Monday 6th Aug, time is approximately 17:27. It’s hot as f**k, I’m sitting on a field with my mate,
waiting to be connected to the call. Recorder at the ready, sweating buckets and not too sure if I
was still a bit stoned or borderline heat-stroke, I was about to speak to Zander aka Fliptrix. Not only
is he the managing director of High Focus Records, but he’s one-quarter of masked lyrical
masterminds’, The Four Owls. He’s dedicated, sharp and an important driving force within the underground UK
hip-hop scene/movement.

Ahead of his much anticipated full-length album titled “INEXHALE”, we shared a chilled discussion
about his thoughts on the new attention surrounding UKHH, his musical direction and tips for the
aspiring artists out there.

Set for a release date of August 24th 2018, Fliptrix has been more than busy to say the very least.
He performed a sold out show earlier this month at Camden’s Jazz Cafe with T.F.O, released his
new single ‘Catch Banter’ and received radio play on Charlie Sloth, Mista Jam & Sian Andersons
shows to name a few. Not to mention the various High Focus parties put on around London and
Bristol! So being able to have a chat whilst he caught some down time was cool of him.

Sounding relaxed, insightful and down for a light-hearted conversation, here’s how it went.

So Fliptrix, it’s lovely to get to speak to you. Excited about the upcoming album, it’s almost on its
way here. Over a year and a half since ‘Patterns Of Escapism’ was out. How does it feel to almost
have the physical copy here?
Yeah, it’s been a epic journey. Alot of work went into this new record and I’m really happy with
the finished product. There’s some epic interesting features on there too that I wanted to make
happen for a while so it’s cool they are a reality now too.

You’re a pretty busy guy, must be tiring at times handling High Focus, your own material, The
Four Owls stuff and travelling. How do you catch your moment of silence, kinda re-centre yourself?
It can get a bit tiring yeah, but I’m back at home chillin’ now. See a few family and friends, catch
up with people. That’s what I like about being your own boss, you get to work when you want,
release what you want when you want, and rest up when you can. I just played a show at Jazz
Cafe with The Four Owls recently and I’ve got alot more coming up. I’m off to Boardmasters then
I’m heading down to Zurich for a festival as well. Good times on the horizon.

Sounds sweet man, Zurich as well that’ll be sick. Going back to ‘Inexhale’, there’s quite a few
features. How did the collaboration process go for you? Was it instant flow or were there any
challenges?
On the whole it went quite smoothly yeah, most of the people on the album I’m mates with and a
couple other people I’m fans of so reached out to make the connections and became mates after
we linked up. You can really sort of bounce your heads off one another and it just flows from there
really. Nice to be on the same page as the artist you’re working with, ideas get finalised quickly and
it’s a good vibe within the studio.

Moving onto your influences, any names that really stick out that have guided you throughout
your career, or any techniques that you’ve learnt from another artist that has strengthened your
skills?
Yeah man I mean from the US scene it would be Biggie, Big Pun & Big L, the three bigs haha.
From our country the people who influenced me most growing up were Taskforce, Skinnyman,
Jehst, Klashekoff to name a few. That’s why it was so great for me to get in the studio with
Skinnyman, I’ve been listening to his music since I was 16 so that collab really meant a lot to me.
It’s always an inspiration to work with different artists in the studio and see their recording process,
same as watching people perform you can learn alot in general.

I’ve noticed that you’re getting a bit more exposure from a few more radio stations and shows,
tell us a bit more about that?
It’s great, DJ Target span my single ‘New Breath’ 5 times on his BBC Radio 1xtra show, ‘Baggin
Up Music’ got spins on Kiss FM from DJ MK & Shortee Blitz, ‘Catch Banter’ got played by Charlie
Sloth on BBC Radio 1’ and Mista Jam, Sir Spyro, Sian Anderson all span it on 1Xtra plus tons of
other spins on various other stations. After being in the game for so long It’s been great to really
see the bigger platforms take more notice and be backing the singles from ‘INEXHALE’.

Sounds like it’s just the beginning for you. It’s good to see that they’re paying more attention to
artists such as yourself that really uphold the roots of the scene. In that case do you reckon UKHH
will go down the same route as Grime? Sort of edging towards widespread acceptance?
Definitely, and it’s about time. I think it’d be a good thing to have UKHH up on a mainstream
platform. There is a lot of really talented artists within the scene that are working really hard and it’s
about time they get the exposure they truly deserve. There’s a certain authenticity about a lot of the
artists. I think the next few years will definitely open more doors for them. Yeah, we’re getting there.

Dude it’s been so chill speaking with you. Before you go, seeing as you’ve been in the industry
for quite some time, have you got some tips for aspiring artists out there?
You’ve got to be hard-working and patient. I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ve put out so
much music over the years. It’s always a good idea to try and connect with people as well. Y’know
head to a few shows with a USB of your music and talk to people. But yeah, keep on doing what
you’re doing, stay positive, believe in yourself and it’ll happen one day.

Thanks man that’s brilliant. Cheers for the chat and have a good one.
Cheers you too.


Thank you to Fliptrix for conducting this interview! Make sure you keep up to date with his socials
on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Not only that, make sure you stay updated with High Focus
Records by clicking here to go straight to their site.

I’ve got the 23rd August set in my diary for the album launch at Jazz Cafe, London, have you?

Author

Drum'n'Bass head and student from Somerset, currently based in Manchester. Lover of all things 174.

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