Time and time
again, Flo Rida has proven that he has the Midas touch. In spite
of the music industrys ballyhooed downward spiral, Flo has sold more
than 10 million digital copies of his popular club anthems over the
past three years. For this reason, he has firmly supplanted himself
as the undisputed King of the Club.
to Right Round, in addition to a string of guest appearances,
Tramar Flo Rida Dillard has crafted a sonic style that is immediately
recognizable, memorable and unique. And with the release of his third
studio album (on November 30, 2010), he is resolute in his reminder
to the world: there is Only One Flo.
Upon the release
of the albums lead single, Club Cant Handle Me, Flo Rida managed to squeeze some time out of
his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry reflecting on his formative years
in Las Vegas, the importance of connecting with fans, and his
professional relationship with Walt Disney Studios. AllHipHop.com:
Although you were born-and-raised in Florida, you also spent a great
deal of time in Vegas, as well. In what ways have those two regions
influenced and affected the direction of your career?
Living in Vegas has definitely exposed me to an international audience
because people around the world travel to Vegas and party in Vegas.
It definitely inspired the type of music I do. Miami has a great party
environment, as well. Just being in those two places definitely influenced
me and helped me come up with songs about clubbing and everything.
During your undergraduate years at the University of Nevada, you studied
international business. Considering all the things that you have accomplished
thus far, what is one key business rule that you apply every time you
release a new project?
When I’m performing, I make sure that I do my best to connect with the
fans. When it comes down to promoting yourself, you definitely want
to do that. When I was going to school for international business, I
never even thought that I would be at a point where I would be considered
an international artist. And now, I use a lot of the skills that I gained
before I dropped out. I always make sure I’m handling my merchandising,
and really promoting myself, and connecting with fans during my travels
around the world. Its crazy for me to say that I’ve been in almost
every country around the world!
As youve traveled around the world, what have you learned about the
universal nature of music?
When it comes to my style, I’m a big fan of OutKast and I’m always trying
different things, whether it’s the melodies or the rhyme patterns. Most
of the people outside of the country understand the music because of
the different melodies I use. So I always try to apply the more melodic
style to my music as well as still keep my core audience where I started
from. Whenever I have a record that gets a lot of exposure around the
world, I take note of the locations where it becomes #1.
When I think of Florida, I definitely think of a lot of the big acts
that have come out of the area like 2 Live Crew, Trick Daddy and
Trina. Obviously, these artists have opened doors for you, but what
doors do you think you have opened for the artists coming behind you?
I definitely have to pay my respects to 2 Live Crew. They were known
around the world, which was definitely rare back then. And when I think
about Trick Daddy and Trina, and younger artists like Rick Ross and
Pitbull, they have definitely created a space where anyone who comes
out of Florida can be known around the world. And me, I’ve got to open
that door wider, because I’m a part of that same group now. My eyes
are set on maintaining an international audience, so I think I am helping
push what we do to a higher level on the international level.
Even though you’ve busted down a lot of doors, are there any particular
obstacles that you still have to overcome?
There is still a lot of work left to do. And right now, I have two new
acts that I am trying to break: Brianna, a female hip-hop artist, and
Get Fresh, an R&B group. I definitely want to pave the way for them,
so they will be able to enjoy careers the way I enjoy mine. I’m definitely
proud of the different accolades. Having almost every album be in the
Guinness Book of World Records, and just having the chance to go
around the world, thats still humbling.
It is obvious and apparent that you have the Midas touch, especially
when it comes to new emerging talent. It is so easy to forget that the
first time I was introduced to Kesha was on “Right Round.”
In addition, my first to Wynter Gordon was on “Sugar.” Talk
to me about the relationships that you have developed with them.
Both of them are definitely great singers and I just love being
around talent because I think it rubs off. They have a great passion
for music, and I love to be in the same room with people who have the
same passion as me. There is just a certain aura that you sense in just
working with them. Doing a record with somebody who doesn’t have a record
out, and then seeing it turn into a big success was definitely a blessing
for the both of us. I just definitely wish them the best.
Although there is no such thing as an overnight success, the massive
success of Low definitely made you a household name in record
time. Why do you think the stars aligned with that particular song?
It was a fun record, and at the same time, it just reminded me of the
old Miami Bass music, just growing up. I think that was definitely
why it connected so well, because I was very familiar with that sound,
and so were the listeners. For the most part, it is one of those rare
songs that the kids loved, and even the grown-ups. But going back to
my earlier point, when recording that record, I made sure that I attached
myself to being the melody for that record versus just really focusing
on the rap. I just wanted to have fun with that record.
As the undisputed King of the Club, why do you think your music
and persona registers with countless millions? What do you think makes
Flo Rida stand out above the rest?
Well, I definitely do my homework. I started just living in Vegas. I
lived in California for like four years with DeVante of Jodeci. So he’s
a guy who is very musical and I always surround myself around people
who are very musically inclined. I am always studying. If I don’t have
the music with me, I go on the Internet, look at YouTube footage. I
don’t care if it’s of Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, or
Jimi Hendrix. The souls of these artists influenced me. So I try to
pour all of my energy all of my heart and soul into my music. And
thats what creates the magic. If you want that success, you have
to sacrifice other things and give music 100 percent of your time.
When you speak about that magic, what do you think makes the perfect
The spur of the moment. The production. And you’re just feeling great
that day. No writer’s block and you’re just getting in there. To be continued in PART II…