The debut EP uses '90s and '00s rap, hip hop, and R&B to tell vibrant stories about Val's identity as a queer and Indigenous artist.
Val says it's a reflection on his 2018 mood and he hopes to show that it's okay to display vulnerability as a man, even when the expectation for some is that men are strong and don't feel emotion as deeply as others.
Here, Val deep-dives into the EP and tells us a bit about it.
You've just recently been signed to Trench Records! Congratulations – what does this signing mean to you?
Omg – thank you so much! It’s seriously been a dream, unbelievable and life-changing. This signing means that what I’ve been doing independently is working and that people want the Val Flynn sounds out there! They want it in their playlists, radios, TVs and festivals! I can’t thank Trench Records enough for the stamp of approval. It’s humbling to say the least.
Tell us a bit about you as an artist, Val.
Val Flynn is an unapologetic force of hip hop nature. I have always gravitated towards a pop/hip hop sound, kinda like what Justin Timberlake/Timbaland used to do. I love creating tracks that reflect my state of mind and who I am as a human. Sexual explorations, relationships, partying, life. This all shapes who Val Flynn is and what I say through my music.
And of course, tell us about your debut EP 'Cocky'!
'Cocky' IS HERE! I can’t believe we’re finally here talking about this EP! 'Cocky' is a major reflection of myself as a strong gay man. It’s about always having that thing inside you that says ‘f... it, just do it’. It’s what I wanted to say about being single in my 20s, having an exploration of sexuality, freedom, and a voice that says what it says, means what it means and backs it up through and through. Some call me cocky. . .
What do you most want people to know about your relationship with music when they hear this EP?
I pour my entire ethos into making music. Some days I wanna fight, so I’ll create a straight fire hip hop track like 'Pull Up'. Other days I wanna be cheeky and just have fun and that’s when tracks like 'Give It To Me' get made. Then other days I’m an emotional Scorpio, hence 'On My Mind'. Lol!
It's an infusion of hip hop, R&B and pop. . . What made you decide to blend these three genres?
Those genres are my basis for my musical history. I grew up loving East 17, Boyz II Men, Vengaboys, Aaliyah. So many more too! These influences shape the type of music I gravitate towards making.
Is there anything in particular you had in mind for what you wanted out of the EP when you began production?
I wanted it to be a flex EP that showed my vulnerability as a man in this world. Men struggle emotionally and have sad days too (even though we don’t like to admit it). It’s a body of work that really reflected my entire 2018 mood! Cocky but present AF! It’s a little flex, a little sexy, and a little emotional. Get into it!
What is your favourite track from 'Cocky' and why?
That’s like picking a fave child. I love to perform 'Paparazzi' as it’s so hectic live! I played this song only once live and it was when I opened for Charli XCX last year and the crowd went mental! It’s got a special place in my heart, that track!
You've worked alongside Moonbase, Jesswar and JamesJamesJames on it. What do you love about collaborating in the music world?
I love meeting people and working with people who speak my musical language. Sure, we can all be music lovers but what connects us is a sound and a state of presence. These artists are truly present in the music-making process and I wouldn’t be able to have created any of this EP without their patience, guidance and support. It’s been a true labour of love. I love these artists.
Do you think you'll continue to be a collaborative being or are you planning on working alone more in the future?
I love to collab as I love people! I’ll always be a solo artist but there’s nothing better that two baddies on a track! #NameAMoreIconicDuo
What do you do in your day-to-day life?I work in retail at Lovisa, I’ve ranged from a casual all the way up to assistant manager, but now I’m settled part-time. Besides that, I’m always planning performances for the future, and also supporting my fellow performers. And eating. Ooft!Read more: