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Flamingosis. Beat Magician. Funk Sampler.

Flamingosis. Beat Magician. Funk Sampler.

Jul 28, 2017 Iqbal Siddiqi

I spoke with Aaron Velasquez, Flamingosis, the other day. He is a New Jersey based producer that has really made a name for himself in the last few years. Aaron is a humble guy that makes some really dope tunes. Check him out if you haven’t already. Here’s our conversation:

What did you do today?

Aaron: Um, I just answered some emails and I ate some pizza and I made a beat.

What type of beat did you make?

Aaron: I mean my album comes out next week so I was just editing something.

What question would you liked to be asked and why?

Aaron: I don’t know.

What non-musical influences do you feel have an impact on your music?

Aaron: I mean I just like listening to music in general. I don’t know, but yeah I guess just normal life stuff can influence me. If I do just normal life stuff, like riding my bike or going outside or stuff like that it can put me into a good mood, and if I am in a good mood it gets me in a good creative mindset.

Have you ever considered spitting over any of your beats?

Aaron: Nah just mostly production and maybe like singing. I’m not a rapper or anything. I don’t even really like music with lyrics or with them for the most part. I mean there’s only like a few artists. There’s only like a handful of people that I’d listen to that have lyrics… or at least in today’s music.

From the mainstream music out today what do you listen to?

Aaron: I mean I like Bibio. I like Toro (Toro Y Moi). That’s what I have been listening to this week.

What album by Bibio? Did he release any new stuff?

Aaron: Yeah, he put out a new album not too long ago. It’s like the one with Town & Country and Feeling.

I feel like there is an element of Bibio in your music. Would you say the same?

Aaron: I mean, probably. I’ve been a big fan of his music for the last 5 years. So, I’d say definitely, in some way. Because he makes all types of music.

Yeah, he uses all sorts of instrumentation.

Aaron: Yeah! It’s like weird because his albums have a mixture of tracks. You know there’s some tracks that are Hip Hop beats and there’s other ones that sound like Folk music.

When you create music do you envision your listeners in a certain type of setting?

Aaron: Um, yeah I mean for the most part I like my stuff to be accessible for any type of setting. You can play it whenever.

Do you keep that in mind when you make music?

Aaron: Yeah, I think it just kinda comes out that way.

Do you visualize your music when you create it?

Aaron: Um yeah like if I’m making something and I am nodding my head instantly, then I can usually tell that a lot of people are gonna like it…if it just makes me move instinctively while making it.

Do you remember your process in making your track Football Head? I believe it is your most popular single track?

Aaron: Yeah, I think most people like that song the most because it is very relatable, like the show Hey Arnold. It reminds them of their childhood. The original is by Jim Lang. I just chopped it up a lot and added a lot of different layers and I made that in one sitting, at night, and the next day upload it. It’s like…it’s probably my most well known track.

Is there something that you want to convey to your listeners with your music?

Aaron: I want to get people in a good mood…like uplift them in a way, but at the same time not come off as cheesy. I would like to have the album sound positive…. it’ll just make them feel. That’s why I don’t like lyrics sometimes because if you’re talking about positive stuff…like it’s more powerful if the music doesn’t have words in my opinion, but that can still uplift you, in a way. I am not saying that all music with positive lyrics is like that, but you know… but that’s just my opinion.

What have you been listening to lately? Any suggestions?

Aaron: Um…oh! This guy that goes by this name Quickly Quickly. He’s a producer from I think Oregon. He’s probably one of the best producers out there to be honest. He has a really unique style. I think he is going to be like a big name pretty soon.

What sort of stuff does he make?

Aaron: It’s hard to say man! The base of it is Hip-Hop but it’s still a lot more than that.

What parts of the country or outside of the US have you noticed a big following for your music?

Aaron: Um, well it’s weird because the country that listens to my music the most is South Korea. So, I mean I have to find a way to go to South Korea. I mean in the US there’s places like Los Angeles and New York and Chicago, Denver, Brooklyn that are some of the top cities.

Where are you living now?

Aaron: Um, yeah I am still in Jersey. I am thinking of staying on the East coast.

Did you go to college?

Aaron: Yeah, I went to Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

What did you study there?

Aaron: I studied American Studies and film.

What is American Studies really? Is it similar to history?

Aaron: Yeah, it’s interdisciplinary… it kind of dabbles in a lot of stuff like history, government um the arts, music. Stuff like that. It’s pretty broad. So American studies is basically like the history and culture of America. Yeah, I mean it is a pretty broad term you know.

If you weren’t doing music at the moment, what do you think you would be doing right now?

Aaron: I don’t know…I think music is my main niche, but I mean I was a pretty good film editor. So if I couldn’t do music full time I would probably be doing some behind the scenes editing gigs.

Have you thought of making more videos to accompany your music?

Aaron: Yeah I mean I’ve definitely been coming up with some film concepts for my past videos.

Is there anything else that you would want to put out there?

Aaron: Oh yeah! I mean my next album is coming out next week so I’m definitely just pushing that album out, I’m trying to get the word out. It’s just a self-release album. I mean for the past handful of years I haven’t really had like a label backing me. I mean I have in the past, like Keats Collective, Rootnote, Em La La Terra…like net collectives or net labels but the majority of my music right now is self-released.

I would think that self-releasing music would make things more rewarding, right?

Aaron: Yeah, definitely, but I think you just gotta work harder in getting the word out on your own. But it still helps that I have a good following at this point so my fan base is pretty supportive so the word will get out pretty naturally I think.

What do you think about the current music culture at the moment? Do you think it is in a good spot?

Aaron: Well, I think there will always be really good music and really not so good music. That’s like happened all the time. And I think now more independent artists have an opportunity to get their music out there with SoundCloud, with Spotify stuff like that. I mean you don’t need a label to upload your music onto SoundCloud or Spotify. You can just do that by yourself. It makes it a lot better and you know there are definitely new avenues that you can do as an independent artist. You know it wasn’t like this even that long ago. Things were a lot different 10 or 20 years ago. If you weren’t on a label you couldn’t get your music out as effectively, but now I think that it doesn’t matter at this point. You can carve a name of your own just by posting music on SoundCloud. So basically if you use the Internet to your advantage, then I think you are already ahead of the game as an artist.

Has making music changed for you ever since your following has grown in size?

Aaron: Um, not really. I think things are moving slowly, but steadily. I mean I’ve been doing this for…I’ve been posting music quite frequently for the last like 5 or 6 years. I think if you keep doing it, then I think it flows organically. I also think I have worked hard enough where I am comfortable in thinking that my music is good enough for people to listen to. So, if I think it is good enough, then I think everything kinda comes organically after that. And plus you know it wasn’t just me alone. A lot of people helped me along the way, labels like Grappa Frisbee Records, Em La La Terra, Rootnote, Vinyl Digital, UKNOWY, Keats Collective…just all these online labels. They’ve helped a lot of artists like me get their music out there. You know? I mean I have definitely worked hard, but you know I think you can’t always do everything by yourself. It’s good to have people that support your music to help you. Plus, my friends who help manage me, have helped out a lot and you know that is another thing, it’s always good to work hard as an individual, but I think at the end of the day you can’t always do it on your own all the time. It’s good to have a team of people and not just people, but friends to help back you and help support you as well.

Have your parents have had an influence on you?

Aaron: Um, I’m just lucky that they help support me in whatever I do. I don’t think everyone has that kind of support you know?

What nationality are you?

Aaron: I mean I was born in the states, but my dad’s side is Peruvian and Chilean. That’s my dad’s side and my mom’s side is like Soviet Union area.

Any life advice? Anything that you have learned in the last couple of years that you would like to pass on?

Aaron: Yeah I mean just in general, success or stuff like that takes time. Yeah, it’s like you know a pretty simple saying but I think people don’t realize or they don’t take it seriously, but it’s going to take a while. People will start following you or following what you are doing or whatever and you know not just with music but also with a business or a self made business or a YouTube channel or whatever. It’s going to take a while and you have to work hard pretty consistently. And once you get there you also gotta maintain the consistency. Even once you get more traction you know you can’t just stop after that. You just gotta keep working hard.

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