We had the good fortune of connecting with Illicit Ghost and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Illicit, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
When I was younger, listening to music was something that helped get me out of my own mind when I was feeling down. I remember when “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind came out and I heard it on the radio. I loved the song so much – it gave me such a free feeling – but I wasn’t allowed to listen to it because it was inappropriate by my parents’ standards. I somehow managed to get the cassette tape and I would play it under my covers at night so that no one would hear me. I want to create music that creates the same free feeling for other people because music is such a powerful healing tool for me.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a classically trained violinist, it was the first instrument I started on, at age three. From there I learned piano, guitar and clarinet. I played in band and orchestra growing up. I despised it because I didn’t like having to play someone else’s songs. On the way to orchestra and band rehearsals I would listen to Z100 in the car. I dreamed of one day being a musical artist and writing my own songs. One day at home I decided to try writing a song on piano. I figured out how to record myself on my PC and began having “recording” sessions in my bedroom. I didn’t want anyone to bother me so I would literally hang a hand-written sign that said “recording do not enter” on my door.
When I was growing up talking about mental health was taboo. I experienced a lot of anxiety that I felt like I couldn’t speak up about. It wasn’t until that moment when I discovered that I could make my own music that some of that melted away. As an artist now it’s important for me to talk about mental health because it’s something that so many people struggle with. It’s why I started my Instagram Live show “Anti-Anxiety Hour.” On each episode I interview a different artist/creator about mental health and music. I want my audience to have a safe space to come and share their struggles with no judgment.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’d take them to Hotel Café to catch a concert, show them the Museum of Jurassic Technology, walk on the beach in Santa Monica, go to Kreation for juice. I also love the Observatory and hiking in Runyon Canyon.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my co-producer, mentor and good friend Elliot Jacobson! He has been a great source of support and guidance on this journey. I didn’t know anything about the industry when I first got into making and releasing music and he taught me the ropes. It’s been so much fun collaborating with him on my music. He’s an extremely talented drummer and producer and I feel really lucky to be able to work with him. He is also someone I can confide in, which is rare to find in this industry.
Other: TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@illicitghost?
“illicit ghost’s anti-anxiety mixtape”: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5817IxlcS0NU2AFdxniFi6?si=5402d4af166249f8
“Anti-Anxiety Hour” past episodes (season 1, season 2 in progress): https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAlJOdXifRJ39pjZE1UVuV_c5Q4ibQcRc
New Song “Help”: https://ffm.to/illicitghost_help
Image credits: Kevin Condon, Alex Bemis