Take 5: Raflo

Raflo is a happily anonymous eclectic UK dance producer who has twice reached the top of the US club charts in collaboration with DJ Robbie Rivera and has produced and co-written tracks for artists including Amy Winehouse and Leona Lewis. Other credits include remixing Radiohead and drumming for Neneh Cherry. His track ‘Keep Me Up’ is currently top ten in the UK club charts. His first release with soul/jazz vocalist Brixton born Riketté (pictured here) was the track Be Free which reached 13 in the club charts . Their new single is the catchily vibey ‘Give It Up’. Raflo may be somewhat mysterious and lives happily out of a camera lens – but we do have some insight into his creative and capable brain with our probing Take 5….

When did you realise that you wanted to be a music artist? What or who has inspired you ?

My mum was friends with a girlfriend of one of the Rolling Stones. I loved playing the drums and she managed to borrow one of their drum kits, with ’The Rolling Stones’ painted in psychedelic letting across the bass drum skin. A few years later it had to go back, but that was long enough to inspire me! 

Who, living or dead, would you dream of collaborating with?

This list could go on forever: Nina Simone, Billie Holliday, Prince, David Bowie, Quincy Jones, Mariah Carey, Lisa Hannigan, Mahalia, Br3nya, Anderson Paak, Sarah Bareilles, Sampa The Great. 

Tell us about your single ‘Give It Up’ –  what is the song about?

Life is so complicated in the twenty first century, but sometimes it’s great to look inside and follow your instincts and not worry too much about all the distractions outside. This song’s about going with the flow. It’s about not stressing or fretting, just following your emotions (in this case romantic). It’s about giving something a go, trying it out, putting fear aside, not worrying. 

When Riketté and I wrote this song it was mid summer, the days were long and carefree, and we wanted to try to capture this in our song. Trapping a bit of that lovely summer freedom so that it can be re-lived at any time of year. We shot the video down in Sussex, on the last warm day of late summer.When I played it to my good friend Miami DJ Robbie Rivera he went mad for it and created an incredible remix. The radio edit of that is coming out on 6th December, in time to banish those winter blues! 

Tell us five things you love about the city you live in, and why……

Well actually I live in the countryside (West Sussex) and this is why:

  • When I pull back the curtains in the morning all I see is woods, fields and sky
  • The air smells great
  • My neighbours are deer, rabbits and birds
  • No traffic noise (I used to live in London)
  • Musically inspiring

What are you most looking forward to this year? 

It’s been a great year for my releases. One top ten in the UK club charts, two top twenties, Track of the Day three times on BBC Intro South and top of Spotify’s Groove Theory playlist. I am so grateful to all the listeners that have supported my music, and it looks like they are loving ‘Give It Up’ too. So I am hoping (rather than ‘looking forward to’) that it will resonate with them as much as the previous releases. I am looking forward to spending more time in the studio and delivering some more beats!

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