Who Is Inflo? The Man Behind The Music

Profiling the producer's work as he makes history at the BRIT Awards...

The annual Brit Awards is the time of year where the UK music industry unites in solidarity to celebrate the most incredible musical talent the country has to offer. Some of the biggest names in the industry are nominated for a variety of awards, whilst the others are sat in attendance. However, there was one winner this year who, despite his incredible influence on the industry, often slips under the radar of mainstream coverage.

Dean Josiah Cover, otherwise known as Inflo is a British record producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who currently fronts arguably the most progressive music collective project in the UK and has written and produced some of the most remarkable bodies of work for fellow artists across the globe. A man who rather than being front and centre of media attention, has veered away from the public eye to remain behind the scenes and allow his musical class to do all the talking. Although the producer, who prefers to stand away from the limelight, has now been rightfully acknowledged for his fine work, winning the Brit Award for Producer of the Year.

Inflo emerged on the scene around the time when The Kooks were working on their fourth studio album ‘Listen’, when lead singer Luke Pritchard came across Inflo’s work on Soundcloud and immediately recruited the young producer. Through Inflo’s influence on the record, Pritchard likened Inflo’s work to that of a “young Quincy Jones”, whilst applauding his bravery and conceptuality in his production.

Following his achievements with the iconic British Indie band, Inflo went on to produce for the likes of Max Jury and Tom Odell, but most notably, Michael Kiwanuka and Little Simz. In the Spring of 2017, Inflo won Best Song Musically and Lyrically at the Ivor Novello Awards for co-writing 'Black Man In A White World', performed by Kiwanuka. The duo collaborating with one another proved to be a winning formula as they went on to be awarded with the illustrious Mercury Award in 2020 for Michael Kiwanuka’s revolutionary self-titled album ‘Kiwanuka’.

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As for Little Simz, the generational rapper couldn’t speak highly enough of her best friend and producing mastermind as she stated to NME: “That’s [Inflo] my g, bro. Our chemistry is unmatched. We really understand each other in the studio. When you go into making an album, there has to be a high level of trust because it's not an easy ride. He trusts my ear and I trust his; we push each other. We’re both fearless where there is no boundary or no limit of what we can try in the studio.”

The outcome of the two working together on Little Simz’ album ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’ made certain that the record would go on to be one of the most influential records in recent times.

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However, it doesn’t stop there. Inflo’s credibility as a producer, and the guaranteed musical success he brings with each artist he collaborates with spread far and wide, reaching the highest of heights in the music industry, with his next venture seeing him team up with Adele for her introspective album ‘30’.

Adele, who is performing at the Brits, in relation to working with Inflo told the BBC: “I don’t even know how I got through life all these years without knowing Flo. I’d known a lot of stuff he’d done, but not realising it was him. The reason we gelled together so well with this record is, first of all, he asked me questions that no one would ever bloody dare… But it would start with five, six-hour therapy sessions and he would get a feeling out of me that I had no idea was even in me; and then I’d leave at the end of the day with a song about that feeling.”

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As well as being one of the best producers in the world for fellow artists, Inflo has also taken a giant leap forward in his personal producing career, collaborating with Cleo Sol on their stunning musical collective project SAULT. Since establishing the progressive collective, SAULT has consistently released incredible bodies of work with equally moving messages. In June, 2020, Sault released ‘Untitled: Black Is’ whilst posting a square image on their socials of a Black power fist with the caption:

“We present our first ‘Untitled’ album to mark a moment where we as Black People, and of Black Origin are fighting for our lives. RIP George Floyd and all those who has suffered from police brutality and systemic racism. Change is happening… We are focused.”

A piece of work that perfectly encapsulates Inflo’s entire producing ethos.

As a result of the focus channelled into his recent productions, Inflo has been announced as the first black producer to win Producer of the Year at the Brit Awards in 42 ceremonies. Unlike the other Brit award categories, the producer award is voted by a panel of industry experts, rather than the wider industry panel or the public, which evidently shows just how highly rated Inflo is amongst his peers. It really feels as though no one is more deserving for such immense recognition.

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BRIT Awards 2022 takes place on February 8th.

Words: Ben Broyd

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