Go­ing with the Flo

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Music - By KEVIN C. JOHN­SON

RAP­PER Flo Rida isn’t one to shy away from a good mu­si­cal col­lab­o­ra­tion.

The Low rap­per is one of the kings of col­lab­o­ra­tions, with a reper­toire of hits with artists such as Jen­nifer Lopez, Sia, Pit­bull, Ja­son Derulo, Sage the Gemini, T-Pain, Ke­sha, Tim­ba­land, will.i.am, Ne-Yo, Akon and David Guetta.

“First and fore­most, I’m fans of the peo­ple I’m col­lab­o­rat­ing with,” Flo Rida says.

“And col­lab­o­ra­tions ex­pand who you are. A lot of times, peo­ple may not know you, but they know the other per­son, and then you gain new fans.”

He also likens it to spar­ring in the ring: “It sharp­ens you.”

Flo Rida can’t choose which is his favourite col­lab­o­ra­tion, but “hats off to T-Pain for the Low record. And I love work­ing with guys like Tim­ba­land (El­e­va­tor), Akon (Who Dat Girl), guys who I look up to and who in­spire me. I have great con­ver­sa­tions with them from time af­ter time. Work­ing with them has been a bless­ing as well as other col­lab­o­ra­tions with Sia (Wild Ones) and Dr. Luke (Who Dat Girl pro­ducer).”

Low fea­tur­ing T-Pain was the one that put the Mi­ami-based rap­per (born Tra­mar La­cel Dil­lard) on the map. He says the song is the re­sult of pa­tience, pas­sion, hum­ble­ness, cre­ativ­ity and be­ing ready.

“I re­call be­ing in the stu­dio in Mi­ami with guys I look up to like Rick Ross (with whom he col­lab­o­rated on Birth­day), who birthed my ca­reer when the track came in,” Flo Rida says.

“It was re­ally late at night. The track went to var­i­ous artists first. Within an hour, I fin­ished the record. This record pulled me into the whole in­ter­na­tional works of mu­sic. It’s or­ganic to who I am.”

With Low, re­leased a decade go, Flo Rida nailed down his for­mula for suc­cess early: mix­ing var­i­ous mu­si­cal flavours to­gether into one eas­ily di­gested sound.

Grow­ing up in Mi­ami, he says, there was “a gumbo of dif­fer­ent cul­tures”.

“I’ve al­ways been grind­ing,” he says.

“This is what I’ve been do­ing prior to my suc­cess, even back when I was in my group. There were four of us in the group (GroundHoggz), and each one of us came from a dif­fer­ent back­ground.” He says the only thing that’s new about his mu­sic now is that he’s able to take it around the world.

“Each and ev­ery day I thank God for that,” he says.

He’s con­stantly amazed at how well his mu­sic trav­els around the world.

“You can go to some coun­tries where peo­ple may not be able to con­verse with you, but they can sing your lyrics word for word.”

Flo Rida’s new sin­gle is Cake fea­tur­ing 99 Per­cent. It’s the lat­est in a long string of sin­gles; his last al­bum was 2012’s Wild Ones.

While some artists fo­cus on re­leas­ing sin­gle af­ter sin­gle and are less con­cerned with full al­bums, he says an al­bum is in the works and that it’s 70% fin­ished.

“I en­joy putting out sin­gles,” he says.

“A lot of times of trav­el­ling and I just want to give fans some­thing new. But you can look for­ward to me putting out an al­bum. I’m very ex­cited about it. Maybe I’ll have peo­ple go to so­cial me­dia so peo­ple can help me with the name.”

Photo: Tri­bune News Ser­vice

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