We all love a good outfit in the Electronic music world. We love to admire other’s outfits and we love to express, (or maybe even to flaunt,) our own style whether we are that old school raver or new school kandi kid displaying all neon, flashing lights, a witty t-shirt, or just a totally random costume. The two most appreciated factors, after talking to many EDM lovers, seem to be its originality and how SEXY they look wearing it. Well, I have searched high and low… in the underground and in the mainstream… from Las Vegas, to Miami, for the sexiest, most original, memorable, jaw dropping outfits in the Electronic Music World, and I have found them. I am talking about the outfits worn by the ILLest crew I’ve known, The ILLuminautians.
I had the opportunity to hang out for an evening with the Owner and CEO of the ILLuminautians, Kyle Head and his fiancé, Tarah Harris to discuss the company’s history and future plans. On this night I was able to speak with them around a campfire and was even introduced to their latest creation, the first Fembot.
“This is absolutely our form of art. It’s visual performance art and I have different intentions with it. I make it to “wow” and “aw” the audience, to create an impact on the show… to up the energy. But then ultimately I feel that my life is synchronized to start creating beings that help inspire something upon the being that receives it. Maybe it’ll inspire them outside the realms of art.”
EDMSFL: “Tell me about your latest designs”
Kyle: “We’ve been obsessed with butterflies since Monarch, our daughter, was born. Her name is Monarch Ices and the being has Ices wings. I wouldn’t say that she was the inspiration for this being, but I would say that subconsciously it just kind of came into a vision of wanting to make an LED butterfly. This is a being that we have been manifesting for quite some time now. RA ILL had been chirping in my ear, “When am I going to get MY light suit, when is the fem being going to be created?” Up until now, we had been focusing on the male beings. Finally, we got it together. It was a collaborative effort. We worked with Twisted Cherry, a production company that does a lot of LED work. They helped with the LED installation. It turned into a beautiful being of art.
The BotiLLfly is comprised of at least 1400-1500 LEDs. All the LEDs are RGB intelligent and have wireless controllers. There are different lighting sequences and options so you will see many different patterns and colors on one costume. We took a mold of the body to make a foundation, and the mask we have been using is an all mirror face. This is stage one of the fem being. It’s definitely going to be morphing and evolving, and there will be a plethora of other BotiLLflies to come soon after.
The ILLight being is a 9 ft. being with lights all over his body. The symbolic meaning of the character to me is that we are making beings of light. We are showing what is possible for you to do within yourself. In essence we are only created out of light. That is what we are made out of. That is what everything is made out of. What I want to people to see is a reflection of themselves. I I haven’t encountered a being that has encountered me and stayed sad. It’s ultimately so blissful to be in this suit and experiencing this love and appreciation that surrounds you because everyone is drawn to the light. We’re all drawn to this powerful light that makes us feel good. That’s why the light beings have been so successful and so accepted amongst the world everywhere we go… doesn’t even have to be electronic music. It’s always everyone wanting to give me a hug or be kissed by the light being. They want the attention from the light because we are all drawn to it. With the crystal light being we actually have attached the chakra going down the suit of the body so at all times you’ll see the white for the crown, the purple for the third eye, the blue for the throat, the green for the heart, the yellow for the solar plexus, the orange for the sacred and the red for the root. So you are literally looking at what yourself is as a light form.”
EDMSFL: “Your costumes are becoming as famous as the DJs you perform with. What did it take to get to this point?”
Tarah: “Blood, tears, and sweat (she laughs).”
Kyle: “Yeah there’s no joking about that. You know a lot of people say, yeah, “I grinded my way to the top”. That may be true, but as ILLuminautians, we TRULY have grinded our way to the top. What I mean by that is when we had nothing, when we had no money whatsoever, when we only had a vision that we wanted to blow people’s minds in an electronic music atmosphere… When Ra ILL speaks of blood, sweat and tears, it really hits home because I think of all the blood we lost doing the angle grinder performances.
I remember doing Dayglow and being on stilts in Jacksonville, and slitting my wrist with the grinder and getting 12 stitches in my wrist and possibly almost dying. I almost died for what I love… for shooting sparks in the air and really bringing that energy to the party. This is true, and this is why on one side of my wrist I have “remember” and on the other side I have the scar of when I almost killed myself, so I have “remember to be safe”.
To get to this spot it took a lot of patience, a lot of connections, a lot of beings. It took an intricate collaboration which is our first business. I knew from a long time ago that it wouldn’t be just me that would make it work. It had to be a team, it had to be a huge team, a huge network that had the same interest in mine, the same likeness of mine that I could attract and persuade to be a part of this new ILL world. It’s growing day by day. People are more inspired and it’s like a magnetic force. It’s beautiful.”
EDMSFL: “What’s the competition like?”
Kyle: “Visual performance is growing. I see a lot of people responding to it and a lot of people who are inspired by it. That kind of digresses back to the previous question. I have to say I am affecting people beyond my one-on-one personal experience. I know that a lot of the “competition” out there is really a reflection of the inspiration that I have given to the world. I feel good about it. I feel that it’s a beautiful thing that someone can see my art and then start creating their own.
I was inspired by the Devil from Acapulco (Benji) for a long time. I was ultimately inspired by Bunny from Rabbit in the Moon and Kryoman. Kryoman… as much as I love him, he doesn’t see the inspiration as something that should be built upon. From what I gathered, he feels that he should be the only LED, stilt walking performer out there on the market. He and I have had some issues… him having issues more with me than anything. I see the art as a beautiful thing that wants to grow and Kryoman wants to hold it all to himself. I don’t want to say that that is incorrect because everyone is entitled to their own perspective, but I don’t think that it is for the benefit of humanity. I want to be able to do this art and inspire others.”
EDMSFL: “What are your plans for the future? Will we be seeing Monarch onstage one day? “
Tarah: “I would say with the business we would really like to get the self-sustainable community up and running and being able to travel and help inspire people to do that. As for Monarch, I would say yes, you would be seeing her on stage.
(She asks Monarch)
“What do you always tell daddy you want to be? What outfit do you want to make?”
Monarch: “A Cheetah”
Tarah: (Laughing) “I’m not going to pressure her into anything. We would rather that she be inspired. She always tells us she wants to be. “Mini Pink Light Being” is what she says. She wants all pink LEDs. She also has taken a little LED toy and held it by her belly and said, “tap, tap, tap” like she is using the grinder. She obviously sees what we are doing on stage so I think she will be on stage, but again I would never force her, or pressure her. So if this is what we are doing 5-10 years from now and she sees us and wants to be a part of it, then she will be there as a little LED BotiLLfly or whatever.”
EDMSFL: “What was your favorite event that you have performed at and why?”
Kyle: “Picking my favorite show is extremely hard I have had hundreds of ILLmazing shows from Australia to Dubai. I love Life in Color “THE WORLDS LARGEST PAINT PARTY” for a multitude of reasons. For one, they were the birth and first real believers of the ILLuminautians. Whenever I perform at one I’m always blown away by the amount of energy that is produced by the crowds of 9,000 to 25,000 people “GOIN HARD IN THAT PAINT”.
Another ILLmazing show for me is Groove Cruise. The cruise is just flat out Insanity! It’s a 4 day cruise/non-stop floating dance festival with 2700 people! I get so much love from all the Groove Cruise family. They all stop me on the ship and tell me how much they really love and appreciate our performance art. My favorite party on the ship is the INCORRECT parties with my boy Anthony Attalla! His Incorrect music groove is soooo CORRECT!
With Life in Color and Groove Cruise I feel a true sense of family & I love all those beings!
The most impactfILLed and the show we appreciate most is BURNING MAN!!I had been wanting to go to Burning Man for over 10 years before I actually went. It truly changed my life. I’ve performed all over the world. Australia, Columbia, Canada, Mexico, I mean everywhere. Every single event had a very specILL moment attached to it, but, Burning Man is home for us. I got the map of it tatted across my neck. It has forever left a mark on me and the business. It changed us the first moment we laid on that plyadust. The essence, the vibe, the art, the creativity, the beings, the love is just overwhelming. Of all the events we’ve been to, nothing compares.”
EDMSFL: How do you organize the company so that the ILLuminautians are everywhere?
Kyle: “We kind’ve have to go with the flow. The entertainment industry is not organized so it is very spur of the moment, sporadic, unorganized. The team just comes together to pull it off. It is chaotic and we get a lot of last minute calls. Fortunately we all come together at the right moment to pull it off. We sleep when we can and we don’t sleep when we can’t. We will play 3 shows in a row sometimes and go days without sleeping. It takes a lot of passion and collaboration.
The way we get gigs all over is really through social networking I’ve done. We haven’t spent a dollar towards marketing. It’s all been by word of mouth. We hear from friends of friends of friends who find gigs where we fit. A big reason why we’re so successful is that we are not tied down to a booking agency that’s holding all of our booking power. We give the booking power to everyone. We give 20 percent commission to any person who gets us a gig. That’s how we’ve spread our wings, through word of mouth.
The new website address is www.iLLlight.com. You may contact me for any reason whatsoever. Be that to perform with us, or to tell us if we have inspired you in any way. We love to connect with other beings that find this market and craft very interesting. If you go to the contact page on the website you can find my email address and my personal cell phone number… so connect with me, please.”
“[I] never want to retire. Isn’t this why people work their whole lives? So they retire to do what I already do? I express myself through artwork and create art every day. I make people happy. I’m already living the dream, and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon.”
That’s my dream. Is it yours?
I gratefully appreciate the time and opportunity granted to me by Kyle and his ILL family. They are a wonderful team and a loving family. You must take the opportunity to see them perform. They will be on tour in Canada in the summer and soon will be with Life in Color around the world