22 Dec This Is: Flavors
Flavorbeats (Flavors) is a lofi hip-hop producer based out of Connecticut. Throughout 2017 he has kept busy releasing many projects such as Roses, Dusk, Aura, and recently released his latest installment in the Snowscape series. Over the past year, He has been hard at work collaborating with many other well known artists such as soho, with.u, ntourage, blvk, and many more. In this interview we talk about his production process, workflow, advice for aspiring producers, and what fans can expect in 2018.
This Is: Flavors | Interview with [stzzzy]
You recently released a follow-up to Snowscape, which was released last winter. How have you grown/developed in the last year?
In this past year, I have purchased Ableton Live 9 and have experienced with a ton of new plug-ins. For the first Snowscape, I used the Maschine software, which definitely limited me and, in a way, put me inside of a box. This is because there was only a certain length I could go to while using it; it was difficult to follow through with certain things and it was hard to actually finish songs inside of it. But, I made the second volume of Snowscape with Ableton, which made everything much easier. With this new program, I was able to expand my creativity, follow through with certain functions more smoothly, and begin to learn how to mix and master.
The title ‘lofi’ seems to have a bit of a stigma attached to it. What are your views on this expansive genre?
As someone who’s been an observer longer than a participant, I think that there was a noticeable shift into this “phase” of the genre. “Lofi Hiphop” used to be mainly used as a phrase to describe a certain style of production, where low fidelity equipment was involved to create music. Today, though, its definition is starting to change, and it cannot really be used in that same way to describe to the listener what they might be listening to. Instead, it has started to cover and revolve around a certain aesthetic that producers, who are just starting out, think they must follow.
What is a typical beat making session like for you?
I usually dig for samples on Youtube or go through my records and, once I find a sample that coincides with my mood, I get to chopping in Ableton. From there, I add drums, bass, percussion, other samples, etc. After doing a quick mixing and mastering job, I usually throw it into my SP and add effects to spice it up a bit.
Sometimes, If I can’t make a beat sound how I want it to, I go outside for a little bit because taking a break or taking a moment to think helps a lot. Personally, I accomplish more when I don’t force my creativity or get frustrated.
What are some studio essentials? (programs, vinyl, instruments, caffeine, etc.) (if at all possible, we would love to get a picture of your setup, with further elaborating on your environment)
The equipment that’s most important to me when producing: my Ableton Push 2, my SP-404SX, and my Audio Technica turntable. Also, I always prefer to have some snacks and a bottle of water nearby at all times, so I can stay fueled, haha.
What can we expect from you going into 2018?
In 2018, I plan on dropping other various beat tapes, making a second tape with my friend Two Sleepy, dropping a cassette with Sleepdealer, making a small tape with Floridomi and, possibly, making my first album.
You’re currently in Connecticut? What’s the music scene like in your city?
Connecticut is a great state that has a lot to offer. There’s plenty of things to do around here like going to the beach, playing mini golf, hiking, going out to eat, etc. The music scene in my city , specifically, is centered mostly around mainstream stuff. At my school, I only know of around one or two kids who listen to hip hop beats regularly. This kind of makes me upset because I wish more people in my town listened to underground stuff on the regular, because it has a lot to offer and it’s good to branch out.
Outside of music producing, do you have any other hobbies/interests?
Besides producing, I love making collages for beat tapes and albums by hand/inside of Photoshop. I find it really fun to find various images and merge them together in a certain way so, when someone looks at them, they have to think about them or a little. Additionally, I have played soccer for as long as I can remember and, even though the fall season just ended, it’s always fun to get a few touches on the ball occasionally. Lastly, I like playing Xbox with my friends sometimes when I’m not feeling particularly inspired/motivated beat wise.
Do you have any advice for producers working on their craft?
As cliche as it sounds, I would tell producers who are just starting out to not give up and quit. This is because, when I first started, I was not able to get my beats to sound how I wanted them to, and I got really frustrated. I thought of giving up, but instead, I kept experimenting and working as much as I could and, eventually, everything ended up working out the way I wanted it to. Also, I would recommend to create music that you like, instead of what you think other people would like. Because, if you’re not enjoying what you’re creating, then why are you creating in the first place?
Any final thoughts / words of wisdom?
“Success seems to be connected to action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes but don’t quit.” – Conrad Hilton