On a musical journey 

Flying Lotus takes listeners to the next level with his blend of experimental electronic hip hop


Who: Flying Lotus

When: Tuesday, July 7, 9:30 p.m.

Where: Maxx Fish

Cost: $15 in advance

Steve Ellison (also known as Juno Leed, Flying Lotus or just FlyLo to fans) is a pretty busy guy these days. On Tuesday afternoon, he was caught up in his own little creative universe (read: his studio) in Los Angeles before running to traffic court to fight a ticket.

"It's cool though, because they wrote my f___ing birthday wrong on the ticket," he said with a laugh.

Ellison is a pretty big name in the biz of experimental electronic/hip hop, crafting and producing his own original beats and remixing for the likes of Radiohead and Portishead.

"I always felt that the best music, to me, was music that made me feel like I was flying. I love that feeling, where it engulfs you, it takes you over," Ellison said. "...I try and remember that when I'm creating, that's where I want people to go."

Beyond the hype, this artist is genuinely passionate about his music. While many musicians are focusing on putting out hit singles, rather than developing any kind of cohesive sound with their studio projects, Ellison focuses on creating a sense of cohesion and flow with his records.

"I think people who are doing that with their shit are just kind of selling themselves short," he said. "Because I really do put a lot energy into my sequencing and telling the whole story. I can't tell you how to do your thing, but I know there are still people out there who still listen all the way through."

Though his own sound is pretty experimental, Ellison has very traditional musical roots. In fact, his family has some serious cred in the industry; his great aunt is Alice Coltrane, an accomplished musician in her own right who also happened to be married to the pioneer of free jazz, John Coltrane.

"I started making beats when I was about 14," he recalled. "I have a cousin who is an amazing musician and he introduced me to a lot of electronic stuff."

Ellison would always be hanging out at his cousin's house while he was making music. Occasionally, his cousin would drag him over to play around on a keyboard or another instrument.

"I loved it, I love music and I think he knew that."

He also played sax when he was younger but didn't have a passion for the instrument. Instead he was interested in playing video games and fooling around with a beat machine.

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