Steven Ellison (born Oct. 7, 1983), better known by his stage name Flying Lotus, is an American record producer and rapper. The grandnephew of legendary jazz pianist and harpist Alice Coltrane, Ellison is regarded as one of the cornerstones of the left-field L.A. beat scene. He is widely recognized for his woozy, genre-bending hip-hop beats that take inspiration from the likes of J Dilla, Miles Davis, and Aphex Twin.
Ellison got his start in 2006 making beats and bumps for Adult Swim after responding to a television advert. The following year, he signed to the renowned independent label Warp Records, which has been his home ever since. Through Warp, Ellison has released seven critically-acclaimed albums, including Los Angeles (2008), Cosmogramma (2010), You’re Dead! (2014), and most recently Yasuke (2021), which is the soundtrack to a Netflix anime of the same name executive produced by Ellison.
Throughout his career, Ellison has collaborated with a wide range of artists, reflecting the fluidity of his unique sound. Some of the artists he’s worked with include Thundercat, Kendrick Lamar, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Snoop Dogg, Denzel Curry, Earl Sweatshirt, Toro Y Moi, and Solange. Ellison also occasionally raps and has put out one mixtape under the moniker Captain Murphy. In 2008, Ellison founded his own label Brainfeeder, focusing on experimental electronic and instrumental hip-hop music. Over the years, Brainfeeder has housed renowned artists like Teebs, TOKiMONSTA, and Iglooghost, and in 2012 it was named “Label of the Year” at Giles Petterson’s Worldwide Awards.