Coming fresh off his first full-length, self-titled debut album, Harley Streten — or Flume as he’s better known — has experienced a meteoric rise catalyzed, largely in part, by his catchy, international viral hit, “Sleepless” (featured below). Although his popularity continued to blossom as a result of a variety of remixes and infectious live performances, Flume has minted himself as a composer with a vast breadth of ingenuity and an eclectic array of sound and style at his disposal.
The Music Ninja had the honor of interviewing him, learning more about the Aussie artist’s influences, songwriting process and thoughts on dance music in general. Check it out below:
TMN: For many, music is a way to invoke nostalgia and is the accompaniment for memories of a time and place in which the listener forms memories. With the release of your debut album, a very diverse compilation of sound and style, how and where did you envision this LP to be heard?
What I wanted is to create an album that could be played at clubs/bars and also at home as something to relax to. I come from a Dance music background and it’s important for me that people are able to dance to my music. Especially at shows, I can’t imagine gigs being nearly as fun if everyone just sat down and listened instead of dancing.
TMN: What are some of the inspirations behind your sound? Is there a theme you find yourself abiding by in your style of music?
I drew a lot of inspiration from travelling round Europe for the first time, soaking up my surroundings and being amongst different cultures. Genre-wise, I’ve been influenced by early 90s Trance music, The ED Banger French Electro movement and then guys like J-Dilla Flying Lotus, M83, Moby.
TMN: Which element, from a sample to an entire genre, do you feel you own as a producer and can be remembered for?
TMN: What is your routine for composing a song and its original elements? With what type of equipment?
I usually start with a beat or a chord progression and then I’ll write a melody over the top of that. Everything’s written on my laptop with a copy of Ableton Live, some synthesizers and a dope set of speakers. I just invested a bit of money into my set up, before it was really basic but now I’m getting some toys for the studio.
TMN: Were you always considered “Flume”? If you had other projects, what aspects of them (personal/creative) have carried into your current music?
Yes, my other project is called What So Not. My roots are in Dance Music and this is my creative outlet for that. I couldn’t do one without the other, I need to write a variety of music to stay sane and keep the creative energy high.