For the 3rd episode of The Soulquest Lab, we got the chance to talk with amazing german beat maker FloFilz. From consistent Hip-Hop remixes and Soundcloud releases to producing for Rejjie Snow and Damu the Fudgemunk, we talked about his evolution in the beat scene, his inspirations as well as his latest project Lost In Translation. An OG in the so-called ''lofi'' beat-scene, his evolution will not fail to inspire you.
Hey man, Thank you for being here, great to finally have you. How are you ?
Hey, thanks for having me ! I’m doing well, moved to Berlin recently and have been busy setting everything up. Excited for a fresh start and a new environment !
First off, congratulations on your new album Lost in Translation. You recently teamed up with Maryland based rapper K.A.A.N and created a beautiful collaborative project. The LP, which you released with Redefinition Records, features Blu and Damu The Fudgemunk. Can you tell us how that collaboration came about and what the process was like ?
Thanks a lot, yeah had lots of fun working on that one ! Damu The Fudgemunk actually hit me up personally back then asking if I’d want to work with Redef which was incredible since he’s always been a massive inspiration!
They then told me about K.A.A.N. who to be honest hadn’t been on my radar before and asked me if I could imagine working with him. I instantly felt his music so I happily agreed - I sent a batch of beats over and shortly afterwards he sent me a full batch of finished recordings back which were all amazing ! His work ethic is crazy ! Damu then added his own intro and outro to the project and took care of the finishing touches (cuts, breaks, mixing and mastering).
I know you first studied classical music and played violin, an instrument which you sometimes incorporate to your music. What first sparked your interest in Hip-Hop and what made you wanna start making your own beats?
Yes, I studied classical music from age 18 on and got into Hip-Hop around that age as well. My dad introduced me to jazz as a child and from there I discovered A Tribe Called Quest, J Dilla, Madlib & others. The first time I recorded violin for one of my tracks was on the „Cenário“ album and I’ve been doing it a bit more often since.
Most of your music is sample-based and you’ve really mastered the art of sampling. Do you sometimes produce tracks around your own compositions ?
I really like using samples as a foundation and then compose based on / around them. Or I make a beat and then work with other musicians who record their take of it. (That’s what happened with Alfa Mist for example, we then kinda combined both version into one)
We’ve mentioned Alfa Mist and your recent collaborations but you’ve also worked with artists like Barney Artist or even Rejjie Snow . Did the transition from a solo beat maker to a producer happen naturally or was it through trial and error?
I'd say that it has happened naturally ! I’ve just been doing my thing. When I've come across artists I really like, I try to get to know them and then work with them. The first MC's I worked with were German ones like Slowy and Joe Space back in 2013-14 which was an exciting experience. Slowy insisted on meeting up before making music together which we did and we connected instantly. I still prefer that approach over just making beats for someone you don’t really know.
I personally discovered your work on Soundcloud in 2014 with your track ‘’Veturna’’. As you probably know, you’ve inspired quite a lot of young producer of the Soundcloud 'era' to start making beats and putting out their own tapes.
Those good old Soundcloud days..! Back then I was inspired by all of those great producers on the platform (still often am) so it feels quite surreal to be considered someone who has now inspired what seems to be the next generation of beat makers. It definitely is the biggest compliment, feels great and makes me very happy!
You also recently featured on the ‘’Baker's Dozen Xlll’’ compilation alongside legendary producers like Madlib, Pete Rock or The Alchemist. Did you know your music would have such an impact when you first started releasing beats?
Man, when I sent my beat for the Baker’s Dozen compilation I had no idea who else would be on it. I was just glad to be invited!
Then they told me that it’s coming out and I saw the track list and couldn’t believe it haha - still can’t really.
Never thought I’d be listed next to those legends who I’ve been looking up to all that time. And also never expected to get where I am now, I know that it is a big privilege and I couldn’t be more thankful.
Prior to working on this interview you mentioned being on the move. I know you’re based in Germany but also lived in London if I’m not mistaken. Are you inspired by the upcoming jazz scene in the UK ? (Kamaal Williams, Nubya Garcia, Blue lab beats, Ezra Collective etc..)
I actually lived in Aachen until like a month ago and now in Berlin !
My album Transit is heavily inspired by the London and the local jazz / hip-hop scene though which I absolutely love. It’s amazing how many different great artists there are and where they’re leading the genre ! The Silhouettes compilation which recently came out on Melting Pot Music is a really good example.
In terms of production, what’s your creative process like ? Can you tell us about your workflow ? Any special tools or plugins?
My workflow is pretty straight forward. I mostly start with programming some placeholder drums, then chop a sample and after that start working on the actual drums and additional elements. I recently picked up an electric guitar and have been including that as well. I really like the XLNaudio and Waves plugins and the Arturia analog lab.
We always love asking what the artists we interview listen to. Is there any underrated artists or tracks you've been listening to lately?
I’ve really been digging all of the artist featured on the Silhouettes project mentioned earlier. Some other recent favs include „Stay Low“ by Yugo Ease feat. Ill Camille and Kendra Trotter, „Goosebumps“ by Sen Morimoto, „Fall Afternoon“ by Azymuth / Ali Shaheed Muhammad / Adrian Younge, „Phatt Fruity“ by Jazzbois .. Feel free to also check out my Favs playlist on Spotify ! Trying to update it regularly.
Thank you so much for answering our questions man. We really appreciate your time and, as always, wish you continued success in your next projects. Anything you’d like to add?
Of course and thank you - really appreciate it ! Wishing everyone a nice winter / Christmas time. Stay healthy & inspired !
Follow and support FloFilz on Instagram, Bandcamp, Soundcloud & Spotify
Photos by Gabriella Achadinha, artwork by Alex Plesovkich and interview by Karim Chibani.
Great interview! Can only agree with FloFilz be a big inspiration. Would’ve probably never gotten into sampling without those soundcloud gems!
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