INTERVIEWS

Flamingosis Merges the Best of Soul, Funk and Electronic

Flamingosis discusses "Wild Summer", pre-COVID and future plans, favorite performed shows and freestyle frisbee

Flamingosis is an electronic and future funk DJ/producer from New Jersey. Born as Aaron Velazquez, the ‘Flamingosis’ name comes from a freestyle frisbee move that his father invented. Interestingly, his father and uncle were professional frisbee players as well. On August 26, Flamingosis released his latest track “Wild Summer” and the music video featured clips of his father and uncle when they were professional frisbee players back in the ’70s and ’80s. “Wild Summer” is currently available for download and stream on various streaming platforms.

Flamingosis has a colorful musical style that merges old-school soul, wild funk and experimental electronic music. Since starting his career in 2012, he has worked alongside stars such as Madeon, GRiZ and Tokimonsta. When Flamingosis introduced his 2016 album Bright Moments, MTV described the album as something that “weaved smooth 1970s and 1980s samples into perfect grooves”. As for “Wild Summer”, he incorporated the vocal work of Brazilian artist Tim Maia into a laid-back groove that contains a healthy dose of island percussion, dynamic horns, and a lyrical guitar solo. Here is One EDM’s exclusive interview with Flamingosis as he discusses about “Wild Summer”, favorite shows he performed at, initial pre-COVID plans and the sport of freestyle frisbee.

Kenny Ngo: Before talking about your latest single, “Wild Summer”, Can you talk about how you started your music career?

Flamingosis: I was exposed to a lot of good music growing up thanks to my family and friends. Listened to a lot of funk, soul and hip hop like Earth Wind & Fire, The Sugarhill Gang, J Dilla, The Avalanches etc. I took a music technology/production course in high school for fun. However, I took it much more seriously when I went to college in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

I made music a priority over my school work for the next 4 years, which probably wasn’t the best idea at the time. I was mostly making beats inside my dorm room, but every couple of months I would DJ at this venue downtown called The Chameleon Club with my producer friends named ZPlus. After graduation, I immediately started touring and doing shows. Luckily, all those hours making beats on my laptop paid off.

In your own words, how do you describe your musical style?

It’s melodic jazz and funk with a modern electronic production. So it’s basically funky hip-hop I’d say.

You just released “Wild Summer” on Wednesday, August 26. The track contains amazing guitar riffs and percussive melodies. What was your goal for the track when you were producing it?

I sampled a song called “Que Beleza” from this amazing Brazilian artist named Tim Maia. I took my favorite sections of the track and ended up flipping it in my own way. Hopefully people have as much fun listening to it as I did producing it.

In the “Wild Summer” music video, it showed clips of your father and uncle when they were professional frisbee players in the ’70s and ’80s. Do you have a favorite clip or game from their frisbee careers that you have watched before?

The footage of them winning the 1977 World Championship in freestyle pairs is my favorite clip. It was at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California in front of over 50,000 people. Frisbee was becoming really popular at that time and wham-o would sponsor these events and attract a lot of people. You could tell that they played their hearts out. I am glad that they were able to do it in front of a packed crowd and get the recognition they deserved. 

What is the best setting to play “Wild Summer” in?

It’s pretty good situational music. You can play it while cooking in the kitchen or on the beach social distancing from people. It’s fun, easy listening music so it works in a lot of different settings I’d say.

You have performed at some of the world’s most-popular festivals such as Austin City Limits, Electric Forest, and Okeechobee. In your whole career, what has been your favorite festival or show that you have performed at?

Probably my favorite show was when I played in Seoul, South Korea a few years ago. It was my first time playing in South Korea so I didn’t really know what to expect. The show ended up being really amazing and everyone was going crazy. I feel like the people over there have a really deep appreciation of music and I definitely felt it that night.

Before COVID-19 began, what were your initial plans for 2020?

A lot of touring and traveling. Now it’s just staying inside playing video games and making music. I’ve gotten a lot better at Super Smash Brothers.

Will the fans get to hear more music from you later this year and/or next year?

Most definitely. Both this year and next year.

What do you think about the worldwide popularity of Ultimate Frisbee today?

Ultimate Frisbee is slowly getting more popular I’d say, but “Wild Summer” is highlighting the culture of freestyle frisbee, which is very niche at the moment. Hopefully the music video of my dad and uncle will reach an audience of people who have never heard of this sport and art-form. I also hope they will get curious enough to participate in these freestyle events.  More people need to know about freestyle because all the tricks, spins and grabs you can do with just a frisbee is pretty amazing.

Flamingosis-"Wild Summer"
Flamingosis-“Wild Summer”
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Kenny Ngo

Kenny is a passionate sports and music fan with soccer being his #1 sport and European (particularly French and Dutch) house music being his #1 genre. His favorite producers are Martin Solveig, Sebastian Ingrosso, Madeon, Tiesto, and Armin Van Buuren.

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