We’re very happy to be able to add the multi-talented instrumentalist, DJ and producer Flevans, along with his live band, to the bill for Staycation Live Saturday. Playing an eclectic yet accessible style that straddles the genres of funk, breaks, soul and electronica, his musical career took off when a demo tape assembled on an old four-track (whilst the producer should have been attending lectures at veterinary college) made its way to Rob Luis. Impressed, he immediately signed the project up to the renowned Tru Thoughts imprint for a string of EPs on the label. Settling in alongside label mates Bonobo and Quantic, Flevans found his feet quickly with his first three 12” releases on the label selling out in record time.
Flevans’ early work showcased a love of classic funk and soul, contemporary beats and an ear for sunny, uplifting samples – and it was soon clear that animal care’s loss was going to be the music world’s gain…
Taking a break from production duties for a few months, Flevans picked up his bass guitar and joined the Steve Lamacq-championed downtempo band – Backini for a whirlwind few months of touring. Chalking up gigs at high profile venues and festivals he played Glastonbury and The Big Chill as well as recording live sessions at Abbey Road and Maida Vale.
Influenced by the live experience, Flevans’ following studio album ‘Unfabulous’ (Jack To Phono) saw him experimenting with a blend of his signature samples and live instrumentation. This naturally led to his third studio album ’27 Devils’ being his first totally sample-free LP (he played keys, bass, guitars, percussion and even lent a few vocal snippets) and also his first work collaborating with vocalists Sarah Scott and Shona Foster. The album was quickly snapped up by Tru Thoughts who soon after released an accompanying remix LP which featured remixes from the likes of Lack Of Afro and Regal.
Spanning his 4 studio albums (and one remix LP) to date, Flevans has DJ’ed across the globe with no less than 5 visits to North America and Asia to appease those hungry for his raw sets, whilst high profile syncs with Nokia, BSkyB, DFS & ESPN also showed a ravenous appetite for his sounds on the screen as well as in the flesh.
2016’s LP ‘A Distant View’ (LOA Records) saw a return to his roots showcasing an array of instrumental funk, soul and downtempo tracks which displayed his compositional and multi-instrumental confidence. One of the key tracks from the album, ‘Reach Out’ featured on the Craig Charles Funk & Soul compilation and had music sites such as ‘Rock With This’ saying “’Reach Out’ is funk at its finest. Think Galactic, The Meters, Sly & The Family Stone, Funkadelic. He’s the Kirkland brand of music. Every bit as good as the name brands, but flies under the radar. The energy on this one is palpable….”
Long considered a member of the extended family, 2018 saw Flevans arrive at his spiritual home of Jalapeno Records. Signing his 5thLP ‘Part-Time Millionaire’ the release sees him furthering his trajectory of song-led compositions, including more collaborations than ever with the talented Elliott Cole, Laura Vane, Sarah Scott, and Izo FitzRoy all lending their vocals to the record.
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.”