Ever interview a 3-D animation character in real time? Me either, until I met chillpill. A decade into interviewing, and I have just now encountered my first Zoom interview with the producer, songwriter, and recording artist, who takes the form of a character from a cartoon universe called pillville.
The story goes, chillpill grew up feeling lost with no purpose just like the rest of us… until he discovered music. Having written and produced for everyone from Panic! At The Disco to Chloe X Halle, chillpill made his virtual artist debut with single “FUCK THE CLUB” feat. GOLDN”—following it up with “LiL BitCH” featuring Rico Nasty and Soleima, and most recently “Moonwalk” with YBN Nahmir, Cousin Stizz, & Teejayx6.
Upon first listen, you may assume he found his home in the pop realm, but it actually goes much deeper than meets the eye. Particularly in the lyrics, you’ll find metaphors of the reality of the music industry from the lens of chillpill himself.
Flaunt caught up with chillpill, who admits it took him 2 hours to get the technical side down when it came to the Zoom interview. Read below as we discuss how chillpill came about, the meaning behind his character, musical influences, and more.
I was excited to see who chillpill really was. Are you ever going to reveal the person behind chillpill?
The person behind chillpill is the team that we’re working with. We have a bunch of people on the project working with us, from our video editor to our illustrator to our 3D designer. It’s a collective group of people, so I like to give credit where credit is due.
How would you describe chillpill?
That’s me. A music producer. I’ve been trying to dance on TikTok but it’s not working out for me. But I’m trying, so hopefully I’ll get some more followers on TikTok.
Where are you from originally?
Right now, I’m in LA. Originally, I’m from the cartoon universe. I can give you the origin story of how I got to earth. l come from a city called pillville in the cartoon world. And in pillville, it’s pretty crazy. All the Adderalls are on Wall Street, all the Xanax’s run the bars. I grew up a placebo pill, so I didn’t fit in as much as everybody else. Everybody made fun of me in school because I didn’t have a purpose. I was a pill without a purpose. That’s how I got into music. I started making beats in my bedroom, and that was my escape from the reality of the world.
Who inspires you musically?
Kanye’s one of my biggest influences as a producer, because he’s not afraid to take risks. I was really into El-P and Run the Jewels coming up, El-P was doing so much different shit. Timbaland, the Neptunes, all the producers that young producers aspire to be.
When did you realize that you could do music for a living?
I didn’t really ever know I could do it for a living, it just happened. I’d make beats with friends, then they’d tell their friends. I’d sell a homie’s homie a beat for $40, then it went to $60. It snowballed into something I was able to pay rent with, which is really cool.
Highlights from working with Panic! At the Disco and Chole x Halle?
The Chloe x Halle session was amazing. It was one of those writing camps, one of those giant studios that everybody works out of. All the different studios inside it were all these different producers and writers. Everyone’s jumping from room to room, coming up with cool ideas and melodies. Chloe came in and did her piano line, I added some drums. We started talking about her life, that’s when Halle came in and started doing some melodies. It evolved from there. I didn’t even know it was gonna happen. “If God Spoke” is such a dope song, crazy it ended up going on the record.
How is it transitioning into your own solo artistry?
It’s scary. I’ve always been behind-the-scenes, hence [being] anonymous. I’ve always done the work with other artists. It’s never been my heart on my sleeve, so I never had to deal with the repercussions of people not liking your shit. After the song releases, I go work on another project. But with my own project, I gotta be aware of everything after the song drops. I gotta make sure it goes well, that everybody likes it. I gotta make sure the song I do is what people want. It’s very scary man.
You have “Moonwalk” out now with YBN Nahmir, Teejayx6, and Cousin Stizz.
I’m feeling good, it’s doing well. It’s slowly climbing, more streams and more streams which is always a good sign.
How was it playing A&R role with 3 artists?
It’s crazy because the beat was originally made in a session for Lil Dicky. We started the beat with my other homie. I had a verse on the song with him, but he ended up not taking it. I literally would go to everybody’s session and play this beat because it was so dope. It was a reactive beat, everybody wanted to jump on it. Bhad Babie jumped on it, Stizz jumped on it. It snowballed from there.
Stizz jumped in the booth: full freestyle, hook and verse. He amazes me. We kept moving on, did a couple more songs. When Nahmir heard it, he jumped on. Finally Teejayx6, I’m his biggest fan. He’s so fucking fire, he was rapping about crypto before everybody knew about crypto. I thought “I gotta get this dude on.” He’s the newest rising star, and he killed it.
Talk about pairing your music with the animation too, that’s dope you do everything.
I appreciate it. I’ve always been into the Gorillaz. I’ve always been into Quasimoto. I love Madlib and that idea of alter egos, being whatever you want. You can go crazy when you’re not bound to reality. I also love technology and fucking around with up and coming tech, real-time game engines, game syncs, all of this stuff. It’s the perfect opportunity to merge all the cool shit that’s available in creation into one project.
One thing that you want fans to take away from this record?
To not take the music so seriously, and to not take yourself so seriously. This record felt like a rap cypher almost. Everybody would jump in, have fun and do their own thing. It ended up becoming this really cool, musical moment. That’s what I’m all about: weird collaborations, blending artists you wouldn’t expect to work together. I really love to see different shit happen.
Bring us back to when you made “LiL BitCH” with Rico Nasty and Soleima.
I had that beat for so long, maybe 3 years old. When I made the beat, it was so cool. Another reactive record from left field. I always wanted to hear a female call a dude “a lil bitch” on a record. It was so different from what you’re used to in any setting. I thought it’s such a cool way to flip the concept. We got in with Soleima, she was amazing. Her vocals were crazy, then Rico bodied it like she always does.
How is music a coping mechanism for you?
It’s an escape from everything. Whenever I’m making music, songwriting, or even collaborating, the rest of the world zones out. I funnel into a flow state. I look up the next time it’s a break and it’s been 12 hours. Day has turned to night, or vice versa. It’s so fun. It’s such an escape from everything else.
What are 3 things you need in a studio?
Speakers, a laptop, and good energy. I really like to make the studio a safe place for everybody, myself included. It’s really important to be able to step into the studio and talk about some crazy shit you’re not usually used to being open talking about with people. The energy of the session or the studio you’re in, all of that plays a huge role.
Talk about your ChillBobPillPants cartoon mixtape.
For fun, I’ve been remixing cartoon theme songs. I did Spongebob. I did Pokémon. I did Recess, Rugrats. Flipping the cartoon theme songs into dope beats. Eventually, I want to get some rappers to jump on them and do some verses. That’d be so fire, making a whole cartoon series. There’s such an endless supply of nostalgic and new cartoons that can be flipped.
Do you have any goals for yourself?
I want to open up a VR theme park, it’s gonna be fucking fire. Short-term goals, I want to put some homies on. Open the door for some other cartoons or some producers and songwriters I work with, build a funnel for them to go crazy on. Long-term, I want to have a virtual Disneyland.
I want to come!
You’re first access! It’ll circle back: you’re my first interview, then you’ll be first in the park.
Anything else you want to let us know?
New song coming out with Sueco The Child and Lonely God. Sueco’s so fire, he’s a dope human being. The “Condom Song” song he just dropped is so fucking good. We might make another video game for it. We’re thinking about dropping merch, and on the merch is what triggers the video game. If you hold your phone up to the merch, it’ll start the game. You can only play if you have the merch available.