As a child, flowerkid, the moniker of 19 year old Flynn Sant, was drawn to music, and began teaching himself to play, write and produce after being gifted his aunt’s old Yamaha keyboard. Playing around on that, on the ukulele, and singing into the voice memos app on his iPod eventually lead to locking himself away in his room to pour his pent-up feelings into tracks like Late Night Therapy, a song whose title reflects what it offered for Flynn when he made it at age 16.
“That was my first ever recorded song. I didn’t really know that I could do it, but I did. I played those chords on the piano and it just kind of came out.”
It was 2019, and Flynn had recently left the Catholic school that provided a daily struggle. “I had come out as liking girls, but I didn’t really identify as a lesbian; it just didn’t feel right. I just knew that I liked girls and that was about it. When I left school, it was great because it gave me all of that time to be alone and to think about what I really wanted and who I actually was, rather than just who everybody at school wanted me to be. But it also was so tricky because the silence was very loud. It was a really bad time of depression for me, and I went through really bad breakup with my girlfriend. We’d been together for a year and that was my first love. So the music was a kind of therapy.”
He began writing as a way to process the overwhelming feeling of having so much love to give, but not knowing what to do with it. “It was never intended to be anything big,” he says now, looking back on Late Night Therapy. “It was just a vent.”
But the act of sharing it and the response it invited boosted his confidence exponentially. “I really didn’t know that I was capable of expressing my thoughts in that way. It was all very new to me and I thought, ‘This is perfect. It feels so good to be able to do this’.”
This confessional, bared-soul approach would typify what flowerkid became, and with each release Flynn bravely opens himself up to an audience that’s grown significantly over the past two years.
boy with the winfields and the wild heart tapped into the spiritual connection Flynn has always felt with an uncle who took his own life before Flynn was born. It wasn’t until he revisited long-forgotten notebooks of poetry that he realised the curiosity and connection had always been there. “There was a reoccurring theme of, What would you be like now? There’s something different about our connection aside from just blood. There’s so many different things that we both struggled with.”
Again, the response to the song – which has received glowing reviews on triple j Unearthed and collected over 3.5million streams – showed Flynn the potential and power in sharing his story, with listeners all over the world reaching out to him to share their own experiences of loss, depression and suicide.
Then came ‘miss andry’, Flynn’s latest cut which created a similar opportunity for people to connect, even though creating it was confronting. “When I made the song, I was terrified because it was so truthful. It was so raw. It was like ripping myself open for everyone to see. There’s this whole new level of anger to it that I don’t necessarily like to show. But I think being honest about it will help me resolve those feelings.
While a pop song can be a difficult place to grapple with complex thoughts, on ‘miss andry’, flowerkid grabbed a hold of weighty ideas and forced his listeners to face them too. Over propellant drums and a distorted piano that reflects the depths of darkness the song brings to the surface, he sings: “I never hated you, I don’t even hate them, I just hate myself.”
“The song roots from a hatred and distrust for men that developed from such a young age,” explains Flynn. Events he experienced himself compounded with stories of injustice – told to him by friends and from people around the world – to produce a unique kind of misandry that was only complicated further when Flynn came out as trans two years ago.
“It isn’t your typical man hatred; I had to tackle the feeling of: I hate these boys and these men that have been in my life so much. Why do I envy them though?”
Cementing his position as one of Australia’s most exciting young songwriters, the track was championed by triple j, scored international support from BBC Radio 1 and won praise from the likes
of Billboard, The Guardian, NME, Huff Post, and others.
In 2021, Flynn returns with ‘It’s Happening Again’, a new single lifted from a forthcoming debut project featuring LA-based Australian native KUČKA.
“‘It’s Happening Again feat. KUČKA’ and what will follow soon afterwards, has been everything I have thought about for a very long time. This body of work is a feeling that has been bottled up inside me for all of my existence on this earth.
My process of healing comes in three. ‘It’s Happening Again’ is my first step. I need to confront the very conniving voices that circle throughout my head. They tell me I can’t say what I’m about to say. So I know what I have to do, and that’s to shout on the rooftops of every hardship I’ve ever had to climb. In the times of finding myself, I’ve had to lose myself first.
I want us to lose ourselves hand in hand, on this ethereal, spiritual, and timeless musical journey I created for us. Please listen and watch, as my internal and external struggles flourish into bloom. I can’t wait for you to hear this excerpt of my heart and soul.”
While flowerkid floats between genres, the sentiment that connects everything is brutal honesty in his writing, and a sound that’s full of emotion and full of life. It’s been a journey to be this honest – with himself, and now with his audience – but Flynn says he can’t imagine making music any other way.