Floorplan: A spiritual encounter - Cover stars - Mixmag
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Floorplan: A spiritual encounter

Robert Hood created Floorplan to showcase his soulful and spiritual side. Now his daughter Lyric has joined him

  • Words: Bruce Tantum | Photography: Kevin Lake
  • 26 July 2016
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Robert becomes animated when asked about ‘We Magnify His Name’. “I was asleep one night and God literally woke me up – my eyes jumped open – and he spoke to me,” he says, his excitement palpable. “He said, ‘I want you to put the gospel message in the music. I want you to use these gospel elements to preach the message to the audience that you are DJing in front of.' Immediately, I’m asking, ‘Well, what if they don’t receive it?’ He said, 'don’t worry about that. Do what I’m asking you to do’.” He reverts to his usual serene demeanour and continues. “So I went into the studio that night and started piecing together ‘We Magnify His Name’. And the song came together so easily; it wasn’t a struggle at all. The bassline, the drum programming, the vocal sample, everything… it all just fit right in place. It was meant to be. And that was the springboard for everything that’s followed.”

At this point in the conversation Chicago’s DJ Pierre, who had also spun at the previous night’s party, strides out of the hotel’s lift along with his manager, Andrea Sutherland, Sounds Of Blackness’s Nesby and her husband, Timothy Lee. Robert and Lyric stand to greet them, and the talk turns to Earl ‘Spanky’ Smith, one of Pierre’s partners in the seminal acid-house combo Phuture, who had surgery the night before and was due for another round that day. Robert, as preacher, soothingly leads the conversation: phrases like “Praise God” and “the power of the Lord” pepper the exchange, giving it the feeling of a prayer session. But the discussion veers off at times – into a comparison of the merits of various ride-on lawnmowers, for instance.

That combination of the sacred and the secular is the same mix that inhabits ‘Victorious’. Disco, boogie and r’n’b samples abound (Team Hood has requested that Mixmag not reveal the source material), and there are plenty of tunes that serve as no-frills party bangers, like the Todd Terry-esque ‘Mmm Hmm Hmm’, the techy bouncer ‘Ha Ya’ and the hard-charging ‘Music’. Perhaps not surprisingly, those are among the tracks that Lyric took the lead role in producing.

“I don’t know how, but when I came out of my mother’s womb the music was just in me, and I knew that it was always going to be in my life,” she says. The track ‘Music’, fittingly, came first. “Lyric came to me with the drum program for that one,” Robert recalls. “I said, ‘Yeah, that’s really tight! Why don’t you tap out a bassline?’ So she laid that out, and I said, ‘That’s really good!’ All I had to do was lay some little embellishments on top. So we were thinking, why don’t we just continue with this and see where it goes?”

“Everything started coming together,” Lyric adds. “Completing the entire album was amazing. Starting with that first track and finishing up on the last track was just an incredible feeling. Its was so much fun.”

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