ACL Artist Spotlight: Flying Lotus

As Austin City limits weekend two approaches, one of the biggest names in modern beatmaking will be making a stop in Texas.

flylo4Born as Steven Ellison, from suburban San Fernando Valley, CA, FlyLo is taking the experimental hip-hop music scene to new heights. Ellison was bred into a family that has quite an extensive history within jazz and soul. His grandmother being the Motown songwriting queen Marilyn Mcleod, great-aunt and jazz-pianist, Alice Coltrane, and great-uncle and legendary saxman, John Coltrane, it only made sense he would find his way into music. During his early school years, Ellison played alto-sax and then saxophone following right in his elders footsteps but what marked a change was when he was introduced to R.A.W’s mixtape at the age of 15. He notes that this album changed the way he saw music and what it could be.

FlyLo also notes that his time pursing a degree in Filmmaking at the Academy of Art, also taught him how to craft albums with a story. He has worked with the likes of Erykah Badu, Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, Snoop Dogg and so many others to create incredibly vivid and thematic soundscapes and its crazy to know that FlyLo has been on the scene for nearly a decade and still continues to surprise and push the boundaries of what it means to be a genre-bending artist with every release. Digitizing soul, space-funk and electro-pop is no easy mix but Flying Lotus seems to be doing just fine.

It’s interesting to witness the translation of his acoustics live because normally when electronic music is played at a festival venue a lot of the defining details are lost but as someone who saw FlyLo live at Day for Night last winter, I can say his live production is unmatched and perfectly compliments his acoustic dreamscapes and that if you miss his set you’ll be missing out on something really special. Catch him this weekend on Friday at ACL!

Be sure to keep up with Flying Lotus on Soundcloud, Twitter and flying-lotus.com.

Kris is a sophomore at the University of Houston studying Graphic Design. You can probably find her at your local thrift store or coffee shop curating a funky playlist. Keep up with her antics on Twitter @krissofff and Instagram @kriss.off

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