“I have the luxury of going wherever I want, because it’s just on a laptop,” says Streton. “I mean, it helps to have all the other bits, but at the end of the day, it’s not that I need anything other than [a laptop]. So it’s always been a really conscious thing, not to have to rely on any of that stuff.”
And while backpacking with a laptop might sound like a dream to some, Streton admits that reaching for collaborations with two of his favourite artists, would be even better. That is, if they reply when he slides into their direct messages.
“I’d love to work with Frank Ocean, or Rihanna,” says Streton. “I’d love to work with Rihanna — I’ll DM her right now.”
Whether she replies or not will remain unseen until the release of Flume’s next record, which he says he will begin work on “early next year.”
Streton returned home to Australia last week for what he described as a “48-hour operation,” to perform at an event staged to celebrate the reopening of Louis Vuitton’s George Street store.
But with the ARIA awards falling on the same evening, some might have cause to question the producer’s loyalty to an industry considered responsible for thrusting him into the mainstream.
“Well, I’m not really nominated for anything,” says Streton. “You know, there was the artwork, but I wouldn’t really fly from L.A. just for that.”
“I guess awards just don’t mean that much to me,” says Streton, laughing. “Winning awards is awesome, but at the end of the day, they’re just a popularity contest. I never really got into this to win awards. And I’m sure most of the artists in the ARIAs or the Grammy’s or whatever didn’t either.”
For Streton, a reciprocated respect from the artists he deeply admires — along with making “good music” — is of far greater value. His latest mixtape, Hi This Is Flume, was nominated for a Grammy award this year, but it’s the potential for mutual excitement with his collaborators which satisfies him most.
“When you have someone like JPEG[MAFIA], who I’m a huge fan of, and play him something and he’s blown away by it, or super into it — it’s just the best thing,” says Streton.
And JPEGMAFIA is just one of the rising stars to feature on Streton’s latest release, This Is Flume, which is his first since 2017, and has earned him a Grammy Award nomination for best the Dance/Electronic Album of 2020.
The mixtape also features the likes of Sophie — whose work with artists like Vince Staples and Madonna has earned her international recognition — and, Slowthai, whose latest record Nothing Great About Britain, landed him a nomination for the Mercury Prize earlier this year.
Although he already has one Grammy Award to his name, this time Streton will face tough contention before he claims another. In amongst the group are Skrillex and The Chemical Brothers, as well as Australian alternative dance group Rufus du Sol, who won best dance album for their latest record, Solace, at this year’s ARIA awards.
When speaking to The Herald and The Age about their Grammy Award nomination, Jon George of Rufus du Sol admitted that going up against Flume hasn’t always been easy.
But an overarching sense of solidarity and camaraderie has often united Australian artists on the global stage, as local Australian talent continues to garner international accolades. And for Flume, this year isn’t any different.
“They’ve been killing it,” says Streton, of Rufus du Sol and their latest release. “It’s always nice to have Australians in the mix — especially at an international awards show, that’s not the ARIAs. Something that’s truly global.”