Flying Lotus is one of the best known tastemakers in the electronic music world today, and it comes as no surprise that his lineage contains some of the most famous jazz musicians of the ’50s. Being the great nephew of jazz pianist Alice Coltrane and cousin to jazz saxophonist John Coltrane, as well as achieved saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, it’s easy to see the impressions they had made in his life.
Also known as FlyLo, and more classically as Steven Ellison, he is a genre mashing electronic music icon. He got his big start by producing bumper music for the late night [adult swim] programming on Cartoon Network. He was also a mainstay at Daddy Kev‘s Low End Theory weekly at The Airliner in Los Angeles, where he met many of his future counterparts such as Nosaj Thing, Daedelus, and The Glitch Mob. He soon began leaking unofficial mixtapes and in 2007 signed with experimental music pioneers Warp Records. This begat his first of many releases with the label as he grew onto the scene, bringing about his sonic take on hip hop to the next level.
First releasing the Reset EP in 2007, he quickly turned around with his first full length studio album Los Angeles. With major hits like “GNGBNG,” “Orbit,” and “Parisian Goldfish,” he soon began exploding onto the mainstream electronic scene, headlining alongside acts such as Justice and Rusko, all while maintaining and innovating his unique approach to beats.
In 2008 he founded his own Brainfeeder label to promote fellow artists including The Gaslamp Killer, Ras G, and Samiyam, while maintaining great ties with Warp, which continued to manage his releases. Moving away from any type of traditional electronic genre, he brought in a full band for his 2010 release Cosmogramma, which achieved critical acclaim for surpassing categories. He continued to promote new artists such as Thundercat, who played bass alongside him on Cosmogramma. This all was followed up in 2012 by the even more ethereal Until the Quiet Comes, which once again took his hip hop fusion sound to another level. Collaborating with artists such as Thom Yorke, Erykah Badu, and Laura Darlington, this album is much more introspective than any of his previous releases, yet was massively well received and introduced fans to just one more take on what music can be.