His latest album went gold, he won ‘Hip-hop band of the year’ at the music awards of his country and he has released music on world renowned dance label Armada Music, but you’ve probably never heard of him. I’m talking about Lithuanian producer Innomine. We talked to him and asked about his first steps in music and his success as a duo with fellow Lithuanian Lilas.
You are from the city of Kaunas, a place most people probably don’t know. Can you tell us something about it and how you grew up there?
“It is the second biggest city in Lithuania. I grew up in a quiet region of Kaunas, graduated at the Kaunas University of Technology in Music technology studies. All the time I felt that there was something more I wanted to do. So the next and wise step for me was to move to Vilnius, where cultural life is more developed. It allowed me to grow more, as a producer and as a person. Music is the lead of my life I would say.”
When did you find out that you wanted to make music?
“It all started at an early age. I grew up in an environment where I was influenced by a few older friends that where sort of trying ‘new hobbies’ at the time. I saw them making music, dj’ing, and wanted to take part in that as well. At the very beginning it was all like a game to me, but it started to grow on me.”
“After some time, me and couple of friends started creating music as a hip-hop band. Ever since the very beginning I couldn’t make up my mind about what music style I wanted to do. I was jumping from one genre to another, trying to find myself. Maybe that’s why many different influences can be heard in my music and they are changing all the time. I was really into artists like The Glitch Mob, Calyx and Teebee a few years ago. Later there were The XX, Andhim, Finnebassen, Disclosure and a lot of other music. All very different, but they all have something in common I guess.”
You’ve made some solo records, but you’re probably best known for your work with Lilas. How did you and Lilas end up forming a duo?
“Both Lilas and I were working separately on music first, but we knew each other almost since the very beginning of our ‘music careers‘, through hip-hop forums. One day we accidentally met in a Lithuanian resort. One thing led to another, as one beer lead another, and we decided to make a song and then an album together.”
It probably was the right move. You two are a pretty big deal now in Lithuania. You’ve recently sold out the biggest stage in your country.
“2016 was a really good year for our band. I say band because, while our name states us as a duo, there are six of us when we are on stage. This year we won ‘Hip-hop Band of the Year’, and ‘The most Popular Video Clip’ at the Lithuanian music awards. We also won ‘Best Song of the Year’ at the Lithuanian hip-hop awards for the song Lilas ir Innomine – Karina. Our album Tu – Naktis went gold as well as three singles from the record. We did a show in Kaunas’ Žalgiris Arena (with a maximum capacity of 20,000, ed.), which is the biggest arena in Baltics and played at the biggest festivals in Lithuania this summer. As the year isn’t over yet, we are getting ready for our upcoming concert on the 26th of November at the Siemens Arena in Vilnius.”
The music you make without Lilas is more deep house often with English lyrics. How important is it for that you can do both of these things?
“I had hard time deciding what style I wanted to stick to. All these deep house-ish tracks where the ways to find my spot.
It’s been a while since I made music as a solo-artist. Right now I’m more into producing for other artists as a ghost producer. But I’m sure I will get back to releasing solo music, though I’m not completely sure in what music style. “
You’ve released some songs on the famous Armada dance label, which opened a door to the Western European music market. Is it a goal of you to conquer the rest of Europe too?
“Yes, things were going pretty good with my house tracks. I had a few releases at smaller labels and couple at Armada Music, but that didn’t fulfil me, to be honest. Not to mention, I never wanted to be a DJ. My dream and goal as an artist is to be capable to create music, to enjoy doing it and to surprise myself.”