Writing music is not a skill that everyone has. Rapping can even be a challenge for those who are not as well-versed in the genre. With practice and perseverance, an artist can receive fifteen minutes of fame. Local Carrollton artist, Erik Ilomaki, is determined to make that happen for himself and for his family.
“[Writing music] is like an audio diary,” said Ilomaki. “It gives you the ability to express things you really just can’t put into words.”
Ilomaki has been writing music for many years under the pseudonym Illamak. He finds his inspiration from many different places; from sounds around him to other local artists in the Carrollton area.
“From the beginning, I could see how it connects with people and see how they are affected,” said Ilomaki. “That’s just what brought me into the constantly writing music and trying to make better songs.”
For the time being, Ilomakai has focused his genre on primarily rap and soul music. He has begun to dabble in country music on the side.
“I’m a little afraid,” said Ilomaki. “I feel like I could do country because I have a deep voice. Sometimes I’ll be thinking I’m writing a rap song and my wife or someone else will be like ‘is that country?’ I have a little twang so that is something I am actively pursuing.”
As of right now, music is his side gig. Ilomaki currently works at the local Olive Garden as a service professional and chef. When he is not cooking a delicious Italian meal, he focuses on his songwriting. He hopes one day to have his music hit the charts.
“I might imagine something and describe something that hasn’t happened yet [in a song] and it literally almost plays out identically,” said Ilomaki. “I kind of have an idea where things are going but just saying something that hasn’t happened yet; then it is literally playing out in almost the same exact format that you wrote it.
“There are 50 different methods [in songwriting],” continued Ilomaki. “I’ll try to rhyme, I’ll try to carry more of a tune which I shouldn’t be doing. [I’ll take] inspiration from other songs. You hear their flow pattern, how they space their words, how to time your breaths. Every song I try to make is different. I don’t have a format where I stamp them out.”
Ilomaki has many other methods when it comes to writing songs. When not working on his own songs, Ilomakai partners with the local artists and bands in the area.
“I love collaborating with new artists, especially local; that’s my favorite,” said Ilomaki. “That’s where I like to get my inspiration from is working with someone else and seeing what we can build together.”
The locality is the biggest factor for this small-town rapper. Ilomaki will be dropping a new single in the coming weeks. To listen to his music, you can find him on Spotify and YouTube as Illamak.