HippieFlip: La Salle Alums Pursue a Different Path to SoundCloud Success

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HippieFlip: La Salle Alums Pursue a Different Path to SoundCloud Success

La Salle graduates Quentin Carlson and Kyle Wright are the producers behind the SoundCloud account HippieFlip.

La Salle graduates Quentin Carlson and Kyle Wright are the producers behind the SoundCloud account HippieFlip.

Sam Hull

La Salle graduates Quentin Carlson and Kyle Wright are the producers behind the SoundCloud account HippieFlip.

Sam Hull

Sam Hull

La Salle graduates Quentin Carlson and Kyle Wright are the producers behind the SoundCloud account HippieFlip.

By Alex Vogt, La Salle Catholic College Preparatory

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“One thing you should know about HippieFlip is that we’re huge Blazers fans.” This started off an interview with La Salle graduates and members of the class of 2017, Quentin Carlson and Kyle Wright, who are both currently students at Mt. Hood Community College.

Carlson and Wright are SoundCloud artists under the name of HippieFlip, who have an ambition for going outside of mainstream SoundCloud music.

Throughout high school, both Carlson and Wright were very interested and invested in making music.

Wright started making beats in GarageBand early in high school and began experimenting with putting sounds together. Wright’s beat-making became more serious when he started using FL Studio, which opened up his music production by giving him more advanced technology to work with. Wright later began releasing his music on SoundCloud under the name EGO.

While Wright’s SoundCloud was filled with various beats, Carlson was working on more lyrically filled music. He began to produce music his sophomore year after taking Mr. Donnelly’s Music Technology class, and started out by making beats in the digital audio workspace Reason.

Under the name C O S M O S, Carlson released over 45 songs onto SoundCloud, with mellow beats and more relaxing sounds. A year later, Carlson started another SoundCloud account under the name mookjuice, where he released 20 songs featuring more pop and rap sounds.

Sam Hull
Carlson previewing an unreleased song.

Carlson and Wright started collaborating on their music in Sept. 2015 at the beginning of their junior year. “We were just messing around in class, and then I prompted Kyle to try to move into like a real digital workspace, and the rest is history,” Carlson said.

The first song that they worked on and released together was “Woochile Demo,” which they released onto SoundCloud on Carlson’s old account, C O S M O S. “At the time we thought it was fire, but looking back on it, it’s trash,” Carlson said.

Carlson and Wright have released a total of 12 songs on HippieFlip. However, the number of songs they have released compared to how many they have made is small. “We probably have like 50 songs in the bank that are just not ready or not good enough to put out in our opinion,” Wright said.

They have found that the process of making music is much more difficult than it really seems. “Sometimes we’ll finish a song in a day and it will sound dope, and sometimes we [only] get a verse down or a couple verses or chorus,” Wright said.

Carlson adds, “Sometimes we don’t get good vocal takes, or sometimes we don’t mix it right. You can’t find the perfect mix and it’s hard to get the kick to sit with the base properly.”

Sam Hull
Wright recording a vocal track in the studio.

With many SoundCloud rappers making it big today, a lot of people are getting tired of the weird names, pointless lyrics, and trappy beats. The distinguishing factor between HippieFlip and other rappers is that Carlson and Wright are actively avoiding the mainstream content dominating most SoundCloud accounts.

“We write a lot of stuff that means a lot to us and we try to stay away from like the super trappy, trendy beats as much as we can,” Wright said. HippieFlip is trading out the trappy beats and putting live instrumentation into their music, including real guitar and piano.

Wright knows the basics of playing guitar, piano, and drums, but said, “I’m not amazing at any instrument.”

Since he started, Carlson has been adding his own live instrumental into his music, working especially with guitar. Carlson has written and created all of the guitar instrumentals he uses in his music. He also plays the drums, and knows the basics of playing piano and the kalimba.

Sam Hull
Wright has been playing guitar since his sophomore year in high school.

Carlson and Wright look to different artists for inspiration, bringing what they hope is a truly unique feeling to their music.

Isaiah Rashad, Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, and Joey Bada$$ are just a few of the artists who inspire Wright’s music. He also includes MF DOOM and J Dilla, saying that his music roots were inspired by these two old school producers.

Carlson said, “To be honest, I really don’t even like newer music that much.” He explained that when he first began making music, he was inspired by artists like Tame Impala and a lot of indie rock, as well as some jazz and a few rap artists.

From the very first song to the latest album, Wright said his favorite song that HippieFlip has put out is “Coke.”

“I do have favorites from the songs that we’ve put out and they would probably be similar to Kyle’s, and we have favorites that we groove to, but we’re always trying to push ourselves to be better,” Carlson said. “In my eyes, I think our music is trash, which probably isn’t good for my self-esteem, but it’s just pushing us to move ahead in new directions.”

Wright and Carlson recently finished a seven-song EP called “Island,” which was released on SoundCloud in mid-September.

Currently, HippieFlip has been working on a few new songs. One that is currently in the works is called “Israel,” which according to Wright has “a sad type beat.”

One goal the two musicians have is to produce a music video, which would allow them to show their music in a different way, as well as receive more publicity.

“I really want to keep ourselves on the down low until we make a song that we are super confident with,” Carlson said. “[Then] make a really good music video for it, market it, and see where it goes.”

Carlson and Wright are open to doing shows, but that is not their main focus at the moment. Wright said, “We’re still trying to get our music down and get our music videos done first, and if that opportunity arises, we would totally do that.”

Sam Hull
Every song HippieFlip has produced has used the keyboard to make different sounds.

For anyone interested in pursuing music, Wright said, “If it’s a passion, go for it. Start out slow if you want to get into it, and don’t instantly buy a huge digital audio workspace because you might not be that passionate and end up wasting a lot of money.”

Reflecting on his musical experience, Carlson said, “I think the best music comes from real live instrumentation, or at least a human touch, so playing an instrument is the best thing to do because it will give a person the ability to get a feel for how music works.”

This story was originally published on The La Salle Falconer on January 16, 2019.