Ilona Maras

Ilona Maras is a young DJ/Producer who has really made a name for herself over the last 12 months. After being included in DJ Mag ‘Hottest 6 Acts to Watch out for’ and releases on Get Physical & Natura Viva, she is a name that is hot on peoples lips right now! With a recent release out on Ukranian label Dear Deer Records, we sat down with her to talk about her rise to fame, her production techniques, and her plans for the forseeable future…

You seem to like melodic sounds, is that fair? Are you formally trained in any way?

I like melodies, as they can manipulate my emotions the best. I am working on writing melodies more and more myself or in collaboration with others lately.

How different do you sound when producing solo vs working in a duo?

When I am solo I usually really work freely and the music depends on my current mood, life situation, music I listen at that moment, weather 🙂 and my spirit is completely free, sometimes too free:). Working with others actually can be a bit different when it comes to strategy and approach. Although I am used to working alone, with others I limit a bit myself but also focus more, and try to blend myself in the best possible way with the ideas of others. If it works, then it’s magic.

Why does working with Sanja work so well? How did you first meet and decided to do so?

Sanja and I are good friends, and with our twisted open minds and similar upbringing, it’s easy to build anything. We definitely differ in many ways which helps us in music creation, matching unmatchable and coming up with completely unordinary ideas.

So is it a collaboration in real life in the studio or over the internet? How does it work?

It was partly both ways.

Tell us about the latest EP you did together – what inspired or influenced it?

Sanja started with the idea and I developed it. Billie as the vocal came later on and completely knew how to fit the mood of the track and of what we were trying to achieve.

Will you work together again do you think? 

Definitely we will work together on more tracks. We have something already scheduled in a couple of months, but it is a secret for now.

Who does what when you work together – do you have your own skills or do you both do everything?

We both do a bit of everything. Lately, I really like experimenting with drums and bass lines, whereas Sanja always comes up with great ideas on all the melodic parts. At the end we decide together on everything.

Tell us about the vocals – who wrote them, were they recorded live, or sent over the internet? What do you feel they add to the music, meaning or just another sound that’s more human?

Billie was invited to be part of the track after hearing him in some of his previous tracks. His vocals were sent over the internet in one hour I would say. He is a talented young soul who seems to capture it all in the right way.

What gear did you use on it, hardware or software? Does that define your sound, do you think?

We have recorded a few sounds with Juno 106, and my inseparable family Moog and Prophet, TR-8, Roland 303. The rest of the sounds were exausted from a bunch of VSTs.

What else have you got coming up/are you working on?

I am happy  to finish my 2 last remixes for this year, for Hibrid and Alchemist, and one major EP I am very happy to release on Selador. The rest in 2018 will be a surprise.

Ilona’s ‘Curve Of The Horizon’ is out now on Dear Deer Records. Grab it here: