Detroit rapper, singer, producer and songwriter Illa J I hits the road again. This time, travelling to drop his musical science in Japan, Singapore and China. He will be playing intimate club shows and some Carhartt WIP in-stores sessions to introduce his latest album Home. "My last album represents the classic Motown sound, but in a futuristic sense, made by an artist whose parents heard Motown and that brings the spirit to the now filtered through his house, techno and hip-hop socialization. Also Stevie Wonder is a role model for me,” Illa J revealed to Carhartt WIP in an interview last year. “It is easy to rap. But he who wants to sing well has to work a lot. And I understand myself as a singer first. Thats why I love Stevie!"
And I understand myself as a singer first.
His brother, the great hip hop innovator J Dilla, (along with Mike Jordan), is still an inspiration for him. "I've always been involved with music, but initially I focused on basketball. I wanted to be the next Michael Jordan and I'm still a big fan. When I was in school, I wrote an essay about how Michael Jordan and my brother J Dilla are my biggest idols and why I want to be like them. What they have in common is their work ethic. I've learned from them: only with discipline you can fulfill ambitious goals. I'm like an athlete. I work hard at my art all the time." That hard work will be on show in Asia, with thrilling live shows, in which he effortlessly flits from singing to rapping and back again, all backed by Motown-esque grooves.