Pho­to­graph Cred­it : Hen­rijs Friebergs

After a 3‑year hiatus since his last album, Fliptrix’s new album ‘Man­tra No. 9’ recently landed to crit­ic­al acclaim.

We caught up with Flipt­rix to learn more about his ninth solo release, what drives him a musi­cian and the future of High Focus Records…

Con­grat­u­la­tions on the new album. Tell us a bit about what this album means to you and how it all came togeth­er.

‘Man­tra No. 9’ con­tin­ues where my pre­vi­ous pro­jects left off, there is a lin­eage run­ning through them. I really just wanted to bring it back to the prop­er tra­di­tion­al sounds that my fans have always res­on­ated with most. The biggest shift has been mov­ing to Por­tugal, which has greatly influ­enced how I write, sur­roun­ded by nature and in a clear head­space. That move has def­in­itely helped the vibe.

How long has this album been in the works? After a couple of years away from releas­ing, why did now feel like the right time?

When the world flipped on its head in 2019, my wife and I agreed to make a pos­it­ive out of a neg­at­ive situ­ation, so we bought a motorhome, trav­el­ing to Por­tugal and just adven­tured around. I was liv­ing in a van for a few months which was pretty mad because I was run­ning the label out the back of it, as well as hav­ing my young son with me.

At that point, I wasn’t really writ­ing lyr­ics, I was just tak­ing time to learn about my sur­round­ings and get­ting used to being a Dad. It was a really strange trans­ition going from play­ing loads of shows to doing none at all. Des­pite that, I was just tak­ing in inspir­a­tion the whole time, which gave me more to write about. ‘Verb T’ hit me up need­ing a verse for a ‘Four Owls’ tune, which was the first verse I’d writ­ten for that entire time. I had so much fun writ­ing that verse that I linked up with ‘Illin­formed’ shortly after and wrote “Eden” and it all just snow­balled from there”.

So “Man­tra No.9”, fill us in a little bit on the name, what is your “Man­tra No.9”?

It starts mainly from when I was early on in my career. I was a huge fan of Bob Mar­ley and he was a massive inspir­a­tion to me. I found out that he actu­ally blew up on his 9th album and that he had been play­ing for so long before he got world­wide recog­ni­tion for his tal­ent, which was power­ful motiv­a­tion for me.

The num­ber 9 has so many deep mean­ings behind it. It’s the highest num­ber before you go back to 1’s & 0’s. This felt like a really sig­ni­fic­ant album for me and as I said before my music is all part of a jour­ney. When I was mak­ing the “Third Eye Of The Storm”, I star­ted to wake up to a lot of things, devel­op­ing as a human being and put­ting those mes­sages into my music.

How are you feel­ing about get­ting back to tour­ing, giv­en your time away from play­ing shows?

I’ve always loved the live ele­ment. That’s where I truly get to test out the art and see people’s genu­ine, real-time reac­tions. Liv­ing quite remotely, it’s really fun to dip back in and still get to embrace all of the enjoy­able parts like per­form­ing live. I’ve got a lot of love for all the cit­ies I’m play­ing in, so I’m really look­ing for­ward to it.

Tying it all togeth­er, are there stor­ies from times on a pre­vi­ous tour/gig where you wish you had a man­tra to guide you through a tricky situ­ation?

In the earli­er days, we def­in­itely used to be a lot more wild and get a lot more waved. I’ve actu­ally stopped drink­ing for a long time now, but I def­in­itely had to learn the hard way. After a while, you real­ise that it just isn’t sus­tain­able and your body is your temple and you should treat it with respect.

Finally, it’s been six­teen years since you released your first album and you’ve achieved some incred­ible things. What does the future look like for Flipt­rix in six­teen years from now?

It’s been such an incred­ible jour­ney and I’m so happy with where I am right now. I don’t know where I will be in 16 years, but it’s excit­ing to see people who were huge inspir­a­tions to me when I was young still abso­lutely smash­ing it. It gives me a lot of motiv­a­tion to keep going. I want to be an inspir­a­tion to people like those before us and motiv­ate those after us to cre­ate their own art, but moreover, live the life they want to live. If I can keep doing that I’ll be happy.

Listen HERE to Man­tra No.9

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Jamie Hicks

Jamie Hicks

Jam­ie Hicks AKA Monti­colombi is a highly accred­ited musician/Journalist/writer based in NW Lon­don who has been tour­ing all over the world in vari­ous pro­jects for numer­ous years.

About Jamie Hicks

Jamie Hicks
Jamie Hicks AKA Monticolombi is a highly accredited musician/Journalist/writer based in NW London who has been touring all over the world in various projects for numerous years.