The Skinny Q&A: Auntie Flo
In a year that saw clubbing cancelled for the vast majority, Glasgow-based producer and DJ Auntie Flo trained to become a sound therapist and launched his own 24-hour radio station, Ambient Flo. Here he takes part in our final Q&A of 2020
What’s your favourite place to visit and why?
Berlin. Although that sounds like a cliché, I actually love how quiet and spaced out the city is. It feels like a big village, and while I don’t think I could actually live there I love dipping in a few times a year and catching up with lots of friends who have relocated.
Favourite food and why?
Favourite colour and why?
Green. The colour of nature, trees, grass, and a certain football team.
Who was your hero growing up?
Sonic the Hedgehog. It was my favourite game growing up. I had posters of Sonic all over my room. I recently found a Christmas list I made detailing 50 reasons why I should get given a Mega Drive for Christmas (it worked!). I also used to ask if I could have the same haircut at the hairdressers – short and spiky (not blue, alas).
Whose work inspires you now?
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. His writing on flow (optimal human experience) was one of the reasons I chose Flo in my artist's name. During lockdown I’ve been re-reading his Theory of Flow in a quest to unlock some happiness during some dark times.
What three people would you invite to your dinner party and what are you cooking?
Fela Kuti, David Byrne and Barack Obama. Fela has always been a major influence on my music and without a doubt has some amazing stories to tell. David Byrne was also massively influenced by Fela for various Talking Heads albums, and having recently read his book How Music Works, he would be a great guest. Obama seems available and, like me, has family in Kenya. I’d cook Goan Fish Curry in honour of my mum.
What’s your all time favourite album?
Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). Still unrivalled in terms of production – RZA’s absolute masterpiece and all the MCs deliver. Clan in da front.
What’s the worst film you’ve ever seen?
The Beach. So sad that they’ve had to close the actual beach where this was shot.
What book would you take to a desert island?
Catcher in the Rye. I typically read non-fiction but on a desert island you’d need some light relief and this is a work of genius that you can read over and over again.
When did you last cry?
Last week. I’ve been going through the hardest of times – my dad died suddenly and that’s been hard to take.
What are you most scared of?
Not doing everything I want to do. I have a massive to-do list, and work 14-hour days, every day.
When did you last vomit and why?
Last year – food poisoning. I think it was a dodgy Pret sandwich. Unfortunately I ate it before a gig in Sheffield, which I ended up doing for three hours but it was touch and go the whole time.
Tell us a secret?
I don't eat chocolate. Not really a secret as I tend to use this in a lot of interview questions! But it still shocks people – who knows why?!
Which celebrity could you take in a fight?
Conor McGregor. I’d def win a thumb war.
If you could be reincarnated as an animal, which animal would it be?
Golden eagle. My 18-month son has just discovered these and loves pointing them out in books. Free as a bird!
What’s your favourite album of 2020?
Molero – Ficciones Del Trópico. I love music that transports you into a new immersive sonic world and this album is a trip into the tropics made by Venezuelan producer Molero. I loved his use of vintage synth Yamaha CS-60 so much I went and bought it on eBay.
What’s your favourite film/TV show of 2020?
Tiger King. Fact or fiction?! You couldn’t even make this story up. A gift that keeps on giving.
What have you missed the most about clubs while they’ve been shut?
The vibrations. Sound waves hitting my chest and going through my body. I’d pay a lot of money to go and stand in the middle of a dancefloor and experience that hit once again.
What are your hopes for 2021?
Humans stop picking the wrong fights. I feel like 2020 was a precipice and I hope 2021 is the year we step back from it and start showing compassion once again.
Listen to Ambient Flo at ambientflo.com