Featured photo by Tessa Paisan
Based out of Florida, rising artist Hallucinate has steadily been making his presence known in the music scene with his distinct sound, playing festivals such as EDC Orlando, Hulaween, and gaining support from artists like Vampa and Zia along the way. After crushing it with one of the weirdest sets of the weekend at Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival, we got the chance to sit down and pick his brain about his music, inspirations, goals, and the Hallucinate project in its entirety.
Festival Squad: Hey, thanks for taking the time out to chat with us today. Your set was amazing! Do you have any pre-set rituals before you go on stage normally?
Hallucinate: Hell yeah. Glad to be apart of it! I actually have really bad social anxiety and I’m pretty anxious like 99% of the time, so before my sets I like using essential oils to help me calm down.
FS: Do you have any favorites?
Hallucinate: Oh yeah, lavender is the GOAT. But mainly I just try to calm down and realize that this is what I do. This is my thing, so I just gotta get up there and get to it. Maybe drink a couple beers to loosen up a little.
FS: You’re also set to play Lightning in a Bottle this year. Congratulations on that! Are there any other bucket list festivals you want to perform at?
Hallucinate: Definitely Electric Forest. We did EDC this year, so that was super cool. I mean, honestly, Lightning in a Bottle was a bucket list and now we get to cross that one off. But hopefully E Forest, or Lost Lands would be tight.
FS: Let’s talk a little more about your sound. How would you describe your current sound as an artist?
Hallucinate: So as the whole Hallucinate brand progresses, I’ve kind of realized that really my main point in doing this is to stand out and make something that you’ve never heard before. Something that makes people go, “Oh my god. That’s the weirdest sound I’ve ever heard in my life.”
FS: That’s exactly what I was thinking during your set. In a good way though, so you’re definitely doing something right!
Hallucinate: Thank you! There’s a lot of people who are making a lot of good music right now, it’s a really tough place to be. But you just have to keep creating until you hear something that’s like, “Wow, that hits,” because if it hits you, it’s gonna hit other people too.
FS: Definitely. Staying true to your sound is key. Would you say your sound has evolved since you first started?
Hallucinate: Oh, for sure. You could even ask my manager who’s been around since I was a young kid making stuff in my bedroom. Kortland would be like, “That’s so fire,” and I listen to it now and think, “What was I doing!?” But I’ve definitely progressed a lot. I actually am getting my bachelors degree right now in music production so I’m learning as I go and just applying it all to my own music.
FS: Speaking of your own music, you also just released your Keep it Trill EP with Myth last month and we’ve basically had it on repeat ever since. Is there anyone else you want to collaborate with down the road?
Hallucinate: I actually have a lot of collabs right now that are in the works and are just a matter of finishing up. But there are a ton of artists I’d love to collab with. I’d definitely love to work with someone from Wakaan, like LSDream.
FS: Is there anyone you’d say you’re inspired by?
Hallucinate: 100%. LSDream is my biggest inspiration. That guy is just everything. Other than that, Shlump and the whole Wakaan team in general. Subdocta, too… Like I was saying before, you hear a track from one of these artists and you just know exactly who it is. It’s different and it’s awesome.
FS: So we were doing a little digging on your Soundcloud account and found a Hallucinate extras page.
Hallucinate: Ahhh, yes. My extras page. So when I’m producing an assignment for school, I have to meet certain requirements, and I’ll make a house track or something and sometimes they actually turn out cool. I probably wouldn’t play them out, but maybe someone wants to hear it. Or if I’m messing around and make a beat that doesn’t really cut it as far as my actual Soundcloud, but I don’t want a creative idea to go to waste. That’s kind of what my extras page is for.
FS: What has been the best experience in your growing music career so far?
Hallucinate: To be completely real, that set at Aquachobee today was probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I literally looked up and saw all my friends, people I went to high school and middle school with, my girlfriend in the crowd, all with the biggest smiles on their faces, and it makes me feel great. It’s pure bliss. Shoutout to Bassrush for giving me that opportunity.
FS: That’s what it’s all about. Okay, make or break question here. What’s your stance on pineapple on pizza?
Hallucinate: I love pineapple on pizza. Pineapple on pizza is fire. That salty and sweet combo is my shit, same with chocolate covered pretzels.
FS: I’m sold. Just to wrap things up for today, what should fans be on the lookout from you in the near future?
Hallucinate: So, I have an album coming out this year. I have a hard time accepting that a song is done and that a project is ready, so it takes me forever, but definitely an album this year and a bunch of collabs.
FS: At this point, is there any advice you’d give to other rising artists?
Hallucinate: As far as production, just learn as much as you can. Watch YouTube videos, ask questions to other producers, anything you can get. Every little bit helps you get there. Being a DJ is fun, but you’ve gotta make your own sound.