Canadian Musician - July-August 2022 - Page 59

COLUMNS

The Ingredients of Creativity & Success

By MKSTN & Avery Florence , a . k . a . Flõstate

The timeline between creation and release can be long . Our recently-released album , Moments of Feeling , was four years in the making . Even landing on our name ,“ Flõstate ,” took almost two years from the inception of our collaborative journey . What began as an intuitive pull to work together gradually evolved into the realization that we were creating something unique to us both .

We ’ d both been creating as individuals for years before collaborating . But connecting through art generates this empowering feeling of creating something new into this world that ’ s bigger than we ’ d be able to create alone .”
With the timeline until release so lengthy , what breeds success as a musician ? Big streaming numbers ? Writing a song that you think is magic ? Performing to millions ? We believe that success lives within the process .
Avery Florence : There ’ s definitely this idea of what a successful musician looks like . But , hopefully , you realize as an artist , that by letting go of the outcome , you can create art forever . I often say music is my career , whether or not it ’ s lucrative . Of course , artists need to support themselves , but that ’ s only one aspect of the entire focus . Similarly , often the big release feels more like relief than success . Trusting the process takes patience .
MKSTN : Being honest with yourself and loving what you do is key . It ’ s natural to want the idea of success you ’ ve been fed your whole life . But many who ’ ve crossed that finish line will tell you it was the process that mattered . The feats , failures , and decisions you make along the way shape who you are as a person and as an artist .”
Space , Time & Melodies During a late summer writing retreat , light was gently filtering into the room . We wrote a floaty melody , eventually called “ Déjà Vu .” This song took almost two years to complete ( and didn ’ t even make the first album )! However , during that time , we both grew ; musically , personally . It reminded us that creating is non-linear . Sometimes you have to experience and grow in order for things to make sense .
Avery Florence : “ That melody stuck with me . Then unhurried , the verses came while I was sitting by a river on Vancouver Island . That same initial emotion came through in a totally different setting , years later . Because of that space and time , the song took on a different direction or maybe depth . Other songs , like “ Dream Dance ,” emerged in one flow . There ’ s not one way to write a song .
MKSTN : Oddly enough , everything lines up when you ’ re aware of your own energy and the surrounding energy . I try to follow my instincts and stay open to people , places , or things that nudge me hard enough .
Trust / Creation Mode Trust that your art is special ; that others need it as much as you need to create it . Trust allows you to follow through from beginning to end . Many songs we love came at the end of sessions , unexpectedly . You can set out with an intention , but art lives in an unplanned state ; you wait for that inspiration to come and let it flow through . When we listen back to some of our songs , we look at each other incredulously ; “ Did we make this ? It ’ s awesome but I don ’ t remember doing this at all .”
MKSTN : Following artistic muses is so important . Be prepared to be that vessel for the creative spirit . If it comes and you aren ’ t prepared , it ’ ll slip away .
Life Though we ’ d love to be in creation mode constantly , life also needs tending . We ’ re human ; relationships are everything and take patience , communication , and understanding . Building a strong foundation as a group has been vital ; taking time to really understand and communicate . It ’ s not always easy ; we ’ re individuals with different ideas , relationships , and lives . Though in this fast-paced world , it ’ s important to create space for creating art . We ’ ve found it helpful to get away to live within that creation space and not expect to exist exclusively in that space .
Opportunity Though you ’ ve got to knock on doors , expect unexpected opportunities . Our first festival performance came through an acquaintance and was at an electronic eco-art festival called Cloud 9 . Unlike traditional big festivals , it felt aligned to us as artists and people .
Avery Florence : The label we ended up on , Lekker Collective , came through years after working on Mike ’ s solo music . That ’ s why you ’ ve got to keep trusting . Opportunities often come years after planting seeds .
MKSTN : People are people at the end of the day , with emotions and experiences . Be genuine , take risks , bring value , and most importantly , show up for yourself and others .
Resolve Writing beautiful songs , performing for genuine listeners , connecting spiritually , are definite parts of success . All of this takes time , experience , experimentation , and space to explore . Success is being present in the process .
Flõstate is a Canadian fantasy R & B duo consisting of producer MKSTN and songwriter / multi-instrumentalist Avery Florence . Two worlds collide creating multi-instrumental soundscapes and virtuous vocals . Inspired by a wide variety of artists and genres , they site acts such as Beach House , Galimatias , Tame Impala , Jimi Hendrix , Lana Del Rey , Bon Iver , Enya , Jeff Buckley and Pink Floyd as key influences to their sound . Facebook . com / WeAreFlostate .
PHOTO : OSCAR TAM (@ OSCARTAM _)
CANADIAN MUSICIAN 59