Not content with releasing one if not the album of 2019 so far, Flevans lets French producer Art of Tones get his hands on ‘Who’s Got Me’, while some producers struggles with new ideas, trying to re-invent the genre Art Of Tones sticks to what he knows best and makes tracks so irresistible you’d start wondering if he stole them from a snake charmer, letting Laura Vane’s vocal still take center stage he adds some nifty keys and lots of satisfying squelchy noises, check it out on our new dance playlist below
Long considered a member of the extended Jalapeno Records family, he’s now filed the necessary paperwork and legally changed his name. Yes, the flirting last year via a couple of blinding singles were no Tinder-esque ‘one -time casual thing’. Its official and we’re both into it 100% - Flevans is back with a brand new full-length album- ‘Part Time Millionaire’ via Jalapeno Records! That’s right. Hold the phones and get those jaws back up off the floor. The multi-talented instrumentalist and producer is back with his 5th studio LP and the release sees him furthering his trajectory towards song-led compositions.
And as you’d expect if you are familiar with this man’s work already - there’s more funk and soul crammed into the record than you can shake a stick at. But being a wonderfully social chap - he’s also extended a courteous invitation to some of his favourite chums, with the record boasting more collaborations than ever…
The amazing Antipodean - Elliott Cole, the pocket rocket - Laura Vane (MJ Cole, Cee Lo Green), soul songstress - Sarah Scott and gospel powerhouse - Izo FitzRoy all lend their considerable vocal talents to the record whilst Flevans does his thing both in front of and behind the mixing desk.
Highlights include the crunchy drums and bouncing guitar funk on ‘Invisible’, the soulful and stuttering bass-led strutter - ‘It Just Goes’ and Elliott Cole’s heart pouring vocal performance on the modern ‘lighters-in-the-air’ piano ballad, showing off a more sensitive side with a new soul ballad, the self-penned and produced track "15,000 Words" is a beautiful slice of modern soul with a heartfelt top-line from the antipodean soul man. The talented Mr. Cole has previously worked alongside high profile artists including Joss Stone, Beverley Knight and Solomon Burke, and even had soul-queen Betty Wright gushing “Sometimes you just know that an artist has ‘it’”. High praise indeed! But she wasn’t wrong at all and you can hear exactly why Flevans enlisted him to help out! These two are an absolute dream team and they show exactly what they can do on this pop-tinged piano-laden delight.
Coincidentally those are also the singles... What are the odds of that? Honestly, the calibre of material Flevans showcases here is so high this list could easily contain any of the album tracks. It’s a well-crafted LP that displays his prowess in both song writing and production alongside a real artistic development away from his earlier sample-based works. His playful character and style from those early years still shine through though in this energetic, fun and consistently interesting listen.
He sums the record and his approach up best with his own words: “The title ‘Part-Time Millionaire’ is a reflection of where I'm at right now - I’ve juggled writing this album with trying being the best dad I can to my two young kids - both of those things make me incredibly happy, but it’s a difficult balance and you don’t always feel you are able to devote yourself to either as much as you would like! I guess the title reflects how little time we have to do all the things we want but also how many positive things we can achieve!, “I’m always working to make an album that takes the listener on a journey, and hope that people enjoy it from start to finish….but the most important thing for me is simply for the listener to feel something positive when they hear it. I read a really interesting article from another producer that said you can work day and night to perfect your production, getting everything absolutely perfect, but there’s no point if people don’t actually feel something when they listen to it….so that stayed with me throughout this album and will continue to be the focus for the next LP and beyond”
15’000 words is available to buy, download and stream at all the usual outlets and features above on our new playlist with all the best Soul and Funk from the last 12 months, you can also check out ‘Invisible’ on the list below to keep up with the freshest new releases from Flevans and all of our featured artists.
This track is now in our archived playlist but you can still listen here check out the latest music added to the playlist above
With the release of the new LP this month will you promote it with a tour and if so will this be as just as a DJ or with a live act like many soul and funk artist’s that were once only studio based, we’ve recently featured both The Allergies and Daytoner here and both are now supporting their music with a live band.
I plan on supporting the release both with a live band and as a DJ (you can purchase tickets here to the debut gig on 27th April)
What we do at ‘Music to’ is very much based on promoting the playlists we create using a variety of streaming sites, what are your thoughts on the changes to the music industry because of the upward trend in streaming, is it a necessary evil or can you see positives for artists and users.
That’s a tricky question. Streaming gives access to everybody but typically does not reward artists well and I think devalues the concept of an ‘album’ (ie the importance of the whole album, artwork etc) - but you have to keep up with where music is going so we have to embrace it!!
I have to admit I’m guilty of not appreciating albums anymore, I’ve probably listened to handful in the last year, I tend to break the songs down into playlists but then again I used to do this with records, then CD’s and downloads that I bought years ago, always making them into mixtapes, I suppose the choice that people now have due to easy access to millions of songs has changed their listening behavior and possibly even how they interact with that music.
I’ve always loved the idea of an LP and always work towards a coherent idea that works from start to finish. I guess it’s becoming an old fashioned approach but still remains the main focus of my music writing. When I first released vinyl on Tru Thoughts, it would sell out because people loved the label and wanted to really explore music. No social media or promotion companies!!
Working with artist’s recently I’m surprised how much they have to get involved with the social side, doing their own promotion, updating artist pages on sites from Bandcamp to the streaming services, a lot of work that once would have been done by a record label is now expected from the artist. Your new label Jalapeño seem to do more than others with artist promotion, I’m guessing that’s a big help so you can focus your time elsewhere.
Yeah, all good points mate. I’m lucky that Jalapeno are very proactive but it’s still a huge amount of work (I do most of the socials / Spotify stuff myself as well inc content and videos etc) - and I think unfortunately this is why Spotify makes it harder for a lot of artists - people want everything immediately and for little or no money, and the only way to really keep forward is to provide almost endless content, mainly for free! I don’t mind it of course, but my love is writing music and I’d be getting so much more of that done if I could!!
But, I’m lucky to still be involved after all these years and just happy that at least a few people are getting to hear my music, so it’s all good really!!
Flevans is a multi-instrumentalist, DJ and producer from Brighton, UK, with an eclectic yet accessible style that straddles the genres of funk, breaks, soul and electronica. Known to all the big guns in funk and soul circles, Flevans is a specialist in creating sunny, upbeat tracks. Expertly fusing an encyclopaedic knowledge of samples and breaks with a natural talent for playing multiple instruments in his musical concoctions, the result is killer uplifting tracks that make you want to move.
The young Flevans rolled into Brighton in the early noughties with nothing to his name but a crudely produced demo tape, lovingly assembled on a battered four-track while he should have been attending lectures at veterinary college. The tools may have been simple, but the musical foundations that he’d laid as a gangly kid on the mean streets of Felixstowe were sound, and his love of classic funk and soul rang out in every bar, refracted through a passion for contemporary beats in the vein of DJ Shadowand early Ninja Tune.
The irresistibly sunny homespun sampledelic funk of that rudimentary demo tape turned the head of Brighton DJ, impresario and trainer-wearer Rob Luis, who signed our up-and-coming ingenue to Tru Thoughts for a string of EPs on the fledgling label, then taking its first steps to becoming a big hitter among UK independents. 2004 album “Make New Friends” collected the peak moments of the EP series into one outrageously uplifting and arse-shaking release.
Flevans rode the momentum into a globe-straddling maelstrom of DJing that took in Australia, the USA, the Cannes film festival and too many sweaty basements full of wig-flipping funk’n’breaks cognoscenti to accurately remember. The learnings and yearnings of those adventures were poured into “Unfabulous”, his 2007 release on London’s Jack to Phono label. Keeping the same focus on clever use of samples, the album demonstrated a more diverse mix of styles, and incorporated much more of Flevans‘ musicianship, with his deft playing on guitars, keys and bass giving the record a more live and polished sound than his earlier work.
In 2008, Flevans joined Brighton band Backini as bass player, pin-up and party-charger. A whirlwind year took in gigs at festivals across the UK including Glastonburyand The Big Chill and live sessions at Abbey Road and Maida Vale. The experience of transforming a studio-incubated sound into a thrilling live show inspired a continued shift towards a more organic, song-based dynamic in Flevans’ own work. This came to fruition in “27 Devils”, released by Tru Thoughts in 2009, featuring vocals by Sarah Scott and Shona Foster, with all instruments played by Flevans himself. A remix album, “The 28th Devil”, followed, with the likes of Hint, Regal (of The Wiseguys) and Lack of Afro spinning a kaleidoscope of altered hues from Flevans’ rich sonic palette.
A few years of siring and raising adorable half-Finnish children put something of a limit on our maturing hero’s studio time, but 2013’s “Take What You Need” EP on Jack to Phono gave expression to some of the diverse electronic musical styles that he’d been exploring during that domestically sleep-deprived era. Wanting to take his flirtations with electronica, garage and unclassifiable bass mutations to the next level, Flevans launched his AOTOA pseudonym in 2014 and quickly signed to Jalapeño Records, another of Brighton’s longest serving labels, for a series of EPs and the 2015 album “Seconds”.
2016 saw the release of “A Distant View” on LOA Records, a return to the upful funk and soul rhythms and hooks that made Flevans’ name. It shares a heartfelt and uninhibited approach with his earliest releases but struts and swings with a compositional and multi-instrumental confidence that has been honed over many years. Featuring contributions from keys specialist and regular Lack Of Afro collaborator George Cooper and the lithe bass playing of Greg Houghton, the new LP offers up a crisp warm sound and production finesse sharpened to a gleam by recent genre-wanderings and mastering work.
With 4 previous studio albums, countless tours throughout the world as a DJ, and music placements in high profile adverts for the likes of Nokia, BSkyB & ESPN, it’s safe to say Flevans is no tenderfoot.
You can learn more about Flevans here:
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