Certain music makes you fall a little more in love with it with every listen and Flume falls into that category without a doubt. With
undeniably catchy synths and beats that could turn any frown upside down, it’s perfect whether you’re on the bus or out on the town. Harley Streten, the name behind the music, is an Australian producer and DJ whose sound is making waves internationally.
Streten may only be 21 years old, but he’s no beginner when it comes to making music. He got his start at the young age of 13 when he discovered the world of music production from a program he found in a cereal box.
While he fell in love with music production quickly, his rise to fame was even faster. He signed with Future Classic in 2011 after entering three of his songs into a competition the record label was hosting.
“You were supposed to send in your best originals, so I sent them the Sleepless EP,” said Streten. “I had already put it on blogs and stuff and it had gained a bit of traction. I got a record contract out of the competition and went from there.”
Some people spend years trying to make their name known, but Streten has been welcomed into the electronic music world with speed that would be shocking if it weren’t so well-deserved.
“A lot of people ask me if it’s been too quick, but I haven’t really known it any other way,” he said. “For me, it doesn’t really seem that crazy fast, but you know, I’m loving it. It’s been great fun. I get to see lots of the world and meet a lot of people. It’s been really cool.”
Speed seems to be a theme in Streten’s life; he can create a song in as little as a day.
“The fun-ness and the creative energy wears off quite quickly for me, so I need to make things happen fast,” he said. “If I do a remix and I’m super into it, I can do it within a day or two. Sometimes it takes longer, but I never let anything go over two weeks.”
If you’ve heard even one Flume song, you know that two weeks is an impressive amount of time for the creation of such audible bliss. But for Streten, that speed is an essential element.
“It’s just kind of how my brain works,” he said. “I can’t leave it for too long. When I have, it’s been a nightmare for me and I can’t really make much progress since I’ve heard the song so many times.”
Streten, who’s influenced by the likes of Flying Lotus, M83, and Shlomo, describes his music as “experimental electronica with a strong hip-hop influence and lots of catchy melodies.” But his style hasn’t always been so defined.
“When I started, I didn’t really have a sound and I didn’t really want to make a serious project until I did,” he said. “I’ve written pop tracks, minimal tech-house tracks, electro bangers, orchestral scores […] so I know how most genres work. I can manipulate and take the best of each genre and make them into whatever I please. It’s freedom. It’s good. It makes a producer more flexible if you can understand how other genres work.”
Australians are known for their love of traveling and Streten is no exception. His favourite part of success: seeing the world. However, being on tour makes it hard to find time to make music, regardless of how quickly you’re capable of doing so.
“I wrote all this music last year,” said Streten. “And now that it’s been successful, I’ve written less music in the last six months than I have in my entire life. It’s quite ironic.”
Flume plays Le Belmont on Saturday, April 6 at 10 p.m. Tickets are $21.74.