Interview: Yoshi Flower Opens Up About His Midwest Roots & Influences

“I was exposed to rock, hip-hop and electronic at an extremely young age…the age where you’re just permanently on acid and molly.”

Since signing a deal with Interscope Records in August of 2018, Detroit-native Yoshi Flower (born Josh Smith) has been on a roll. In October, he released his debut project, the 13-track American Raver Mixtape, while on tour across the United States with singer/songwriter/producer SG Lewis. The mixtape cleverly reworks the USA Pledge of Allegiance into a narrative that commentates on his own experiences while growing up in an average middle-class Midwest American family.

With the music from American Raver being shared along each stop of the tour, Yoshi’s visibility rose quickly. With a growing fan base that appreciated his ability to create relatable music that defied the convention of genre, he’s gone from the relatively anonymous “Who?” opener on tickets as support, to a budding and innovative musician making a name for himself in his own self-defined league.

Of late, Yoshi Flower has been headlining his own American Raver LIVE tour in January and February across select US cities in support of the project. He’s also just released his first track of the new year this past Friday, “Dirty Water.” Combining live bass (a first for him) under a delicate guitar riff, the song eases its way through the verses but builds quickly at the chorus, culminating with Yoshi’s near-screaming vocals, invoking chills as the track’s emotion translates through your body.

Watch my interview with Yoshi Flower below, where he discusses staying focused on his own art, growing up “in the middle,” and the genres that have had a lasting impact on his musical taste.

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