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Experimental electronic music producer Flying Lotus, born Steven Ellison, is a grandson of songwriter Marilyn McLeod (the co-writer of Diana Ross' "Love Hangover"), as well as a great-nephew of pianist Alice Coltrane, and therefore a cousin of saxophonist Ravi Coltrane. Ellison made beats for the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim network before releasing his debut full-length, 1983, which resembled the work of fellow avant-garde hip-hop producers Madlib, J Dilla, and Ammoncontact on Plug Research in 2006. Following the six-song EP Reset, he released his second full-length, Los Angeles, on Warp in 2008. A three-part series of satellite EPs consisting of remixes and additional productions trailed through the next year. Cosmogramma, his third and most complex album, was issued on the same label in 2010, while the relatively pared-down Until the Quiet Comes followed in 2012. The suite-like You're Dead!, on which he was joined by Herbie Hancock, Kendrick Lamar, and Snoop Dogg, and Captain Murphy (Ellison's rapping alias), among others, came two years later. Ellison's considerable quantity of additional production and remix work is scattered across dozens of releases on revered labels such as Tectonic, Hyperdub, Ghostly International, and Ninja Tune -- the last of which is the distributor of his Brainfeeder label, home to releases by the likes of the Gaslamp Killer, Austin Peralta, Martyn, frequent collaborator Thundercat, and Taylor McFerrin.
Steven Ellison (born October 7, 1983), known by his stage name Flying Lotus, is an experimental multi-genre music producer, electronic musician and rapper from Los Angeles, California.
Flying Lotus has released five studio albums—1983 (2006), Los Angeles (2008), Cosmogramma (2010), and Until the Quiet Comes (2012)—to increasing critical acclaim -- and most recently You're Dead! (2014). He has produced much of the bumper music on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block. He also contributed remixes for fellow Plug Research artists including Mia Doi Todd. He is often referred to as FlyLo by fans and critics.
In 2012, Ellison began rapping under the persona Captain Murphy, based on the Sealab 2021 character of the same name. Ellison kept this fact a secret for several months, finally revealing his identity several weeks after the release of his first rap mixtape, Duality.Brown, Marisa. "Flying Lotus - Biography". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on March 15, 2013. Retrieved March 15, 2013. Experimental electronic music producer Flying Lotus... mixes electronic-flavored hip-hop with jazz influences. Weiss, Jeff (October 4, 2012). "Flying Lotus' Nocturnal Visions". LA Weekly. Archived from the original on March 15, 2013. Retrieved March 15, 2013. "Flying Lotus Profile". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-09-30. Ware, Tony (September 28, 2012). "Moving Forward by Dialing Back on Until the Quiet Comes". Electronic Musician (New York). Retrieved 2012-10-13. "3D World Online - Flying Lotus - In Full Bloom". Archived from the original on 28 July 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2012. Martins, Chris (2012-11-29). "Flying Lotus Is Captain Murphy, Drops 'Tiny Tortures' Video Starring Elijah Wood | SPIN | Newswire". SPIN. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
Flying Lotus was born Steven Ellison on October 7, 1983, in Los Angeles, California. He is the nephew of the late jazz pianist Alice Coltrane, and her husband saxophonist John Coltrane. He is also the cousin of musician Ravi Coltrane. Additionally, he is the grandson of singer/songwriter Marilyn McLeod, who is notable for having written Diana Ross's "Love Hangover" and Freda Payne's "I Get High (On Your Memory)".Cite error: The named reference Brown was invoked but never defined (see the help page). "Flying Lotus Bio, Music, News & Shows". DJZ.com. Retrieved March 8, 2013. Martins, Chris (2010-05-13). "Flying Lotus Rising". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2011-03-13. "Nardwuar vs Flying Lotus". YouTube/iamOther channel.
In 2007, Flying Lotus announced that he signed with Warp Records. Following his Warp debut, the six-track Reset EP, he quickly became one of the label's cornerstone artists and released his second studio album, titled Los Angeles, on June 10, 2008. The same year, Flying Lotus also remixed "Reckoner" from Radiohead's album In Rainbows. His third studio album, Cosmogramma, was released in the UK on May 3, 2010, and in the US on May 4, 2010. In January 2011, Cosmogramma won in the Dance/Electronica Album category in the 10th Annual Independent Music Awards.
In 2010, Flying Lotus collaborated with the Ann Arbor Film Festival in the performance of a live scoring of the 1962 avant-garde film Heaven and Earth Magic. In a post-viewing interview with the audience, Flying Lotus said that he was unsure whether or not a recording of the performance (or a recreation of it) would be publicly released, but he would be enthusiastic toward similar projects in the future. He was chosen by Battles to perform at the ATP Nightmare Before Christmas festival that it co-curated in December 2011 in Minehead, England, UK.
In January 2011, Flying Lotus won the 10th Annual Independent Music Awards for his video "MmmHmm" in the Short-Form Video category. In August 2011, Flying Lotus announced a multimedia project with filmmaker Miwa Matreyek, which is to be titled The Mapping of Countries Yet to Come.
Flying Lotus produced rapper Mac Miller's song “SDS’” for his album Watching Movies with the Sound Off. He also created a song for the Cartoon Network series Adventure Time entitled “About that time//A glitch is a glitch”.
It was reported in 2011 that Flying Lotus would be collaborating with R&B singer Erykah Badu on new material for her next album, and planned to remix one of Radiohead's songs from The King of Limbs.
In April 2013, Flying Lotus announced that he has his own radio station in the video game Grand Theft Auto V, saying there would be "a ton of new songs and information, including rapping a new Captain Murphy song produced by Hudson Mohawke".
On July 17, 2013, Flying Lotus announced on Twitter that he had been nominated for a VMA (Video Music Award) for the song "Tiny Tortures".
On July 15, 2014, Flying Lotus posted on Instagram a photo of blue vinyl test pressings labeled "LP #5". On July 22, he announced that his fifth studio album, You're Dead!, would be released in the UK on October 6, 2014, and in the US on October 7, 2014. The album features guest appearances by Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg and Herbie Hancock.
On August 15, 2014, Flying Lotus released a new song called "Cosplay" with his alias Captain Murphy.
On September 30, 2014, Flying Lotus scored the short film A Portrait of Noomi Rapace, starring actress Noomi Rapace and directed by Aitor Throup."Flying Lotus signs with Warp | Plug One". Plugonemag.com. 2007-02-24. Retrieved 2012-10-01. Thiessen, Brock. "Flying Lotus Preps Second LA EP". Exclaim! Magazine. Retrieved 17 September 2012. Cosmogramma. "Cosmogramma: Flying Lotus: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-10-01. "Nominees : Album : Dance/Electronica". The Independent Music Awards. Retrieved 2012-10-01. "Ann Arbor Film Festival 2010 : Flying Lotus plays Heaven & Earth Magic". Aafilmfest.bside.com. Retrieved 2011-02-27. "ATP Nightmare Before Christmas". Atpfestival. Retrieved 2012-10-01. "Flying Lotus". Independentmusicawards.com. Retrieved 2012-10-01. Martin, Andrew. "Flying Lotus Working On Multimedia Project, 'The Mapping Of Countries Yet To Come'". Retrieved 17 September 2012. "MAC MILLER – "S.D.S." P. FLYING LOTUS". Potholesinmyblog.com. Retrieved 7 October 2014. "Listen to Flying Lotus’ new song recorded for Adventure Time". Retrieved April 4, 2013. Hughes, Josiah (2011-04-12). "Flying Lotus Collaborating with Erykah Badu • News". Exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2012-10-01. Hughes, Josiah. "Flying Lotus Planning Remix of Radiohead's 'King of Limbs'". Exclaim! Magazine. Retrieved 3 October 2011. "GTA 5: Flying Lotus to Get His Own Radio Station". "FLYLO on Twitter: "Nominated for a VMA wow"". Twitter.com. Retrieved 6 October 2014. "Instagram". Instagram. Retrieved 6 October 2014. "YOU'RE DEAD". You're Dead! - Flying Lotus. Retrieved 6 October 2014. "Flying Lotus' Rapping Alter Ego Captain Murphy Releases New Track "Cosplay"". Retrieved August 15, 2014. "Flying Lotus Scores A Short Film Starring Swedish Actress Noomi Rapace". Retrieved September 30, 2014.