Following the release of his brand new EP ‘Don’t Bother Me’ on Soundplate Records we managed to catch up with Flapjaques. He talks about his creative process, getting nervous before playing shows and what’s coming next…
Introduce yourself and tell us where your from..
Hello, I’m Flapjaques ?. I make lofi you can crank a lil- Currently based in my apartment in Chicago.
Name one person who has had a big impact on your music career and tell us how they have helped you
Oh it’s so hard to just name one! Drel over at Lifted Lofi is probably the first who comes to mind though. There’ve been many that’ve supported me back since the beginning and Drel really took that to the next level in terms of helping me connect with others on the lofi scene and giving me a platform early on. That’s more on the social side of things I guess. Dubeasy’s an engineer based out in Las Vegas that’s really helped me up my game in terms of my mixing and sound design. I’d always wanted a mentor and between these two and so many others, I feel very loved in my scene; I could go on forever.
What is your favorite piece of music equipment and why?
My MPC has and I think always will be my go-to. I had honestly been drawn to it first by the aesthetic and it’s just so happened to end up being the most compatible and convenient controller for what I do. Nothing beats slappin’ an MPC around all day. The Roli Light Pad’s a close second though and is another I use daily, mostly for my basslines though. I’d also been drawn to it for the flash but it’s a staple of my workflow now. In a general sense, I guess I just like my controllers with a fun bit of flare and flashing lights. Who doesn’t though?
If you could change one thing about working in the music industry what would it be?
I guess I’ve never really felt like I’ve worked in the industry at all so I can’t really say. My life outside of music’s exceedingly average and the milestones are always very personal in that they don’t really bleed over into my day-to-day conversations. I’d definitely say I’d like for my life to become more focused on music exclusively, but for now I’m just here vibing as I always have been although you can often catch me fitted up in label merch!
Describe your creative process / routine.
To put it briefly, I’m always on a mellow mood and just sort of doing my thing. I don’t really take myself or the process all that seriously and instead use it as a way to unwind or vent out whatever’s in my head for that day. I generally try to put something together on a daily basis and in a lot of ways my demos folder has become a bit of a journal for myself. I can usually go back and more vividly remember things that were going on at the time while listening to any given beat- the way that works for me is neat and I always wonder if my listeners perceive certain tracks with the same feelings and vibes as I do.
Do you get nervous before playing to a crowd, if so how do you cope with the nerves?
Always, without fail, although I don’t play too many crowds as of late. What I’ll usually try do to though is have some sort of visual done to compliment the set. It’s something I think is fitting for the chiller, lofi type sets regardless and helps the focus be less on me up there and more on the experience overall. I’m always hoping people are staring up at the visualizer and letting the atmosphere somewhat take over from there rather than pay attention to me. That’s only really on stages though and I’m becoming increasingly interested in more laid back, casual lounge type gigs as of late- those don’t really stress me at all. The further along I go, the more personal I find myself wanting my presentations to be and feel.
What song/project/album are you most proud of to date?
My track ‘split the diff?’ from earlier this year recently broke 100k streams and is the first of mine to do so! I’m particularly proud of that one, not only for that reason but because it was one I’d vibed out hard to myself prior to release. It’s always reassuring to see my gut be right on occasion and get to see y’all love what I love. The ‘don’t bother me’ EP is a big milestone for me as well though! Moving into 2021, I’ll be releasing things more frequently as collections than singles, and having some of the friends I’ve made this past year feature will of course be an ongoing theme to watch out for. Having Nahhdahh and Virgil appear to break the otherwise beat exclusive tape is a sort of structure to packaging things that I’m hoping to play around with more over time. I guess we’ll have to see how projects develop though ;).
What are you currently working on that we should be excited about?
A lot of what I show’s about a month or so behind what I’m actually up to on the day to day. With that being said, it may be the things that are finished up and ready that I’m personally most excited about. I’ve done a pretty decent job of keeping different projects low key, but Elan Brio and I have a project coming early January that I’ve been teasing a lot somewhat discreetly. I’ve never clicked with another producer like I did with Elan and I feel like that energy’s the life and soul of the tape- simply vibes. This year’s been a lot about connecting with other producers I’d looked up to when I was just beginning to put my lofi stuff together and there’ll be countless collaborations to look forward to ?.
How much time do you spend making music? How long does it take for you to finish a track?
Truly so much, haha. Each beat takes only a few hours or so to put together and then I may or may not let them sit for a few days before circling back to mix, it depends beat to beat. When I’m cooking up I more try to capture a moment of thought rather than put a whole lot of effort into planning beforehand. Each project’s a blank canvas and I’m always just seeing how each turns out. It’s a somewhat hit or miss process, but when they hit, they hit (at least I think so).
Any advice for new artists?
Some of the best advice I’ve gotten that I’ll always pass along is to create for yourself and because you want to first and foremost; everything else kind of comes after. I had spent my first year or so in music dj’ing more EDM type sets on campus which was insanely cool, but there eventually came a point after leaving that campus where I felt less pressure in terms of what I should be putting out and doing and started making things that I felt were more authentic to who I am. I’ve always seen that in hindsight as a big turning point for myself and that brief moment of self-reflection is the reason I’m able to share this here, on Soundplate. I think it can be easy to get caught up in listening to artists you look up to in interviews and trying to mirror the path that brought them to where they are, then becoming frustrated when the same steps don’t work. Even more so, there’s so many Guru’s out there that it can sometimes be difficult to tell what’s good advice, what may be sketchy, and most importantly what’s applicable to you relative to where you’re at. My best advice is to keep an open mind but to also be critical, to have fun with your projects but also treat them a bit like a job in that there’s a lot of care and thought behind them. Everyone’s creative journey is going to look different and you may be surprised by what pops off, what doesn’t, and what you may be making and doing a year or so from now.
Instagram – @flap_jaques
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Flap_jaques