Prefix had the opportunity to talk with 20-year-old Harley Streten, a.k.a. Flume, last week during the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City. Here, the Australian producer talks about the search for a record label, collaborations, what he likes to do in his free time, and an unfortunate run-in with club security. Sleepless will be released on November 9 on Future Classic on vinyl and in digital format. (Photo credit: adamNOTeve)
What have you been getting up to in New York City?
We got in on Monday, and we’ve just been like cruising around, doing touristy stuff. I went to Ground Zero yesterday, and Times Square. It’s so intense. It’s just full on. I went to Soho and did a little bit of shopping.
You have three shows tonight, and three shows tomorrow night. How do you keep yourself going?
We’ve never done three shows in one night, so we’ll find out tonight. I have a feeling that I’ll have a few drinks later on to keep me powering through, maybe some vodka Red Bulls. Whatever we need to do, we’ll do it.
Have you been talking to any labels about releasing Sleepless?
Nathan’s been kind of wheeling and dealing at all the shows. He’ll be talking to this guy, and this guy, and this guy, but that’s what we’re hoping for out of CMJ, is to get someone to release the album over here.
We’re really loving Shlohmo’s “Sleepless” remix. Do you have any other collaborations that you’re looking forward to?
I just did one with Chet Faker, another Australian dude. There’s other collaborations on there, one with Moon Holiday, and George Maple, and this dude called Tee Shirt, a rapper from LA. We’ve planned a week away in November with Chet Faker, and we’re going to do a bunch of tunes together.
Are you working with any producers from the LA beat scene?
Not really. I’m kind of doing some solo stuff on my own, but I’d like to get involved in that. I’m doing Low End Theory on Wednesday, so that should be sick.
The “Sleepless” remix competition has just ended. How did it go?
We got 425 entries. It’s pretty intense. We’ve got a bit of a team to listen to them, and we’ll figure it out. We’re going to listen to them all, and it’s going to completely destroy the song for me.
We hope that doesn’t happen. Have you discovered any new producers through this remix competition that you didn’t know of before?
Yeah, actually. There’s these dudes called Cosmo&Paat, and they’re actually from Australia. They did a remix that I just heard the other day, and it’s really dope. There are a lot of rooky ones, but this one was sounding really tight. I checked out some of their other stuff, and it sounds pretty cool.
So we heard about your recent security fiasco, and it’s so wild. Do you take any precautions at shows now, or do you have any anxiety when you go to perform?
Yeah, it was really random. It was my friend’s last song, and my friends picked me up to crowd surf. I got up to the stage and was about to go back into the crowd, and I just got taken off the stage. The dude didn’t mean to do it, but he full on slammed me into a steel pole. I had a concussion the next day. Nothing’s broken, so it’s okay.
What do you do outside production?
HS: I live outside of Manly, so I go surfing a lot. That’s kind of my thing. I’ll just always go get waves, like if I’m struggling for ideas or something. I’ll just go out for a surf. Other than that, I have a good group of friends in Sydney, so we’ll hang out. I have a bunch of mates, and we’ll get together, have a little smoke and some drinks and make some music. We’ll swap our computers around, and work on each others’ beats. At the end of the night, we’ll have some tunes, or sometimes we’ll jam. I’ll bring over my pads and the APC and we’ll jam.
Do you have any exciting news, or plans for the rest of the year?
Once the album comes out, first of all, we’re going to get the live show working. We’ve got a team doing some really cool projection, or some really cool lights. Just a really intimate light show that will sync up with the music, so a kickdrum will play, and you’ll see it, or a hi-hat plays, and you’ll see that over there. And then basically next year, we’re touring America, the UK, and Europe, so we’re basically touring the world.