Music Flume

Published on September 24th, 2013 | by Laetitia Laubscher

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Sleepless Ambition

At age eleven a young Australian kid finds a loop-based music software program in a box of Nutri-Grain cereal and starts experimenting with making music. Growing up, he’s not much of a ladies’ man, and works as a paper boy; but dreams of making music. His parents aren’t really that hugely musical – dad sometimes playing the ol’ Van Morrison or classical track in the car, but nothing drastic. After finishing school he takes a gap year, in which he plays computer games, smokes bucketloads of weed, and works a crappy part-time job. Halfway through the year, he quits his computer games and weed – instead putting all of his energy into his music. And from there things just start to happen.

At age 21 (just four days after his birthday) he releases a self-titled album with Future Classic: it debuts at number two on the AIRA Album Chart, and within five weeks of its release goes platinum. A few months later four of his tracks feature on Triple J’s Hottest 100 for 2013, one even featuring at number four – the highest perch for any Aussie song that year. He’s toured throughout Australia, Europe and the USA to pretty much sold-out crowds, and hasn’t even had his 22nd birthday yet.

Everyone meet Harley Streten a.k.a Flume.

You’re just about to play a few New Zealand shows in October, and you’ve toured quite a bit around Australia, Europe and the US. What’s been your favourite place you’ve played so far?
I’ve played in a lot of nice places – but it’s probably a festival in Europe called Calvi on the Rocks, it a festival was on an island in Corsica, which had this really cool Euro-Mediterranean vibe. It wasn’t a massive festival, but it was just this island in the sun, everyone was in the water or on the beach. It was great.

You’ve blown up in the last year. What’s been your favourite moment?
It was probably the moment I realised that this thing I was doing was serious, which was my first Splendour back in 2012. I never played festivals before, just club and things, and was one of the first acts on so wasn’t expecting much but by the end the whole place was full. To actually physically see that many people at my show, I mean thousands of people, I thought ‘all right, this is legit.’

What’s a typical Flume day like these days?
Right now I’m having some time off, so it’s me just hanging out. I’ve got a new place, an apartment – I’ve just moved out of home finally. So there’s just bits and pieces like unpacking. Also writing songs. I want to get a whole bunch of music under my belt. I don’t have heaps of music since I’ve just been touring a lot, so I’ll be working in studio in Sydney next week.

Where did the name Flume come from?
The name’s from a Bon Iver track, but I also wanted a name sounded nice, and also looked nice, since it was going to be a name printed on T-shirts, albums and things.

If you weren’t doing music, what would you be doing?
I’d be working a part-time job, be at uni, like all my mates. I think I’d be studying psychology – I’ve always had an interest in that kind of thing too.

So what’s further down the track for you?
Production is what I really enjoy, so hopefully have some crazy-ass studio, write film scores, I want to write everything. Films scores for me are a fresh challenge, because it’s not just about the music, but matching the music to the visuals too. I want to do all sorts of challenges – anything that challenges me.

 

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