simon illa

simon illa

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simon illa

Producer - Writer - Vocal Arranger
Writing music since his teenage years, Simon Illa and Unbreakable Music Group, LLC, are forces to create with. In 2001, Simon's incredibly diverse production skills brought him to Philadelphia, where legendary producer/writer Kenny Gamble (Gamble and Huff), took Simon under his wing to develop several artists.

Simon's reputation for successfully producing music within numerous genres from Pop to Rap and Gospel to Rock began to gain tremendous recognition. Simon earned an East Coast Emmy nomination for his music from NBC's "Tribute to 9/11" in 2003, was dubbed "Philadelphia's Hottest Producer" by Blender Magazine in 2006. Called " of the world's foremost and phenomenal music producers" by Urban Mogul Magazine in 2008.

Simon's extensive list of production credits, include artists such as Big Boi signee Vonnegutt, Kyle Lucas, D. Woods (of Danity Kane), Nate Currin, Margie Chadburn, Manchester Orchestra and others, film soundtracks (American Rap Stars, Invincible, and G), tour production (Vivian Green, Floetry, and others), Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and writing/production for a handful of radio and television productions.

Simon is often recogonized from his appearance on TLC's hit television series "Miami Ink" and also a feature article in Georgia Music Magazine's Summer 2010 issue.

"Just Google his name - simon illa" - Steve Lillywhite (producer of U2, Dave Mathews Band, The Killers, etc)
music industry, music producer, mix engineer, recording engineer, music promotion, film scoring, studio coordination, songwriting, music writing, arrangement, music production / mastering, music management, music performance, music composition, music reviews, music television
rap, hip-hop, alternative, metal, punk, rock, classic rock, folk, indie, singer/songwriter, edm, pop, r&b, classical, beats, instrumental hip-hop, urban, pop punk, lo-fi, film / video
Atlanta, GA

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Recent Feedback

Christopher Jenkins submitted media.

Piano Concerto #1 by C.M. Jenkins

simon illa

This is a really great composition and the performance and recording were really well done.

I have a few suggestions that I hope can help

Seek out young film students that may have projects that need scoring.  Its always a good way to gain experience and build a resume.  Plus if you start establishing relationships with young film makers, you can potentially grow with them.  

Also there are many companies that take independent music and seek out licensing.   Companies like Crucial Music and Affix Music can sometimes find a place for your music.  Do a Google search for independent music licensing.

Feel free to stay in touch and feel free to ask more questions!

Thanks for sharing!

ESSEM Music submitted media.

simon illa

Essem!  Thanks for sending this.  I hope you are doing well.  As I always do on here, I will give my thoughts in two areas 1. Creative and 2. Technical.
1. Creative.  I think you are on to something here with the overall feel.  And there are highlights in the singing and highlights in the rap verse but I think they have some room to grow.  I see you have these pieces to a puzzle but they are not quite fit together as well as they could be.  I’d suggest working with a vocal producer/arranger to focus on whats working and rework the weaker parts.  I always love a sad song so I see the potential here!!!

2. The mix is ok.  I might assume you used a two-track beat which is cool.  The vocals sound recorded well but could be dulled down a bit to fit the vibe.  Maybe be a bit more selective as to when and where to use effects which a good vocal arranger/producer could help with as well!

As far as promotion, I would recommend getting the song at its best before moving to that part of the process.

I hope this helps.  Feel free to ask any more questions if you have any!  Take care and atay in touch!

Ka'Ron Glenn submitted media.

Double S by St3vi2 HOE

simon illa

ST3VI2 HOE - i always provide feedback in two ways on these submissions.  This is a fire mixtape type joint.  Lyrics are dope, delivery is dope.  I’d find a way to separate the hook a bit more.  Maybe a lower vocal under your lead, make it stand out more.  Overall your vocals should come up.  The beat is really busy which is cool but you wanna make sure that you can hear what you’re saying.

As far as pushing the song, seek out playlists on soundcloud that would feature new music.  I dont know what your audience is numbers wise but you might benefit from getting artists that have more attention than you right now to collab with you.  Gain new fans from an already established fanbase.  If you have any more questions, feel free to contact me again.  I appreciate you asking me to check this out!  Stay in touch!

Sedrick McLean submitted media.

Show And Prove by SeddyMac

simon illa

Song is pretty dope.  The overall dark vibe makes me think this would be good soundtrack material.  Check around with some online licensing companies that might put it in the Or catalogue to place it in tv or film.  The mix could be a bit better and have a few more elements that change around your vocal to keep it interesting.  My main criticism is I am not that into the singing parts.  The rap parts are so dope but the singing parts make me forget how good the rap verses are.  Either find a creative way to edit/mix the singing parts or get a guest vocalist to sing what you wrote.  Thanks for asking my opinion an feel free to ask me any kore questions or send more songs.  Thanks and hope you are well!!!  S. Illa. Also, check to get music into playlists and blogs!!!!

James Tonnessen submitted media.

The Wolves by James "Husky" Tonnessen

simon illa

I really like where this is going.  This is good to hear in the world of music that is dominated by other genres of music.  My main concerns are two things.   1. A better mix would really give this song a better chance of attracting more listeners.  There are cool
Elements that could be heard better with a better mix.  2.  There are a few timing issues that start around 3:45 in a section that repeats a few times mostly between guitars and drums.   Consider looking into some indie licensing companies that might take on this song for potential license in tv, film, or digital content.   Hit me up of you have any more questions for me.  

morland gryder submitted media.

Revelation Bell by clast

simon illa

First off, cool song.  I like vibes like this.  I cannot comment on lyrics as they are your personal expression and I dont think they need to be evaluated.

Sonically.  Cool elements coming in and out.   I would have liked to hear a better mix with more dynamics.  Some more depth between low and high points dynamically to add some drama and movement to it overall.   A better Mix could enhance and help create these dynamics.

Promoting.  Id suggest finding a great photographer (professional) on instagram with a decent following and see if they would be interested in creating a slideahow of their work using your music as soundtrack.   Doesnt have to be a photographer but someone with visuals that fit your music and a following that is greater than your current reach.  

Hope this helps

Ataikpo Odion submitted media.

simon illa

This is a great worship song.  I would suggest trying a shorter edit of the song.  Keep a long version for live performance but have a shorter version as a single for iTunes, YouTube, etc.  As a producer, I would like to hear a little more distinction between the verse and chorus parts.  Maybe add an organ or something in the choruses and even more of a breakdown somewhere in the song.  This will give it even more impact.  At the end, I would love hearing an even bigger choir or at least more of the background singers stacking more vocals.  This will really bring up the overall dynamics at the end and leave the listeners with a very powerful and good feeling.  If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!  Thank you for sharing and asking my advice!

12/8 12/8 submitted media.

simon illa

I really love this.  The melody is great and it flows really well with the track.  The mix is great so I have no real techical critique.  My only suggestions would be to do a bit more of a breakdown somewhere to help build the overall dynamic range of the song.  Maybe take out or heavily filter the drums for 8-16 bars.   Also consider doing a version that is more around 4:00 total.  Consider getting this to a licensing firm for tv or film placement.  Do a cool lyric video but have it up and running on iTunes, Spotify, etc in case it picks up momentum.   If you have any questions, feel free to contact me!   Peace and thanks Simon.

Describing your sound in 2 sentences:  A new sound with a great familiar vibe.  Music that will be put on repeat for sure.

I am open to collaborating in the role as producer depending on the situation

Thanks for hitting me up!  

Elliott Sencan submitted media.

simon illa

This track has a lot of potential.  I will separate my comments into two sections (vocals and production) also, I take into consideration that this is not mixed but will provide some mixing suggestions.

1.  The Vocals are cool.  Kayla has a great voice and the melody works great for this vibe.  Make sure to brighten the vocals a touch and verb them out so they have some cool space but also the lyrics can be heard.  There are a few subtle pitch and timing issues that can be handled during editing/mixing as well.  My suggestion is to make the vocal a bit vibey through reverbs and maybe some delay throws here and there.   Try some automated filtering on a second vocal track that might use some snips from the lead vocal.

2. Production-wise, this is just what I expected from this vibe... in a good way.  The only thing I would like to hear is each hook getting bigger and bigger.  Its a chill track but there can be some simple dynamic builds throughout the progression of the song.  This way, you can take listeners on a trip without breaking out of the chill-ness too much.  Lol.

Let me know if you have any questions about my comments.  Thanks for sharing the song!  Would love to hear it when it gets mixed!

Pat Travers submitted media.

What I'm Trying To Say by Pat Travers

simon illa

This is a song with a lot of potential.  It's got a very good pop feel.
Lyrically, I think it could be polished up a bit in the chorus and maybe even have some harmonies or background vocals to lift the dynamics a bit.  The melody is pretty catchy and I don't think some subtle lyrical changes would affect that.  Musically, it is pretty good too.  The production could use a redo but I know that you know the demo version serves as a good picture of what is envisioned for the song.

Definitely something to be pitched to an artist that is a bit older/contemporary.  The publisher angle could be considered however, you should think about finding an artist that can really nail this, polish up the production a bit and then pitch for television or film.

Feel free to contact me with any more questions or thoughts.  Thanks for sharing this!

Olivia Pellegrini submitted media.

Ordinary Machinery by Olivia Pellegrini

simon illa

This is pretty cool overall.  There are some moments in this that show your vocal potential but I do not feel like it shines that much through the whole song.  The piano part has some obvious edits and sounds a bit unsure in spots.  Also, there is some lyrical content that I think could be punched up a notch as it is a bit predictable (the easy as ABC's line).  My advice is to make a few minor tweaks and maybe incorporate a little bit of reverb on you vocals.  I'd like to know how you are recording these.  Am I correct to assume that you are recording these yourself in something like Logic or GarageBand?  Either way, cool song that could use some touch ups to really be what it has potential to be.  As always, contact me if you have any questions or need more advice.  Thanks for contacting me, take care!

Olivia Pellegrini submitted media.

Time Stood Still (Instrumental) by Olivia Pellegrini

simon illa

This is a pretty cool piece of music.  I could see this being used as background music for something.  It feels very improvised and open.  I can't really say much about it in a negative way except that it might be able to use some more reverb to give it a bit more space.  Also the crowd noise in the top and ending is a great touch.  Once again thanks for sending this to me to check out.


Olivia Pellegrini submitted media.

Love Is Crazy (Pop Edits) by Olivia Pellegrini

simon illa

I assume this is an updated version of the song you sent earlier.  I like the harmonies on this.  There are still some pitchy vocals in a few spots.  Are you producing/recording these yourself?  If not, have you ever considered working with a producer.  I say this because it seems your song idea is cool but perhaps you need someone to take it to the next level and basically provide some quality control.  The levels of each part are a bit better overall.  Once again, let me know if you have any other questions for me.  Thanks again for sharing the song!

Olivia Pellegrini submitted media.

Love Is Crazy by Olivia Pellegrini

simon illa

Hey Olivia
Thanks for asking me to check out the song.  I typically review these things in two ways.  1. In an overall assessment of the song.  2. A musical/technical analysis.

1.  Overall I really like the song and the premise of it.  It is a very quirky and fun song.  They lyrics and melody were really fitting of the overall feel you were trying to convey.  Also, I like that the instrumentation was very minimal.  I always feel that less is more and this song, while simple, is full and natural.

2.  On a technical side, there were some pitchy notes in the vocals and they seemed a bit dry and could use a bit more reverb.  A bit of compression on the vocals would help them stay on top of the song a bit better too as I had a hard time hearing some of the vocals at certain points in the song.  The acoustic may have been slightly out of tune but it was not so bad that it ever really took me out of the song.  The vibraphone (if that is what it was...) was a bit too loud in the mix for my preference.  

Overall a cool song and its something I could hear being in a indie film soundtrack.

Feel free to write back if you have any more questions for me!


Julianne K submitted media.

simon illa

First off I will say the video is visually stunning.  Really cool shots and great scenery.  It may have been cool to have a bit more of a story behind the video but I think I was too in awe of the beauty of the landscape that I didn't miss a storyboard too much.

Musically, your vocals are great. I am a big fan of lush harmonies and there is some great vocal arranging here.  It felt a bit repetitive in parts and I was waiting for some kind of change to really take it up a notch or two.  On the music side, I really feel that it could be developed more.  Having the song be a bit more full in the choruses and even bigger for the last chorus really can build a dynamic and make the song more interesting and give it more feeling overall.  Maybe layering in some subtle organ in the choruses.  Your voice and vocals are so cool I want to hear the music build and subside in parts to accent that.

It would be awesome to hear this music on tv or in a film.  Music licensing is a growing industry and with such a unique song and style I think this song could serve as great soundtrack music.  There are companies that will pitch your music on a non-exclusive basis.  Getting your song licensed can get it to a large audience and often leads to music sales and overall eyes and ears on you and your music.

I hope this advice helps.  Feel free to message me back and thanks for sharing.
Peace and thanks,
Simon Illa 

yochay mocsari submitted media.

simon illa

The visual is really awesome on this.   The song reminds me of some of the great early alternative/new wave music in the 80s which is a great thing.
Musically the production could be a bit more dynamic.  Subtle changes in the music more often or even a few dramatic ones will keep the listener interested.   The instrumentation and vocals really fit the song but if you could find ways to build the dynamics in certain parts it would make the song a bit more dramatic.  You want to take people on an emotional roller coaster with this one, especially seeing the visual along with it.   Overall very cool and refreshing musically.  

As far as promotion there are always the obvious routes of facebook, Google+, twitter, etc.   make sure you have a soundcloud post with the song but link to the video.  

Also with a song like this I would seek tv/film licensing opportunities through non-exclusive licenses with companies like marmoset, crucial or affix.   Make sure you are registered with a PRO (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) so you can get your royalties.  I dont mean to assume you dont know that but some artists are unsure how to monetize their work.

Thanks for asking me to check this out.  Let me know if you have any more questions or need more feedback!

yochay mocsari submitted media.

simon illa

Hey man, I like the idea of the song.  In my opinion, the vibe is there but your vocal is a bit pitchy.  I am not sure if the vocal delivery is part of the point you are making artistically or not.  Some slight flatness can definitely add some character and emotion to a song however, it is a bit too much for me to really want to get really into the song.    Also maybe making the delay effect a bit more subtle in the second half.  Possibly make it a bit more transparent and eerie with a longer delay time and less feedback (echoes) on the delay settings.  I hope this feedback helps you in some way.  Feel free to message me back.  Thanks man! S.

Jordan Jennings submitted media.

Thunder Lizard by The Hartford Pussies

simon illa

Hey guys.  This has so much potential.  Here are my thoughts.  1. The name The Hartford Pussies is awesome.  Definitely made me want to check it out.  2. Musically I feel like a bit of a Weezer-ish vibe where its a bit old school and a bit lofi which is cool.  The arrangement could be a bit cleaner (not sonically) just differences between sections a bit more obvious.  3,  Technically the mix could be a bit better.  I know what you seem to be going for and its a cool raw vibe but I had a hard time understanding the lyrics which could be a recording technique thing or even something that could be cleared up in the mix.  Overall I think you have something cool here it just is not as big as I am sure it could be.  Thanks for contacting me guys, stay in touch! 

Fluence Team submitted media.

For the Creative Community by The Fluence Team

simon illa

I think it could benefit by giving suggestions of types of media (video, music, etc) so people have an idea of just what they can submit for review.  Also maybe defining curator would be helpful to new potential users of fluence.