MIC/LINE is HYPEBEAST Radio‘s music-centric show that looks to deliver in-depth conversations with your favorite artists, digging into their origin stories and asking the questions you want answered. For this week’s episode, we sit down with Flying Lotus.
The Los Angeles native, born Steven Ellison, is known for his experimental multi-genre music and even deemed a genius in his own right. Aside from his six critically acclaimed albums, FlyLo is the founder of his own label Brainfeeder, home to artists like Thundercat and Kamasi Washington. He also occasionally raps under the moniker, Captain Murphy, having debuted his first mixtape, Duality back in 2012.
Leaving the world with You’re Dead back in 2014, what may have seemed like a century for fans was only a snippet of time for the busy artist. In the past five years, he’s worked on producing various artists albums such as Thundercat’s Drunk, made his debut film Kuso, and worked on three soundtracks. FlyLo’s most recent work, Flamagra, comes at a time when he wasn’t sure he wanted to make another album.
The seasoned musician has been prioritizing “building music and visuals together” as a way to challenge himself. Continually pushing the boundaries of music, he admits that while in the process of wanting to grow, learning piano helped him get back into music.
“I’m not really out to impress anybody but myself. I wanna challenge myself and grow, experiment and learn new things. But I think where I ended up getting super back into just thinking about music was when I really started focusing on piano, and then that was just like, ‘Oh okay, there’s a challenge.’ This is the most difficult things I’ve done in my life.”
In control of his own timeline, FlyLo tells us he’s not in a rush to put out albums. He remains mindful of the time he spends practicing and stresses the importance of not rushing. He believes in allowing people the time to grow and figure our their own path. Later on he discusses working with Thundercat, the impact of Red Bull Academy and ranks Adult Swim shows. When discussing the future, he suggests perhaps the possibility of a jazz trio with himself playing the piano.
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