Cover story: Flume signs on for Splen­dour to re­mem­ber..........

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - CONTENTS - – CAMERON ADAMS

TWELVE months ago, Har­ley Streten (pic­tured) was work­ing at Syd­ney’s Hard Rock Cafe.

In the same cal­en­dar year, Streten went from be­ing the waiter when boy band One Di­rec­tion drank at the venue to watch­ing their al­bum keep his de­but – as Flume – to a No.2 en­try on the ARIA chart.

This year, his al­bum hit No.1 and went plat­inum as he sub­verted com­mer­cial ra­dio with in­tel­li­gent, non­com­mer­cial dance mu­sic. Sources say he’s the big­gest Aus­tralian act tour­ing on a de­but al­bum since Jet.

He’s also mak­ing se­ri­ous waves in the US and Europe.

And he still lives at home with his par­ents in Syd­ney, in the same room he made his al­bum Flume in.

‘‘It’s def­i­nitely a mind­shift,’’ Streten, 21, says, nurs­ing a BYO or­ange juice at a Surry Hills cafe.

‘‘I live in the same room, with the same friends; the only dif­fer­ence is I travel a lot more. And now peo­ple ac­tu­ally want to hear my mu­sic; be­fore, I was shop­ping it around to record la­bels or spam­ming it on peo­ple’s (web) pages.’’

Streten made an EP, Sleep­less, for a com­pe­ti­tion run by label Fu­ture Clas­sic. A hand­ful of remixes fol­lowed, in­clud­ing his early call­ing card Hyper­par­adise by Her­mi­tude.

‘‘At my first meet­ing with Fu­ture Clas­sic, the last thing they said to me was, ‘All we want you to do is make your own genre’. That was all I had to hear,’’ Streten says.

Af­ter once try­ing to get at­ten­tion, Streten now fears he’s be­ing over­ex­posed.

Un­usu­ally, main­stream ra­dio has come to him fol­low­ing his Hottest 100 blitz – and he hasn’t had to com­pro­mise. ‘‘I’m on Triple J way too much,’’ Streten says. ‘‘I keep hear­ing my name. And peo­ple tell me I’m on Nova and (Syd­ney’s) 2Day FM a lot. I look at the charts and I’m wedged be­tween Pink and Bruno Mars. It’s nice.’’

When he found out his al­bum went to No.2, Streten cel­e­brated with a scotch.

Post Hottest 100, Flume went to No.1, keep­ing Justin Bieber to a No.2 en­try. It was be­lated vin­di­ca­tion against man­u­fac­tured pop. But Streten ad­mits he’s tak­ing an os­trich ap­proach to his sales and suc­cess.

‘‘I don’t look at the sta­tus too much at all. Yeah, it’s awe­some, but I wrote the first record just for my­self. I wasn’t try­ing to make this crowd or that crowd like it. I want to do that again. I don’t want to know too much. It puts pres­sures in your head.

‘‘This record got kids who lis­ten to Bieber and 1D or in­die rock into some­thing they prob­a­bly weren’t used to.

‘‘That’s what I like. It’s push­ing kids out of their com­fort zone to try some­thing new. I’ve got a re­spon­si­bil­ity to keep it mov­ing for­ward.

‘‘I feel like I’ve got a bit of a tastemaker role in Aus­tralia.’’

Streten ad­mits ma­jor cor­po­ra­tions have tried to sign him up for ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paigns. He has the kind of cred­i­bil­ity their money can usu­ally buy. Not in this case.

‘‘It might be a lot of money but I’ll have to be as­so­ci­ated with a big cor­po­rate brand,’’ he says. ‘‘We could make a quick buck right now, but we want this to be long term.

‘‘I feel like I’m al­ready in ev­ery­one’s face too much right now. We wouldn’t do that un­less we needed to, and we don’t.’’

Streten is also look­ing for a stu­dio – one he doesn’t also have to sleep in af­ter he’s worked in it all day. He’s even en­ter­tain­ing the idea of one with no in­ter­net con­nec­tion, to keep him fo­cused.

Flume plays The River­stage, in Bris­bane, on May 7 (sold out). Flume, Mum­ford & Sons, The National, Of Mon­sters & Men, Em­pire Of The Sun, Bernard Fan­ning, TV On The Ra­dio, Babysham­bles, James Blake, Poly­phonic Spree (per­form­ing Rocky Hor­ror Pic­ture Show) and more play Splen­dour in the Grass, from July 26-28. Tick­ets go on sale on May 2

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.