
There’s a little bit of a theme/narrative behind your new album – memories in music, and exploring the personal effect music has on individuals. What is it that you’re trying to achieve with this album?
I’m trying to connect people to everything I produce, and not just trance music. I want to show people what I can do, I love trance music – it’s something I grew up with and will continue to listen to for the rest of life. But, you know, I obviously have had so many different paths to get to where I am now, that I wanted to show that off as well and what I’m capable of. I think this is a great time for me to do that, especially with an album because it’s not a single release, and I’m excited for people to hear it.
So, you’ve released ‘Scars’ and ‘Frozen Ground’ – both which feature Guiseppe De Luca on vocals. Can we expect other features on the album?
Yes. There’s a few more with Guiseppe on there, we have some very special tracks coming. One with his girlfriend as well, funnily enough. Very exciting times and work surrounding the album.
You have your debut album coming out in the fall, have you decided on a release date?
There’s no release date yet – it’s still not finished yet. It might not even be fall, it may be the beginning of next year. I’m just trying to polish it up. I was just at BT Studio just now, listening to a few of my tracks back, and I was just thinking I needed to change a few things up. I want it to be perfect before I release it, so I’m not going to just release any album. I’m a perfectionist, once it’s perfect and I feel like it’ll be amazing: it’s out.
ABGT250 just passed at The Gorge, and I know you’ve played ABGT100 and a few others before. What was it like to play MSG for an event that large, and live?
It blew my mind, it was a very big and intense show. I was told about the show 7 months in advance, so I was pretty much losing it for 7 months. Playing MSG is not like just playing some little club, it was a huge deal for me. It’s an experience I’ll never forget, and one I can happily die with. Funnily enough, up until that point it was one of the only couple of shows I had ever done. Before that, I hadn’t really played anywhere else. I had a few club shows around the world, but nothing too serious or as big as that. It really threw me into the deep water, and I was very nervous. The nerves put me on the spot, and everything turned out really well.
What do you have going on the rest of the year, and how has your U.S. tour been?
The tour has been amazing, the crowds have been incredible, and everyone has been extremely supportive. The support means everything, and that’s what keeps me going. I had to cancel a show recently, which was very disappointing because I really wanted to play there. My health hasn’t been too great, but I’m just trying to get myself out there and through this tour.
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