For this month’s Carhartt WIP Radio show we bring you FloFilz, one of Germany’s most in-demand hip hop producers. Since 2013 he has released instrumental records on labels such as Melting Pot Music and Jakarta, with a style that seductively blends soul- and jazz-influenced grooves.Exposed to music from an early age by his parents, both of whom were musicians, FloFilz grew up in Belgium, eventually ending up in Aachen near the German border, where he studied the violin and classical music, while also playing in orchestras. Coupled with this upbringing, he cites A Tribe Called Quest‘s iconic The Low End Theory, released in 1991, the same year he was born, as a key influence on his sound.FloFilz’s first two albums as a beatmaker were collaborative works, and in late 2014 he released his first solo LP titled Metronom.
Four instrumental albums have since followed, cementing his reputation as jazz-connoisseur producer, who seeks to open up the genre to a new generation of listeners, in the same way “The Low End Theory” opened his sonic horizons.For his Carhartt WIP Radio show, he melds older work with tracks from his upcoming album Transit. The show also features collaborations with up-and-coming UK based artists such as Alfa Mist, Barney Artist, Biig Piig and K, Le Maestro. As usual we also sat down to speak to this month’s host, chatting about his upbringing, Bach and J Dilla, and his thoughts on Germany’s hip hop scene.
How did you first get into music and performing?
FloFilz: My parents are both classical musicians so I’ve always been surrounded by music. I started playing the violin at the age of four and studied classical music later on. I played in orchestras and stuff like that but always loved jazz as well, and at some point got into hip hop from there. I started listening to old school hip hop more and more and one day decided that I wanted to try and create my own beats.
Can you describe us the person you imagine listening to your music?
FloFilz: I feel like it’s hard to generalize in that regard. I’ve been told by people of all ages and backgrounds that they dig my music which I think is awesome and a big advantage of doing instrumental music.
What do you find most challenging about the work you do?
FloFilz: It can be hard to stay inspired, creative and not worry too much about what the future holds. But as soon as I feel that way I take some time off and focus on things that are not music-related, which usually helps.
Do you have a studio or do you produce at home?
FloFilz: I produce at home most of the time. If I work with other people I sometimes hit the studio. For example when I worked with Alfa Mist or Biig Piig for the new album.
What’s the last piece of gear you got for your studio?
FloFilz: I bought an electric guitar because I wanted to try something new, so I’ve been busy trying to teach myself a bit. The intro of Transit(ions) was the first thing I recorded with it.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
FloFilz: They range from Bach and Ravel to Bill Evans and J Dilla … And I’m always influenced by new artists or releases I dig as well.
What is your creative process like? What do you usually start with when working on a new piece?
FloFilz: I mostly go with the flow without really planning anything. Most of the time I start by laying some drums down (which I almost always end up changing completely later on) and then chop up a sample (I generally spend a lot of time digging for those) or play some chords over that. Once the basic beat is there I´ll keep adding more elements.
You have a background in classical music, does this affect the way you produce?
FloFilz: Not too much actually. Or maybe more like indirectly, I guess I know what sounds good but I never really use any theory or stuff like that. But it definitely is helpful, especially for learning new instruments.
Read the full interview at Carhartt here.
1. FloFilz x The Deli – Green Flash
2. FloFilz x Psalm Trees – Smooth Wit¥ Any Groove
3. FloFilz – Crepuscule (Interlude)
4. J.Lamotta – Turning (FloFilz Remix) (Unreleased)
5. FloFilz – Lanai Gardens
6. FloFilz – Montclare St
7. FloFilz – Blue Orchard
8. FloFilz – Arcade feat. Alfa Mist
9. FloFilz – Hoxton Hoops feat. K, Le Maestro
10. FloFilz – Untitled (Unreleased)
11. Ghostnaut & Raw Collective – Must Be Love (FloFilz Remix)
12. FloFilz – The Don
13. FloFilz – Bad Self
14. Freddie Joachim – Beyond The Sea of Trees feat. FloFilz
15. FloFilz & K, Le Maestro – Untitled (Unreleased)
16. FloFilz – Ruamarelo
17. FloFilz – Getdismoney (Instrumental)
18. FloFilz – Transit(ions)
19. FloFilz – One4Jakarta
20. FloFilz – Br¸ckenmarkt
21. FloFilz – Nuvem feat. Olivia Wendlandt
22. FloFilz – Camberwell feat. Alfa Mist
23. FloFilz & Hubert Daviz – 3rd Avenue
24. FloFilz – Inside Out feat. Biig Piig