As someone always on the lookout for new sounds, I was very excited when I came across Fluencee and his new EP, Foxgloves. With a background in DJing, Fluencee has created a style that is both energetic and thoughtful, crafting a rich experience for the listener. I had the privilege of interviewing Fluencee to learn more about the EP, his process as a musician and his journey to encouraging other to use their creativity in the face of adversity.
What are your musical influences? How did you first get into DJing and then creating your own sound?
A few friends dragged me to Miami for Ultra my sophomore year of college. I didn’t even know who Skrillex or Calvin Harris were. But I fell in love with it all – the, people, sounds, culture. So I went back to school and bought my first mixer, a crappy little thing from Best Buy, and just watched tutorials on how to mix. But after a while I realized I wouldn’t get very far mixing everyone else’s music. I needed an identity of my own. So I started to learn how to produce!
What advice do you have for aspiring musicians?
Don’t pigeonhole yourself into one genre or sound. Try messing around with new plugins, presets, or FX, because one day you could make something really unique out of thin air and use it to make a really special song. Also, try to produce every single day if you can, even if it’s for five minutes.
What’s your creative process? How does it differ between remixes and original tracks?
For my remixes, I try to inject more energy into the original so the artist is able to play it out live at his or her shows. But for my own originals, I always try to produce feelsy, aching music that people can relate to. More ballad than banger.
What was the inspiration for Foxgloves? Is there are track that holds particular meaning for you and why?
The overarching theme of Foxgloves is the pursuit of happiness. It’s about the people in your life who make you a happier human and doing everything in your power to keep them around, and also having the capacity to denote the people who are poisonous and summoning the strength to cut them loose. It’s inspired by my family and friends who I love unconditionally. The world is such a crazy and scary place right now that I constantly think about how horrible it would be to lose any of them. That’s why I’m always finding excuses to support a friend, grab coffee with an old colleague, or say “I love you” at the most random times.
“Unattainable” is actually about my current girlfriend. I spent almost a year trying to date her, putting in so much work, and I wasn’t getting anywhere. It was brutal. I even ended up calling my mom and asking her for advice. We’ve been dating for over six years now!
Being born in Philadelphia, what inspiration or memory do you take from the city and its culture?
Phillies games with my dad. I remember the first game he ever took me to at The Vet, and the stadium opening up before my eyes when I walked out of the tunnel. I’m a major Philly sports fan—you’ll find me in my Eagles pajamas at home literally every night.
How did your childhood experience of being bullied allow for your creativity to blossom into what it is today?
It gave me an edge, a reason to work as hard as I possibly can. For as long as I can remember I always tried to block out the memories of being bullied because rehashing them only hurt me. Every time I stutter I have this weird shameful feeling even though I physically can’t help it, and it brings back old memories. But once I finally decided to own it and use it as the driving force behind my music, it unlocked a level of creativity that was always concealed behind layers and layers of that misplaced shame.
What would you say to young people experiencing bullying right now? Could you offer them some advice or encouragement?
Each time you get bullied, you’re only getting stronger. You’re getting thicker skin that will make you invincible in the long run. In fact, you’ll probably end up thanking them for making them the beast that you are. And once you become that boss, they will ask you a favor one day and you’ll laugh in their face.
What’s been the most exciting moment of your musical career so far?
Playing EDC last year was incredible. Nothing quite like it.
On the flip side, what are you most looking forward to in the future?
I’ve already finished another EP, which is sounding huge! Very pumped for that. I also want to eventually get involved with the Stuttering Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing help, treatment and guidance to kids who stutter as well as teenagers and adults.
Fluencee’s Foxgloves EP is out now. Be sure to give it a listen!