While 2016 may not have been the most stellar of years for most people, Harley Streten aka Flume has significantly blossomed this year. With the release of his immensely successful sophomore album Skin, it is safe to say that Flume was one of the highlights of this year. Of course, with great power comes great responsibility. Thankfully, now Streten can rest easy knowing that he has done well.
In a recent interview, he opened up about some of his album’s biggest collaborations. Check out an excerpt below.
Q: When your album comes out and does really well, is there a part of you that’s secretly relieved? Because the sophomore slump is always a possibility, right?
Flume: I don’t think it’s a secret, I’m massively relieved. I didn’t know how it was going to go. I was actually quite concerned, I didn’t know what the future was going to be like. I feel quite liberated now. I feel like I can do whatever I want. I feel a lot of freedom.
Q: How did the Vic Mensa collaboration come about?
Flume: It was in my hometown of Sydney. He was playing a festival, and I was a fan of what he was up to. I hit him up, and we go in the studio together, and he played some of his ideas he was working on and I played him some of my stuff. There was a particular idea of mine that I was working on that he was really excited about, and that became (“Skin” track) “Lose It.”
Q: It is important for you to actually be in the studio with the people you collaborate with? These days, that’s pretty rare.
Flume: It’s always nicer to connect and work on a song together, it feels more collaborative. But I also quite like doing something in my own space and sending it off, and someone changing it in a way I would never have thought. I kind of like working on my own a lot, but it feels more collaborative when you get in a studio and get to know the person you’re working with. I think that’s probably when the best stuff comes about.
Q: How did you get Beck to appear? He doesn’t do a lot.
Flume: I was in L.A., and we were looking for people to work with, and my manager knew Beck was someone I was into. One day I got a call from my manager and he was like, “Hey, do you want to go to Beck’s house today?” I caught an Uber to his house and I knocked on the door, and there he is, it’s Beck, welcoming me into his house. It was kind of surreal, to be honest. I was wearing pink board shorts and a backpack and a cap, and I realized I looked like some kind of kid, just walking into this legend’s house, but he was really down to earth. We basically just hung out in his studio space. I played him a bunch of ideas and he would walk around the house with a microphone, (he’d) walk into the kitchen just singing, and I’d record everything.
Q: When you have people like that on an album, who are big personalities, do you have to fight to make sure your own personality comes through?
Flume: For me, it’s not about the personality. For me it’s about the music. I think the music I make has a unique style, and that’s my brand. I actually try to keep my face off a lot of things, like album covers. I would never have my face on an album cover. For me, it’s all about the sonic identity.
Source: Chicago Tribune