Best known for his lyrics and flow, The Boy Illinois has become a staple in the music industry; from being featured in top music magazines, to going on national tours with Chicago’s very own, Lupe Fiasco. Chicago Flex got the latest from the East Side native who shares who he is outside of being an artist, where he gets his fashion from, and when to expect his upcoming projects.
Where did you get the name “The Boy Illinois”?
The Boy Illinois: I got the name from a movie called “Hoodlum.” I was a big Bump J fan as a kid and found out he got his name from the Original Gangsta Bumpy Johnson. So, in the movie, his fictional cousins name is Illinois Gordon. I got my name from that character.
At what age did you realize you wanted to get serious about your music?
The Boy Illinois: I think I was around 10 years old when I realized that making music was going to be my thing.
Where is your favorite place to write lyrics?
The Boy Illinois: My favorite place to write lyrics would be in the studio. The vibe is always there.
Who is The Boy Illinois outside of being an artist?
The Boy Illinois: Outside of being an artist, I’m just a cool person who loves people. I was raised to always give back and do as much as I can. Baba Illi, is the coolest teacher you can probably have. I got started in the schools two years ago, and I can’t leave. It’s too rewarding. I also like to studying spirit science and quantum physics.
What or who inspires you as a musician?
The Boy Illinois: As a musician, I get a lot of my inspiration from people close to me or day to day occurrences. Musically, my biggest influences have been Al Jarreau and Michael Jackson. And, as of late Toro Y Moi.
You have a unique fashion style, where do you get that from?
The Boy Illinois: My fashion sense comes straight from my Nigerian friends. I grew up and went to school with a lot of Nigerians, and I adopted a lot from there…including how to dress.
What do you hope people gain from your music when they listen to it?
The Boy Illinois: When people listen to my music, I want them to find something relatable and enjoy the good vibrations.
What would you be doing if you didn’t pursue music?
The Boy Illinois: If I wasn’t an artist, I would more than likely be some kind of engineer or dealing with something in the science world.
What do you love most about Chicago?
The Boy Illinois: What I love most about Chicago, is the people. Nobody like us on this planet.
Favorite place to eat in Chicago?
The Boy Illinois: My favorite place to eat in Chicago is Mikkeys Retro Grill
When can fans expect Road Winds and Home Court Advantage?
The Boy Illinois: Probably the end of 2018. I have another two projects I just finished that are going to come out before those Albums.