Life for The Flush Music Group has been charmed these last few years. What began as a group of like-minded young men who met through school, work and the music scene has become a cadre of musicians handpicked by Outkast’s Dungeon Family to carry their mantle into the next generation. In 2010, The Flush’s Jeron Ward, Rick Wallkk and Go Dreamer were nominated for a Grammy on their first-ever work as producers, Big Boi’s “Royal Flush.” They returned to Atlanta with a self-imposed mandate—to find the cream of new Atlanta hip-hop and usher it to a national audience.
You were nominated for a Grammy very early in your career.
Jeron Ward: That whole moment in our lives was really divine. [“Royal Flush”] was our first real placement as a production unit, and it took us to the Grammys, so if I had to compare it to anything, it would be very similar to a rookie joining a team and next thing you know they’re at the Super Bowl. You always imagine that you’ll be there, but when it really happens, there’s no way to take the surreal feeling away. It really opened our eyes to our potential. If on our first track we can get nominated for a Grammy, that means we got some pretty good talent, and that is being recognized by our peers. It gave us a sense of motivation and set our bar real high. So now we know what we need to reach for and we don’t
allow ourselves to accept anything less than Grammy award-winning-or-nominated material. We plan on coming home next year with an armful of trophies.
Despite this early success, you seem focused on developing new artists, not pursuing established ones.
Ward: I think our biggest thing is that we’re not name groupies. We don’t pursue working with someone because they have a name. Our goal is really just to make some jammin’ music. Helping that artist or that up-and-coming individual get to that point in their career is just as good as working with a big-name artist. We don’t really get jaded by fame or success ’cause at the end of the day, that doesn’t mean the record’s gonna be jammin’.
What does The Flush bring to the table that we haven’t seen from ATL music before?
Spree Wilson (Flush Music Group artist): What sets me apart is just, man, my forward thinking as far as my ideas about music and songwriting is concerned. I think my whole approach to music sets me apart from the typical artist. I’m just trying to bring great songwriting back to the mainstream, not just sing and rap over beats, but to sing or rap over real compositions, like structured, with a verse, chorus, pre-chorus, all that stuff. Being somebody who’s young but who’s influenced by the Beatles just as much as by Outkast, from Three 6 Mafia to Fleetwood Mac. My influences and things that I draw from are vast. We’re a collective of four of the best brains in the world coming together. You’re gonna make some amazing music. It’s like the X-Men of music. We’ve got people who bring certain talents to the table. Solo, we’re great, but when we get together, it’s better. They always say there’s power in numbers, so when we get together, it’s like Voltron, baby! Voltron!
Go Dreamer: I think what we have to bring to the game is some type of authenticity. We’re all inspired by somebody, but at the same time, it’s still us, it’s still the person that’s behind the music. A lot of people get lost or wrapped up in what’s currently going on and try to mimic. There’s been a lack of people who come off as authentic. Outside of the musicianship is originality, from the show to the music.
Like all genres, rap and hip-hop have a lifestyle that surround them. The Atlanta scene is known for being centered on strip clubs, but you seem like you’re coming from a different place. How would you describe the culture you approach music from?
Ward: Atlanta, to the masses, is recognized as strip-club culture and trap rap and that kind of thing. But I think the way that we want to present ourselves in the musical landscape is we are the variety that Atlanta truly does have. If you’re here for a visit, you don’t just go to the club. You might see an art exhibit, or you might have some kind of artistic vibe or a place that might not be like Velvet Room or something like that. We just want to present another option. Never taking away from what’s already going on—we want to show people that there is another option. We’re inspired and mentored by our heroes and idols in Outkast, Dungeon Family and Organized Noise. They represent the yin and yang in the musical culture. With them being our mentors, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. So our job is to carry that legacy, and carry it for our generation so people know that Atlanta ain’t about just what you see on TV. There’s actually a culture, there’s actually a vibe and things with artistic integrity.
To hear music from The Flush, check out their compilation, “It’s the Flush,” or visit their SoundCloud at soundcloud.com/theflushmusic