It’s not there out of some exaggerated sense of self or ego, but for purposes of perfection. As Givens prepares to release his fifth instrumental EP under the moniker "Sir Flywalker," he wants to be fully immersed in the emotions he’s trying to convey with his music.
The upcoming album "Indigo" gets its name from the corresponding color of the Chaka, the Hindu idea that different energy points control the nonphysical body, which connects colors with different emotion.
In Western culture, the Ajna Chakra is associated with the color indigo and is connected with the pineal gland, also known as the “third eye” because it is where the balance between higher and lower selves meet for inner guidance.
A follow-up to 2014’s "Purple," which drew on notes and emotions involving the mind, "Indigo" is focused on intuition and introspection. It’s a dramatic leap forward as a solo project for the talented producer best known as the beat maker for New Orleans and Mississippi native Pell or for getting picked up by Curren$y while still a student at Mississippi State.
The introspective tone of "Indigo" is set from its opening track, “Water,” and does not deviate too far from a chillax-inducing tempo the entire album. It is the perfect mood-setter for studying or reading or soundtrack to a kickback.
”My production style can be really jazzy,” Givens said. “A lot of my stuff is really chill. I try to make something that is emotional but one of those sounds that keeps you grounded. It’s organic.”
"Organic" is not a term normally associated with beat makers who are armed only with a bevy of preloaded noises from software like Ableton or ProTools, but Givens is expanding his sound by incorporating live music pulled from keyboards and synthesizers.
That emotion is most clearly felt on "Indigo" tracks “The Mov,” which uses whirring beats over a gospel synth line, title track “Indigo,” which creates an analogue feeling by incorporating the pops of a vinyl records over a haunting vocal sample, and the apply named song “Third Eye,” which might be the album’s best track. Givens takes a distorted vocal sample and interpolates it with an otherworldly synth line that make it difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins.
Despite being only 25, Givens has been creating beats for more than half his life. An uncle gave him the beat-making Fruity Loops software when he was just 12. He became friends with Pell at MSU before the two even realized they both made music.
“One day (Pell) came to my dorm before we were going out, and I played a couple of beats, and he was like, ‘I didn’t know you made music.’ We started working a mixtape a day later,” Givens said.
The name of that first mixtape, "The Feel Good," is now the name of a collective of artists that unites Pell, Flywalker and many others. Givens’ production skills are in demand for artists around the country, whether it is a national artist like Nesby Phips or talented local acts with the potential to make it big like LV Baby or Toon Troop.
Flywalker will join Pell on live dates through Mississippi (Feb. 19 in Oxford, Feb. 20 in Jackson) and other selected dates during the winter tour. Givens has managed to gain traction and success in the music industry without giving in to the siren calls of the zeitgeist. He prefers to pull samples from jazz artists like John Klemmer, John Coltrane and even Kenny G.
“I know (producers) who have a great original sound, but since trap is what is in right now, they make trap. I want to stay true to myself.”
Contact Jacob Threadgill at (601) 961-7192 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @JacoboLaSombra on Twitter.