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Dallas, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | INDIE

Dallas, Texas, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2013
Solo Hip Hop Pop




"Hotbox Holidaze Tour Review"

iLLizem: Another artist I hadn’t seen before was iLLizem. At this point the club still wasn’t all that full and this guy got up there and KILLED it. He had the crowd going and people coming inside to the stage spitting tracks such as “Goons” and “420 hits” from his “illdependence day” ep, as well as a brand new track “You Already Know”. On top of the performance I’m pretty sure most everyone up front got a fresh T shirt and a cd to bump on the way home. I give props to iLLizem for his performance. - Tim Carson

"Meet Jared Zalewski of iLLiZeM in East Dallas"

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jared Zalewski.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jared. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am also known as iLLiZeM. I’m a singer, rapper, songwriter, and producer living in Dallas, Texas. I make a fusion of music and can be categorized into hip hop, rap, pop, and RnB genres. I was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona and music had a huge influence on my life growing up. My mom and dad both had great taste in music and I was fortunate enough to grow up listening to good music. My dad was in a band and played alternative rock music, and my parents put me into music classes as soon as I was able to learn, I guess you can say music has always been apart of my life. I played the piano and the drums as a kid. I listened to and played a lot of rock music, it wasn’t until high school that I got into hip hop, pop, and rap music. Shortly after graduating high school in 2012, I moved to Dallas Texas in order to find better opportunities a better job and to try and get away from the drugs and crime that surrounded my life in Tucson. I found a job and within about two weeks, I met my first friend in Dallas, Diamond Scruggs. We instantly clicked and we had a lot in common when it came to music and common goals, she then introduced me to a really good friend of mine who is also an incredible artist in Dallas, Ambruce. I met Ambruce and was a little intimidated the first time I met him, he had a really dope project he had just released and a packed house at his video release party.

Long story short, I worked up the courage to rap for him one day and he immediately took me under his wing and put me in a position to be the artist I am today. He helped me find people that would work with my budget, studio engineers, graphic designers, producers… pretty much everybody. He also helped me really start building a name for myself by introducing me to the right people and putting me in a position to make life long relationships. I recorded my first mixtape “Dryheat” out of a house in South Oakcliff, with Dejuan Wooten aka Woo. I printed 1000 copies of it and wouldn’t let anyone leave my presence without one. I handed a tape to somebody and got a call a few days later from my current manager Mike Atzeni, saying he wanted to work with me. Mike had just started an independent label, “Dallas Plug Entertainment,” shortly before meeting me. We met, we clicked, and we have been building the label up together ever since. In late 2014 we partnered with Blue n Silver Studios, and I met the man behind my sound, Rafael Rodriguez, aka, (Dj Decrazed.) I released a few EP’s, I had worked on with a few other engineers and producers before meeting Dj Decrazed and my sound just wasn’t where I wanted it to be. I decided to go back to my grassroots and get the majority of my production done by Dejuan Wooten (Woo) for my Debut Album “2 Bics, 2 Papers,” and have the album engineered by Dj Decrazed.

My manager and I then linked up with one of the best videographers in the city, Jeff Adair, to film the video for the single on my album, “Time Bomb.” It was a success. I was getting bigger shows, getting more recognition and the music was really resonating with people. I was focused on doing shows and expanding my fanbase and I was relentless. I got to the point where I really just missed being in the studio and making music, and I wanted to get more in touch with the craft, musicianship, and learn how to produce my own music, so I started making beats collaboratively with Dj Decrazed. He taught me everything I was possibly able to obtain about production over about a year and a half, and we released a few singles we produced together. After a year, I finally felt like I was able to produce my music on my own, and I wanted to start on my second album. I went and invested in my own production equipment and am now currently working on my sophomore album “Someone EXplain,” which I will be executively produced by me. I’ve been relentlessly working on the album for about eight months and, it is by far my best work to date. I have yet to announce the release date, but I am hoping to have the album out by Oct 2019.

At the same time, I don’t want to set any release dates and rush my creativity. I care so much about the craft of making music and I want to make music for real music listeners, who feel the same way. I feel like I am where I’m at today because of that reason. In conclusion, I have incredible people around me that believe in my dream and that it can be a success, I have incredible fans that really care about the craft of making music and a family that truly supports what I am doing. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My career thus far has not been a smooth road, I’ve had some amazing times but this industry is not easy. There are people in this industry that only care about themselves and their pockets, and I’ve had to learn the hard way about shady business. I’ve also had to distance myself from family, cut ties in certain relationships, and work 80+ hours a week on my career. It becomes hard to find the time to enjoy a normal life outside of the music business. I think the stress and anxiety of following up with bigger and better material every time you release something become the biggest struggle for any artist, and that’s definitely a struggle I feel I will always have to deal with.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
My main focus is on the music, creativity and building my brand independently. I feel like I’m a lot different from any other artists in the DFW Metroplex in that my sound is my own and my live performance stands from the rest. I care more about the craft of making music than being successful, and I believe that really resonates with my people.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I have some huge plans, but I can’t say anything about them at this time. Just keep an eye on me! - Voyage Dallas


Still working on that hot first release.



Jared Zalewski, better known as iLLiZeM is an American singer, rapper, songwriter and producer. iLLizeM was born & raised in Tucson Arizona where he found his passion for music and currently resides in Dallas Tx where he started his career in music. His first mixtape release "Dryheat," caught the attention of Mike Atzeni C.E.O. of Dallas Plug Entertainment, and landed him a deal with the independent label. Soon after partening with Mike Atzeni, iLLiZeM released his debut Ep, Southwest Sinatra in March of 2015. In March of 2017 he released his debut album "2 Bics, 2 Papers," followed by music videos for "Time Bomb," & more. iLLiZeM is always working on new music to be released..Singles,EP's, & Albums..

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