This Friday Flying Lotus is guesting on the Para3000 night of the Rush Hour family. His debut album "1983", released last year at Carlos Nino's Plug Research label, is much loved by those who are in favour of instrumental hip-hop with an experimental edge, and a cinematic and soulful vibe. You - the beyondjazz members - voted him to be the hottest talent discovered last year, so if you're in the Amsterdam area, you've got your chance to witness the man of the moment ... To warm you up we asked him to share his thoughts on the recent buzz around his productions, his aunt Alice, Dilla and the vibrant scene in LA.
First off, congrats on the release of your debut album. We see nothing but positive reactions and folks on this site definitely seem to love your dope beats. Are you surprised with how much people love your music?
I'm very surprised that folks dig this stuff the way they do. But at the same time, I feel like I represent a movement. A lovely thing is about to happen and my generation is at the forefront of it. I feel like I was put here to do this, so I'm gonna roll with it until I can't do it anymore ...
Let us ask you about your relationship with the mighty Alice Coltrane, who recently passed away. How much of an influence does the Coltrane-family connection have on you? And were there plans to make music with Alice?
I haven't really spoken on my aunt since she passed away, but, this might be a good time to do so. I lost more than a musical mentor. I lost more than an aunt. I lost my spiritual guide. I've never felt more lost and confused in my entire life on this planet, it's a very difficult time for me and the family right now but we are getting through it. My last few conversations with my aunt were nice. I remember the last time we spoke, I was asking her to play harp on my next album. She told me she'd do it if I got her harp fixed. I started doing the research as soon as we got off the phone. We never got the chance to record music, but that doesn't mean she won't be making an appearance on my next album ... *wink*
Read you studied film and worked for Adult Swim. What role does film play in your life?
Yeah, I actually studied film at two schools. Did some beats for Adult Swim shows, and commercials. Its a trip cuz I don't really watch TV, but I am an Adult Swim addict. It's the only TV I watch and my beats come on. There is nothing like it.
And what is that 'secret' docu we read about?
My secret documentary is on Alice Coltrane, of course ... We were working on it a few years back, still trying to gather up as much footage as I can. We did a few interviews, I got a gang of footage so it should be interesting.
How much Dilla did inspire you as an artist or a person?
People think that I was heavily inspired by Dilla in a musical sense but, to be honest, I grew up listening to Dr. Dre, his sound is what made me get on the beats when I was a teenager. Dilla inspired me more as a human being, more than anything else. He was determined, humble and diligent. It's nice to see that folks have really tried to embrace his essence and get back on their machines!
What is the LA hiphop or music scene like?
The sound of LA is really inspiring, lots of amazing talent here. Don't mean to be brash but, nobody is touching the west coast on the music tip right now. That's why everyone is moving out here trying to get a taste of the creative juices flowing. Even the king is part of our soil......Everybody loves the sunshine.
This 'Sound Of LA' is also a compilation series from Carlos Nino ...How did the two of you hook up?
I just left Carlos Nino's house not too long ago. Its nice to be in a place where you hear crazy bleeps and bloops, then you go to Carlos's spot and you hear these lovely string arrangements. He and I linked up through Lil' Sci (John Robinson). I was doing photography for Sci, and he heard some beats of mine and passed 'em to Carlos for the "Sound of LA" project. Ever since then, Carlos has been like an uncle to me. He really helped me to find my voice and for that, I am forever grateful to that crazy dude. .
Your '1983' album got pretty awesome feedback worldwide. What's the story behind the lp? Since when you've been producing songs btw?
I've been making tracks since I was 14 and It's still fun! 1983 was something I wanted to do to tell the world that its OUR time to shine, the folks from my generation have different inspirations and hear things differently. kids like, myself, Georgia Anne Muldrow, GB, Black Milk, Gaslamp Killer, Samiyam, Blu, etc.etc.etc.
1983 is a dedication to my generation, as well as a reflection of the time. I knew that people needed something else to hold on to, a different sound other than all these kids imitating Dilla's "Donuts". It took folks a while to wrap their heads around 1983, but it seems that they liked it. I think people initially expected me to do some typical shit, but I say, expect me to do the total opposite of what you want me to do, then you'll never get let down.