Vurhonga Rikhotso, better known as Flex Ferguson, is a skater and music producer from the south of Johannesburg. With hundreds of beats in his repertoire, it’s hard to believe that he only released his first single “Girl Next Door (feat. Sean Paris) ” on the 30th of March 2020, after working on his craft for years. I was sitting in my room and decided to call him for an over-the-phone interview, seeing that we’re still on lockdown. He happily agreed while sitting in his version of a bedroom studio, making beats.
Who had the greatest influence on you becoming a producer?
“Well, at the time it was artists I was listening to like Tyler, The Creator because his music was just really inspiring. That dude was just different, you know what I’m saying? Also my friends at the time because they were making music so that kinda got me into it too.”
What’s your creative process like?
“Usually I’ll just go onto YouTube and watch videos of niggas talking about how much work they put in or watch tutorials and learn new things because that usually gives me the drive to go in. I literally just switch my computer on, open the program, look for different sounds and go from there. Sometimes I’ll just play one note or chord and take it from there. I can’t necessarily say I have a formula for it but yeah.”
When producing a song, what element do you usually work on first?
“I usually start with the melody, then percussions then the main drums. I usually do the bass last because that’s my favourite thing to do.”
Do you think you have a signature sound?
“Nah I wouldn’t say I have a signature sound. People say I do but I don’t think so. I just like 808s. I just make hip hop and lots of different types of vibes but I wouldn’t say I have a signature sound.”
In your opinion, what does it take to make a great song?
“A great song? I mean…music is really subjective. It really depends on the listener but for me it’s all about vibes. As long as it sounds nice and I can really feel the vibe.”
“YOU REALLY DON’T FEEL THE TIME GO BY WHEN YOU’RE IN THE STUDIO.”
What’s the longest amount of time you’ve spent in the studio?
“The longest time I’ve spent in the studio was like…i think 12 hours on the dot. Straight working, 12 hours in the stu. There’s probably times I’ve went longer without realising. You really don’t feel the time go by when you’re in the studio. Especially when I’m at SABC. I can go there at night but by the time I leave, the sun is coming up. But yeah the longest I can remember was 12 hours.”
Who are your top 3 producers of all time?
“Okay well I’d have to go way back to a composer rather than a producer. They told us that he cut off the part in between his fingers so that his fingers could stretch further for him to play some really complicated chord. I’m not sure who he was but that just shows how committed he was. But my top 3 producers would have to be Tweezy, Ruff and the whole 808 Mafia group. If I could pick a fourth it would definitely be WondaGurl.”
An artist you enjoy working with?
“There’s a lot. Most of them are my friends. There’s my homeboy KashMo. I work with him all the time. Then there’s my boy Quest47. We go to his crib almost everyday and cook up beats. Sometimes I even hop on the beat. He usually records and we just lock in. He’s like me in the sense that he doesn’t sleep, he’s always working so I think that’s one reason we get along so well. We understand how much we’ve got to put into this.”
One local and one international artist you aspire to work with?
“Okay well internationally, I’d say Lil Uzi. He’s different. Nobody comes through with flows like that. The types of beats he chooses to hop on are always the weirdest. I admire when an artist can just go in and express what’s on their mind like that. Locally, I’d probably work with Priddy Ugly. He comes through with the heat and has bars for days. Definitely Priddy Ugly.”
Lastly, any projects in the works?
“Yeah there’s a lot. I’m working on an album with one of my boys, Dominic. I’m helping Quest47 with his upcoming tape. I’m working on my music, planning on dropping my second single in a month, it’s really fire. Me, KashMo and a couple of other homies are starting a collective music group called Twenty 91 representing the south side. Yeah I think that’s all I’m gonna say for now but there’s a lot I’m working towards, especially this year, a lot of music is gonna be dropping under my name.”