Producers to Know: Flash Frequency
Producers come in all varieties. Some are musicians who love the flexibility offered by a digital audio workstation, while others are simply natural-born tinkerers with a knack for putting together exciting and intriguing pieces of music. No matter what their origins, a producer is a person who is 100 percent dedicated to making the sounds in their heads a reality.
Kevin Chambers, better known by his stage name, Flash Frequency, creates beats that draw from a mix of stylistic influences. Working as the creative director for local art collective Bombay Knox, and performing solo at some of D.C.’s biggest venues, Chambers pours everything he’s got into expressing his ideas to their full potential through a mixed focus on music and visual art.
“My process can start in so many ways,” Chambers said. “When an idea is in my mind, I simply try to create it on the spot. I try to go out and do field recording on drums and record synths at pawn shops, Guitar Centers or whatever I can to get a hold of a sound.”
Much of Chambers’ music fits in right alongside contemporary electronic music, incorporating synthesized blips and beeps with energetic percussion and moody, jazz-influenced chord structures.
“My biggest influences are older music that I never liked as a kid,” he notes. “Jazz is my key genre to go to now for inspiration, along with progressive rock. Pink Floyd, GONG, Alan Parson Project, Bo Hansson, SAGA, Triosk, Zack Christ, Massive Attack, Radiohead and Burial, to name a few, are my inspirations.”
Just as brilliant as Chambers’ music is his visual art. His album covers depict psychedelic landscapes and muddled portraits, bringing the listener to a new space before the track even begins. “Visuals for music are based on the emotion that it gives me, and that speaks longevity,” Chambers said.
Chambers plans to collaborate with a number of partners in the coming months, including artist Lawan as well as producing visual art for U Street Music Hall owner Will Eastman. He also hopes to begin work on a short film accompanying his album, NON FICTION, a tribute to his late stepmother.
“Styles change, style doesn’t,” Chambers said when asked to share advice for other aspiring producers. “Be who you want to be and follow through with educating yourself.”