Entertainment Music Who is Flume? The 24-year-old behind Australia’s biggest hits

Who is Flume? The 24-year-old behind Australia’s biggest hits

With a couple of laptops and some guest vocalists, Flume is taking over Australian music. Photo: Getty
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He looks like any other uber cool hipster you might unknowingly pass in an inner city suburb, but Flume is far from your ordinary 24-year-old.

Flume (real name Harley Edward Streten) is the Australian electronic music wonder boy who has been nominated for a whopping eight 2016 ARIA Awards, after already winning three at a pre-ceremony gong announcement on Wednesday.

His face might not be instantly recognisable, but he is world famous, having played to massive crowds at the globe’s most important festivals (including Glastonbury, Coachella, Lollapalooza etc) and scooping four ARIA awards way back in 2013.

Even Jessica Mauboy – one of Australia’s most popular musicians – has admitted she is considering borrowing Flume’s electronic sounds given his success.

“I would love to incorporate it [electronic sound] into my music. I have tried a little bit. My second record that I was writing was a little bit like that. I’d love to flow through that,” Mauboy told AAP at the ARIA Awards nomination event in Sydney on Wednesday.

This year, Flume is nominated for Album Of The Year (Skin), Best Male Artist, Best Dance Release (Skin), Best Pop Release (Never Be Like You feat. Kai), Best Independent Release (Skin), Best Video (Never Be Like You feat. Kai) and Best Australian Live Act.

On Wednesday he won Producer of the Year, Engineer of the Year and Best Cover Art (Jonathan Zawada for Skin) in a pre-ARIAs ceremony handout.

NYC what's up?

A photo posted by Flume (@flumemusic) on

So who is Flume, and how did he become so big?

Flume was born and lived in Sydney’s Northern Beaches and gravitated toward music from a young age.

He entered an original artists competition in 2011 and won it.

That competition was through Australian record label Future Classic, which he is still signed to. Since then he has not looked back.

His 2012 self-titled debut album was released in Australia on the same day as One Direction’s Take Me Home LP.

Flume somehow beat the outrageously popular British boy band to the number one spot, even though he finished making the album on a laptop while travelling through Europe.

His music is heavily electronic, drenched with synth, dynamic in its pace and often features guest vocalists.

Flume beats more fancied artists for awards and on the charts regularly. Photo: Getty

Most famously he has formed a strong personal and working bond with another young Australian music star, Chet Faker (who recently changed his moniker to his real name, Nick Murphy).

One famous story that illustrates Flume’s wild popularity was his performance at the 2012/13 Falls Festival in Lorne, Victoria.

While rock legends The Flaming Lips played a headline slot before a modest crowd on the amphitheatre main stage, Flume was performing in the “rave cave”, aka the tented stage up on the hill.

From the main stage, you could hear Flume’s crowd screaming and cheering as he played his self-titled debut album on top of the amphitheatre’s hill.

All the while hundreds of revellers couldn’t even make it inside the packed tent to catch a glimpse of Flume’s performance.

✈️✈️✈️Getting that kick drum just right 🎶🎶🎶 Seattle tonight! #FLUMEworldtour

A video posted by Flume (@flumemusic) on

He faces some stiff competition across the ARIA categories he is nominated in.

Australian electronic gods The Avalanches are Flume’s main rivals, while 21-year-old pop sensation Troye Sivan and rapper Illy are two other electronic-inspired acts who will also be vying for trophies.

But given he beat out Guy Sebastian, The Presets, Keith Urban and Paul Kelly for ARIA awards in 2013, Flume should have no problem adding to his swag this year.

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