Asif Illyas is an ECMA award-winning veteran of the Canadian music scene, based on the Atlantic Coast in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and currently spends most of his time creating music for film and television. His career spans over 25 years where he fronted Canadian progressive-pop outfit and EastWest/Warner Europe recording artists, MIR, touring four continents and producing 4 critically-acclaimed albums. He also was guitarist for Cutting Crew, during a portion of lead singer Nick Van Eede’s solo career during the late 1990’s. He has appeared on albums with Sting, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell and performed on stage with Australia’s Colin Hay of Men At Work, Paula Cole, and many others. He has composed and arranged for many orchestral charts for symphonies such as VSO, WSO and SNS across the country in their Pops series’. He was also assistant to the musical direction for David Foster’s touring All-Star show, working for artists BabyFace, Lionel Ritchie, Natalie Cole, and Nathan East.
Currently, his work is in dramatic and documentary score production and has written award-winning scores for feature films such as TIFF and CSA Winner, “Weirdos”, 2018 breakthrough Horror epic, “The Child Remains”, Cannes-Winner “Blackbird”, and National Film Board’s award-winning documentary, “The Chocolate Farmer” and other hit-documentaries such as “Sickboy”, HBO’s “Fanarchy”, “Bounty – Into The Hurricane”, “Forever Young” among many others. Illyas has also produced many recordings for local artists such as Ria Mae. He released a solo recording in 2014, titled “Synesthesia “, performing all the instruments, which won him an ECMA that same year. His solo concert performance utilizes extensive live-looping to recreate the landscapes on his recordings. His latest venture in 2018 was in creating a new internet music show entitled, “Live On The Flight Deck”. He hand-built a full-scale airliner simulator and takes Canadian musicians such as Ria Mae, George Canyon, and Alan Doyle, co-writing and performing on musical flights over areas the artists have toured or are of note to them.
Asif’s newest release, “Arrows” (2020), contains a selection of eight new tracks that were written, recorded, mixed and mastered in only three weeks during Christmas of 2019. Asif wanted to create a collection of songs that were unfiltered and immediate; avoiding the fuss of tweaking and twiddling. He called the album Arrows to honour the process of the new recording; aiming the musical bow towards the sky and firing the songs out into the unknown…hopefully striking a chord in the hearts and minds of listeners like you!