Flume has opened up on the pressures of fame, abusing alcohol and how he very nearly walked away from music.
The 28-year-old production maestro went from tweaking knobs in his bedroom to top billing on some of the world’s grandest stages in a matter of months.
His trophy cabinet features a Grammy (best electronic album for Skin) and several ARIA Awards from his native Australia, and he’s regarded as one of the hottest names in electronic dance music.
But it hasn’t all been easy street. Away from the lasers and pyrotechnics, the electronic music star (real name Harley Streten) is an attention-shy introvert. Public speaking his worst nightmare. Naturally, he struggled to adjust to a life in lived in public.
In a candid interview for his girlfriend Paige Elkington’s podcast, the Aussie artist admitted he battled anxiety and hit the bottle to take away the edge.
“When performing, I would definitely drink to calm nerves,” he explained on the My Friend Podcast. “I would drink to make it bearable, which sounds crazy but really it’s the truth. I’m just not a performer and I’ve definitely used alcohol to feel comfortable on stage in front of a bunch of people.”
Today, he doesn’t don’t drink before shows, “because I realized it was a pattern and it was getting pretty bad.”
The struggles were real, and Flume sought help.
“I got to a point where I’m like, I don’t want to do this anymore,” he said. “I don’t want to use alcohol, I’m not having fun doing this. I think I want to quit. Unless I can figure something else out.”
He went to a therapist and made changes to his life. “I feel like a bad person for saying that, but it’s true, I love making music, I hate touring,” he continued. “It’s true. I’m not cut out for this.”
Streten paid tribute to his supportive team. He continues his therapy, he cut out the booze, he meditates, and he’s found anti-depressants a “silver bullet” for his social anxiety. Today, he’s happier, healthier, he’s having fun on stage and enjoying the road ahead.
“I just love making music,” he continued.
Flume also talked at length about his music making processes, surfing and his happy place: Australia and New Zealand.