Currently Reading: Flying Lotus

One of the most sought after producers in the world today opens up to PDA about cannabis and the cosmos

His last album took us on a ride through the cosmos. Blessing the voyage with an other worldly blend of symphonic soul and a gravity-bending electronic feel. Flying Lotus called it “Cosmogramma.”

Steven Ellis is his given name, but the brilliant producer has been knighted completely on his own merit. Little else was given. He is as in-demand as any producer in the world today, and that is not hyperbole.

“People may be surprised by some of the new music I’m making,” Ellis says of his move to incorporate jazz fusion and vocal arrangements. “I’m trying out new things. Music should evolve, and it has through time just like humans. I realized that not everything has to be instrumental, so I plan to lay more vocals down. I’m adding new sounds, but the electronic base will always remain.”

Local fans waited eagerly to see his act at Decibel Festival, and Flying Lotus did not hide his mutual affection for our lovely city during that visit.

“I felt honored to be on an all electronic festival performers list,” Ellis said with sincerity. “Not that many cities are cool enough to throw that kind of festival. That immediately got mine and Ms. (Erykah) Badu’s attention. I might not be that cool, but you pay attention when she books a city.”

He takes a moment to sift through a care package provided by the PDA staff.

“And then to get presents, of the marijuana kind [LAUGHTER]. Yes it’s good to be here,” he remarks with a grin.

After catching grief for rumors of excessive psychedelic use, Flying Lotus takes this opportunity to set the record straight during our relaxed roundtable.

“I’m not saying I never use psychedelics, just a few times a year – not a month,” Ellis states emphatically. “Now weed, that’s a daily event for me. It helps me create, and stay level headed. It’s nice to be in a city where you can be open about that. It’s like marijuana was already legal here.”

“Until The Quiet Comes” is the title of his newly minted album and it has become the preferred ambient soundtrack at the PDA offices while we work to put out this new issue of PDA Volume 2.

“I’ll be back like Santa, don’t you worry,” Flying Lotus promises.

– E.B.


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