The music industry is fully entrenched in the age of all-encompassing digital consumption, and the success of today’s artists depend as much on their online brand as the content of their music. This is something that Orange County-based LLusion (pronounced “loo-zhuhn”) clearly understands and uses to his advantage.
Boasting over three million followers and 100 million views on TikTok, the 22-year-old regularly posts videos of himself remixing audio samples or quickly throwing together ambient beats. His YouTube channel has over 500K subscribers, mostly filled with self-made, easygoing remixes over lo-fi beats. He was even a finalist for the “Best YouTube Musician” category at the 2020 Shorty Awards.
It’s clear LLusion is adept at elementary beat-making, creating songs with an almost algorithmic ease. His skills as a producer mixed with his massive social media presence caught the attention of Republic Records as he prepares for his debut release later this year. Today, LLusion gifts us with “Sad4good,” a wonderfully addictive track featuring vocals from Cautious Clay.
Taking clear cues from the foundation he’s continually laying on TikTok and YouTube, “Sad4good” is a warm, electronic dance song suitable for studying or playing at a small party. It contains elements of pop, funk, electronic, and jazz, all in one condensed, “internet package.” Cautious Clay sings across the entire song with distorted vocals, crooning about eating refried beans and being stuck at home, contemplating how “we’re all alone anyways,” wishing he could be “sad for good.” Lyrically, the song is softly self-deprecating, yet LLusion’s production invites you to dance along.
Although LLusion is the face of his music and online persona, LLusion’s wife is actually integral in maintaining his carefully crafted strategy. His branding, artwork, and overall aesthetic is credited to her, and she’s heavily involved with his content strategy and presence on TikTok. He also points to his father and Japanese DJ/producer Nujabes as some of his biggest inspirations.
LLusion’s self-made, DIY sound is notable, and fully embodies a larger generational inclination toward lo-fi, muted production that relies heavily on simple beats and distorted vocals. “I want everyone to get to know who I am and my character,” says LLusion. “I hope they see the type of person I am mixed with the music I make, the passion I have for it, and the heart I put into it.”
“Sad4good” is available to stream now.