INTERVIEW: The Flexican (2013)

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Occasionally in the stream of new music coming out, a track catches your attention and becomes what I affectionately call a WTF track.  Something so creative and out of the ordinary that it just shakes things up.   If you haven’t heard of The Flexican yet – you soon will.  Coming from a hip-hop background, his mash of styles- electro, house, moombahton, and tech come together for a truly unique take.  Check out his remixes of Pitbull and Melanie Amaro for an idea of his vibe, and watch for his upcoming track with Major Lazer which should help launch him into the stratosphere.

DJ Ron Slomowicz:  Great job on the Stevie Wonder “Superstition” mix, have you thought about getting it revocalled for an official release?
The Flexican: Yes, when I heard the beat I thought it was too good to release as it was and I figured that if I added the vocals it would match and give a different vibe to the song. People know the song and can sing a lot to it.

RS:  Are you excited about the Jimmy Woo show?
The Flexican: Yes, every year it is sold out and packed full of an Amsterdam and international crowd.

RS:  I love that you do 4-hour sets instead of the 1-2 hour sets, did you start doing these parties so that you could do full 4-hour sets?
The Flexican: I started doing a lot of bookings here because it is really difficult to get the vibe going when you are in and out in an hour. I wanted to get back to basics and play for 4-5 hours and warm up the crowd, build the climax and finish the night.

RS:  Where you a DJ or a producer first?
The Flexican: I was a DJ

RS:  Did you do a lot of mixed tapes?
The Flexican: Yes I did.

RS:  The first time I saw your name it was on a Bassjackers single, was that your first remix?
The Flexican: I think that for the international market it was, and for dance it was my first EP.

RS:  Your name has started showing up on a bunch of American releases, was the Pitbull track the first American release that you did?
The Flexican: I did some other stuff, but on a major level it was the first.

RS:  How did you and Pitbull find each other?
The Flexican: The label found me, I know a guy who works with Pitbull and he heard the “Bumaye” song and asked me if I wanted to try to do a remix of it. I did the remix and he liked it, I am going to release it with the next Major Lazer album, together with Busy Signal who does the vocals on it.

RS:  From there is that how you got the Melanie Amaro remix?
The Flexican: My manager was in contact with the guy who does the remixes, and he asked me to make one so I did and they liked it and approved it

RS:  It is really cool because it has an old school ’90s house vibe with the electro mixed in, what inspired you to use that kind of sound?
The Flexican: I have an eclectic taste for different kind of genres, and if I like it I’ll play it. I like to do different kind of stuff, I became popular here in Holland because I was in Flinke Namen, a big Dutch hip-hop group. I started producing more dance after that, but I still combined my hip-hop influences and background with dance music. I have always liked the new deep house and tech house.  I love the moombahton sound also.  I am not really into the Dutch sound and although it is popular now I think that it will fade away.  I try to do things my own different way.

RS:  Yeah, if you get too close to one sound it can fade away.
The Flexican: Exactly, I am not a typical DJ.  I am not a house DJ or a hip-hop DJ,  I am in between all genres and like to blend them all together.

RS:  Did the name Flexican come from your flexibility?
The Flexican: Yes, it is a playful name with the genres.

RS:  You also did the Paloma Faith record; did you get that from the label also?
The Flexican: Yes, it was the same guy who hooked me up with the other remixes.

RS:  Was that a difficult vocal to work with?
The Flexican: Yeah, the original track had a lot of drama and I was struggling to put a happier vibe to it. Sir OJ is really good with keys and he did all the chords and parts and then from there I just built on it and made it more danceable.

RS:  What other remixes have you done lately?
The Flexican: I did a remix for George Michael’s “White Light,” I don’t know what happened with it though, we are still waiting to hear if it is going to be approved and released.

RS:  I’d love to hear your mix, that is a depressing, downbeat song.
The Flexican: Whoa yeah, that one was a challenge.

RS:  When you do remixes what is your part and what is the other guy’s part?
The Flexican: It depends on who I am working with. I like to work with people because it stimulates me to make something better. Sir OJ is really great on keys and since I can’t play the piano he did that part. It really depends, though, because sometimes I am behind the sequencer or vice versa. I do most of the finishing part with the arranging and mixing, I listen to what it needs because I know what works on the dance floor.

RS:  What are you working on right now production wise?
The Flexican: The Major Lazer record is going to be the next thing, but I am producing tracks on my own and will have to come up with a new single after the release on the Major Lazer album. I have to be prepared for the follow-up that I will get from that song.

RS:  What would you like to say to all of your fans out there?
The Flexican: Keep downloading my music and keep supporting me so that I can keep getting bookings outside of Holland. I also want to thank all of my fans, I really need them.

RS:  Have you played outside of Amsterdam before?
The Flexican: I have played all over Europe but my name isn’t really out there yet. I have played at some parties in New York and played for the Entourage season release. I am working hard to get recognized.

Interview conducted during Amsterdam Dance Event 2012.

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