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Flying Lotus

Flying Lotus

ALL ARTIST INFO IS PULLED FROM PUBLICLY AVAILABLE DATA.
IF YOU REPRESENT THIS ARTIST AND WOULD LIKE TO VERIFY YOUR PAGE OR UPDATE THE INFO, Click Here
birthday
7th
October, 1983
Birth Sign
libra
Biography

Flying Lotus is the moniker used by Steven Ellison, a producer, DJ, rapper, and multi-instrumentalist from Los Angeles, California. Born on October 7, 1983, the 38-year-old artist occasionally releases music as FlyLo or Captain Murphy.

Steven has been making music since 2005, and he’s known for blending a number of genres, including jazz, hip-hop, electronica, IDM, experimental, and more. He’s collaborated with Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, Shabazz Palaces, Toro y Moi, David Lynch, Anderson .Paak, and more. He also founded Brainfeeder Records back in 2008. He’s recently begun working as a film composer, contributing original music to the soundtrack for a Blade Runner: 2049 short film. 

Flying Lotus is something of an anomaly in the music industry for a variety of reasons. His sound refuses to be categorized or defined, and he’s continued to innovate for over 15 years as a producer. In addition, all of his albums and side projects have received critical acclaim – you’d be hard-pressed to find a miss in his discography. While most critics highlight You’re Dead and Cosmogramma as his best work, all of Lotus’s albums are fresh and interesting.

instruments played
Electronics
Vocals
Also Known As

FlyLo
Captain Murphy
Steve

Associated Acts

Burial, Earl Sweatshirt, Gonjasufi, Hodgy, Kendrick Lamar, Laura Darlington, Mac Miller, MF Doom, Samiyam, Thom Yorke, Thundercat

Genres

Electronic, experimental, jazz rap, hip hop, IDM, wonky, progressive hip hop

Labels

Warp, Brainfeeder, Plug Research, Hyperdub

Occupations

Record producer, DJ, rapper, songwriter

Origin

Winnetka, Los Angeles, California U.S.

Years Active

2005 - present

Who Is Flying Lotus? 

Steven grew up in Los Angeles with musical royalty in his blood. His great aunt is Alice Coltrane, a notable jazz musician and the wife of John Coltrane. He’s the grandson of singer-songwriter Marilyn McLeod, who wrote songs for Diana Ross and Freda Payne. Steven is of Tikar descent, meaning his bloodline traces back to Cameroon.

How Did Flying Lotus Get Started in Music? 

Steven went to Los Angeles Film School and Academy of Art University for college, staying near his family. In 2006, he sent song submissions to an Adult Swim contest. The channel accepted his entries and aired them on TV. Lotus has stayed in the Adult Swim and Cartoon Network orbit since then, and he’s even released a song for the soundtrack of Adventure Time. Meanwhile, Steven started an internship at Stones Throw Records, where he was working when he released his self-produced debut album, 1983.

1983 

Released on October 3, 2006, 1983 was distributed by the label Plug Research and has been described as a mix of wonky and trip-hop. The album earned praise from AllMusic and Sputnikmusic, increasing Ellison's exposure to the public eye. 

Reset 

Steven's next project, Reset, was released on October 1, 2007, via Warp Records. Another self-produced effort, the EP features six tracks, including a collaboration with Andreya Triana. It earned positive reviews from the likes of The BBC, Drowned in Sound, and Exclaim.

Los Angeles 

Flying Lotus's second full-length LP came out on July 9, 2008, via Warp Records. Produced with help from Samiyam, Matthewdavid, Byron the Aquarius, and The Gaslamp Killer, the album earned rave reviews.

Cosmogramma

Lotus's next release, Cosmogramma, became one of his most successful records to date. The album ended up on countless best of 2010 lists, and it features Thundercat, Radiohead's Thom Yorke, and Laura Darlington. Steven followed the album's release with Pattern+Grid World, an EP.

Until the Quiet Comes

Described as an electronic jazz record, Flying Lotus's fourth studio album is considered one of his best works. The album received widespread critical acclaim and features a combination of live instrumentation and samples arranged via Ableton.  After the album's release, Steven put out his first project using the stage name Captain Murphy, a mixtape called Duality. The project features production work from Alejandro Jodorowsky, Madlib, Teebs, and several others.

You're Dead! 

Released on October 6, 2014, via Warp Records, You're Dead features cameos from Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Angel Deradoorian, and Thundercat. One of the biggest hits from Lotus's fifth studio album was "Never Catch Me," a nu-jazz and hip-hop track that features verses from Lamar. The song was nominated for a Grammy for Best Dance Recording.

Flamagra and Other Recent Work 

The next album that Lotus put out was Flamagra, a completely self-produced effort that features Solange, George Clinton, Anderson .Paak, Denzel Curry, Toro y Moi, Little Dragon, and more. The album features the singles "Fire is Coming," "Spontaneous/Takeshi," "More," and "Black Balloons Reprise," and it topped the charts in the US in the electronica album category. "Fire is Coming," the first single released ahead of Flamagra, features film director and musician David Lynch, who Steven has long considered an inspiration.   In April of 2021, Netflix released Yasuke, a TV series that was co-written by Flying Lotus. Steven also composed the show’s original score. The series stars Lakeith Stanfield, Ming-Na Wen, Dia Frampton, Darren Criss, and others, and it’s been a critical hit since its release.  For his production work on Thundercat’s It Is What It Is album, Steven received his first Grammy Award in 2021. The album was awarded the Best Progressive R&B Album accolade, marking Lotus’s fourth time being nominated. That same year, Lotus received a Grammy nod for Producer of the Year.

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