Glad Rap with Campbell and Declan sat down and had a chat with Flo The Kid about Life, music and his very first mixtape! You can hear the full interview on SoundCloud:
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Your very first mixtape is dropping on August 31st, how long has this one been in the works for?
I’ve been working on it while I’ve been working on other projects, but I’d say the first track on the mixtape was made a year ago. So, it’s been about a year since I’ve been working on a project and seeing how I could fit every song I wanted to be there on it.
Talking about the mood, I know you have a song dedicated to Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest that you’ve previewed already, what can you say about the main musical influences there?
Well, I’m just a weird dude, honestly, I’ve got a whole bunch of different music tastes. A Tribe Called Quest is one of them and for Phife Dawg, I had to pay tribute to the guy, because he’s been a real influence for me. But I like 90s hip hop, 80s hip hop, new hip hop, like Childish Gambino, Mac Miller, Action Bronson; East Coast rappers like Joey Bada$$ and the Underachievers. But also rock and roll, electronic, a whole lot of stuff. But the old rock, not the new stuff. There’s good stuff now, but I wouldn’t say it’s as good as before.
And you’ve recently been playing a few huge shows, with French producers like Møme and The Geek x Vrv. How did relationships with those guys develop?
This is my story with the Geek x Vrv, because it was actually pretty interesting. I made a lot of hip-hop tracks where I was mixing hip-hop and electronic music and I heard a song I really liked and I sent them [the Geek x Vrv] a message asking if I could rap on it, just for myself. And the Geek told me, “yeah man, if you think that’s a good beat then do your thing”. So I did, and he loved it, so we started talking about music and a whole lot of stuff.
Møme was doing an EP and he wanted a rapper on it. So I think he sent out a Facebook status or something saying “hey, can anyone rap?”. The Geek talked to him and Møme came to me and said the Geek told him I was a good rapper and was really cool, and I was like “yeah, that sounds like me!” [laughs]. And so a song called Rêve went out, which was featured on his EP.
You perform with the help of a visual artist, Quentin, what can you say about the concepts of shows you do when you’re doing your own shows together?
It’s funny because every step of Flo the Kid has been really random. So a brand called me and was like “I heard you’re doing some songs, do you want to perform them for us in Paris”, and I was like “yeah sure”. And so I needed a DJ right? Like that would have been super lame if I just put my iPod in and played my songs. So I asked my good friend Quentin, who is the kind of guy who could be excellent at anything, he’s amazing. I talked to him and asked him if he wanted to be my DJ and he said, “yeah, I’ve never done it, but I’ll learn”. Then he texts me and is like “dude, do you want to try and do a visual show with that?” and I said, what are you talking about, you’re just starting to DJ, why would you want to do that, but I was like, OK do it. And we started doing it.
I think it’s more than just a rap show. You create a mood; kind of like the mixtape.
The songs you previewed on your upcoming mixtape so far have been in English, do you switch to French in any of your songs in the mixtape?
No I don’t. I’m thinking of doing a little French project, like a side project. But, I lived in the US, I studied there, and because of the time I spent there and because I listened to US hip-hop as a kid, my inspirations were mainly in English. So I started writing in English, not in French. I know that’s weird, because I’m French.
Talking about French rap, I know you recently played alongside famous French rapper Nekfeu, who’s a part of rap group 1995. We get almost no exposure to French rap here in Australia. I was wondering what your opinion on the French rap scene is at the moment?
Honestly, it’s a really great time for French rap right now. In the 90s we had great artists like Mc Solaar and IAM, those are big names. And then we had a new wave who were trying to be thug and shit like that, and that was really bad. I’m thinking of Booba. So [at that point] I was kind of hating on French rap, and that was partly why I wasn’t writing in French. But then 1995 came out and a whole lot of rappers followed that trend, kind of chill-rap, you know, not too serious. And I think right now, it’s awesome. I’m talking about French rap and Belgian rap, because there’s some good guys in Belgium too…. The new trend is a new kind of chilled French rap, and I love it. They just try and mix it up a little bit. It’s way better than before.
Alright Flo, thanks so much for taking out time to speak with us today. Enjoy your lazy Sunday!