This is the first of hopefully many installations, of a new series I will be writing entitled ‘Meet the Artists’. The series hopes to be a biographical interview piece on some of the best up and coming artists that I personally listen to and rate highly. For this first edition, I sat down with my friend, and extremely talented beatmaker/producer from Bristol; ILe Flottante
Hey Luke, thanks for taking the time to chat to us, I know you’re pretty busy at the moment. First of all tell us about yourself and what you do.
Hey man, thanks for having me! I am a producer/beatmaker/food enthusiast living in Bristol, U.K. I try and make music that evokes feeling and emotion to the listener or artist that I’m working with as well as capturing a time, place or feeling I have personal connections with. I love to perform and work with talented people in the UK and beyond and hope to do a lot more of that in 2017!
Sounds awesome! So, what’s the meaning behind your elusive exotic name?
Haha the question on everyone’s mind! The main reason I chose it was because at the time I was working in a very good French restaurant in Leeds where it was my favourite dessert to eat and serve. It also means floating island which is quite cool and a lot of my music is quite floaty. I couldn’t put a figure to the amount of times it’s been mispronounced, or mis-spelt on flyers and radio. So you heard it here ILL-FLOW-TONT!
When did you really start getting into music production?
We had macs with logic on it in high school where I sort of had my first go at writing music influenced a lot by the early dubstep scene that was really kicking off in Leeds at that time. From there I ended up taking music production at A-level and went on to study it at Leeds college of music. The beats started coming out around 16/17 years old when I really got into the underground beat scene on soundcloud.
Who are some of your influences/idols to date?
First and foremost Flying Lotus is such a amazing artist it’s hard not to idolise and take influence from him not only because of the music but because of how much it’s opened the beat world up to the wider audience. I also love jazz and Latin/bossanova, artists such as Sun ra, Miles, the Coltranes, Sergio mendes, the Salvador trio just to name a few. On the hip hop side I listen to a lot of Dilla, Madlib, Jehst, Braintax, Devonwho, Sam G, Tom Misch, Homebrew crew, Onra just to name a few. Onra and Memorecks probably played I a big part in my performance methods with the finger drumming and stuff, seeing them perform pushed me from early to want to be on stage
Who are you listening to at the moment?
My taste recently has shifted more into the harder electronic beats that the likes of SXN, Soulection, Fete and Brainfeeder are putting out. Mainly because of the shift in my own style for this next release. There’s also a wealth of talent on soundcloud which I listen to daily, artists like BLANDA, whereisalex, tapecut, Mo vibez.
What’s been the highlight of your musical career so far?
Working with Bronte Shande and Benaddict on track ‘Diamonds’ was really fun and got a great reception from online and radio, however it has to be supporting ONRA at Colston hall then going up to spend the weekend with and perform with SAMIYAM in Glasgow! That shit was fun!
What’s next for Ile Flottante?
So I have my debut signed release on Youth Club Sound which will be out soon. This release is a lot heavier than my past stuff which I’m really looking forward to playing out this summer! I’m also working on a release with Bristol vocalist Bronte Shande which is on a chilled, neosoul vibe. Looking to get a bunch of MCs and guest instrumentalists on that you really liven it up! I have a tune coming out on a compilation curated by Titus 12, a DJ at Ujima which will have a lot of great artists from Bristol on which I’m lucky to have a spot. I reached out to a NZ vocalist to bless this one, Raiza Biza, who put abit of sunshine on the moody winter feel to the whole thing. Really looking forward to that one!
You can find ILe flottante on Facebook here
words by Alex Rodrigues