Illenium recently opened up about his history of addiction, a struggle which inspired his recent single “Take You Down.” He’s been clean and sober for about six years now, but before a near-death overdose, he was in and out of rehabs for years.
“Addiction is fucked,” he says in a recent video interview with VEVO. “It makes you fall in love with something that can’t love you back.”
When he was about 21, his heart stopped, and he finally hit rock bottom. Until then, his only joy was found in partying, but he rededicated himself toward other efforts. He fell in love with skiing, hitting the slopes 60 to 65 days of the year, but that took a physical toll on him, a more rugged experience than it was healing, so he kept searching until his soul settled on creative pursuits.
“It transformed into this love and passion and thing that I really could find myself living for because I loved it so much,” he says. ‘It became the best part of my life. Every song I create is a healing process for me.”
“Take You Down” tells a particular story of the feeling of loss and desperation he felt one night after he’d been kicked out of another rehab facility. He truly felt it could be his “last night alive,” but his mother was there to give him shelter and love. Now that he channels his energy into music, he has seen those efforts rewarded with a flourishing career and a small, tight-knit circle of friends and family who are there for him whenever he may need. They keep him on the right track, and when fans share with him their stories of addiction, depression and struggle, it inspires him to tell his story in full.
Hear more about his struggles and his successes in the video clip below.