This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
What are your names?
ZiDiiL: I’m ZiDiiL, and many know me as Jade.
Scott Delta: My name is Scott Delta.
Illmana: My name is Illmana (she/her).
When was the group founded, and by who?
ZiDiiL: Enyu was founded by myself and a couple others around 2016-2017. By the time of our inception, we had just three members, and while I am the only founding member remaining, we continue to grow in size.
Where are you from?
ZiDiiL: I’m from all over the Southern states, born in Florida and raised in South and North Carolina. It’s definitely a factor that influenced my music taste and inspirations.
Scott Delta: I’m originally from St. Louis, Missouri, but I went to college in Boston, and I’ve lived around the country.
Illmana: I am from Washington D.C., ziDiiL is from Tampa, and Scott Delta is from St. Louis. There are more of us, as well as even more close collaborators all over.
What drove each of you to start making music?
ZiDiiL: I’ve been playing instruments since I was a small kid, so I guess it’s always [been] something that’s on the edge of my mind. I really started to focus on writing and creating my own music when I was in high school and especially after, when I was [in] college and inevitably dropped out to pursue music.
Scott Delta: What drove me to start making music was a number of things. I had met [a founding member of Enyu] and we had started making music together at Crafts House and I just felt like, such a deep connection with it. I was being driven to really make my best-- make the best of myself out of this music. What drives me to make music is just expression and experience. Really just putting myself-- it’s really just a salvation from the world around me in a lot of ways. It really brings the best out of me.
Illmana: Making music was always something that I was involved in-- from school band to learning how to make earbleed-worthy “remixes” in Audacity a decade ago, I loved music and wanted to be a part of it somehow. It wasn't until the summer after my freshman year of college that I was introduced to ENYU and started to realize that making music wasn’t just possible, but was enjoyable and a major point of growth in my life. Once we finally got together in person, the music just started flowing.
How did the Enyu collective come to fruition? What were the underlying ideas and common goals that brought you together?
ZiDiiL: Enyu came about from a lot of drugs, and a lot of time spent obsessing over music and art. I think originally we used it as a means to [...] channel our intentions and our ideas together to create something tangible and real, while also using it spiritually as a means to add purpose and establish a support system. We were all on some grassroots, community-driven mindsets, and through mutual friends and shared interest, all kinds of artists and creators came together. Members come and go, but the summer of 2019 is when everyone from all corners of the [United States] came together to make this happen.
The common goal of Enyu’s foundation is really just focusing on developing long term connections over that magic everyone loves to chase in life. The long nights laughing at nothing, perfect bites of food you’ve lovingly perfected time and time again, hearing a song in the right place at the right time and getting those chills across your whole body. Everyone wants a little motivation sometimes, Enyu is here to help you chase that high.
Scott Delta: ENYU, as far as I understand it, is the idea and concept that everything you need is within you and it will be brought out by the people around you that also have this idea. We were all friends of friends-- there were 6 of us originally-- and we were like, “Oh, let’s all meet up! We’re gonna go on this trip and meet up, make music, and just do what we can!” It started as that and fell apart throughout that time. I mean, I hadn’t even met ZiDiil up until that point. They came through and stayed at my place, and then we drove out to Nashville and hung out there for a bit, even though [other founding members] were supposed to be there; they got caught up in some bullshit, because they were locked up for a bit. Even while we were there, someone left, so it was down to the three of us-- me, ZiDiil, and Illmana. After Nashville, we all drove out to meet Illmana in Redlands, so we drove across three quarters of the country to get there after I’d only met Jade for like, maybe a week at that point. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I didn’t even know how to use a DAW like that, ZiDiiL taught me everything I knew. It was really such an eye-opening experience to just bring that out. In terms of a common goal, or how it was formed, was just like the energy, the connections, the chemistry, and the shared ideology of that. It can be brought out but it’s within you. It’s there, it is laying dormant until you bring it out.
Illmana: The original ideology of ENYU was created by ZiDiiL and some of their old friends long before I had ever joined up, but by the time I was a part of the collective, it [was always] a place of welcoming. Everyone involved is just doing their best trying to live a compassionate and creative life away from oppression and judgment. We also share a goal of wanting to be able to live life as artists without having to sacrifice ourselves to [the] industry.