Combining beachy guitar, trap rhythms, jazz-inflected instrumentals and laid-back rhymes, Connecticut rapper Felly began making music in high school and created non-stop as his platform grew. Going from a steady release of tracks online starting in 2011 to the release of multiple mixtapes and EPs, Felly's music evolved to include a wider spectrum of styles and sounds. Breezy early projects like 2014's Waking Up to Sirens led to darker, more sophisticated tones on releases like 2017's Wild Strawberries. Felly's various winding interests culminated in his first official studio album, 2018's Surf Trap.
Born Christian Robert Felner in 1996, Felly grew up in Trumbull, Connecticut. Ravenously interested in music from a young age, he began creating original songs in high school and first uploaded his material to YouTube before finding a home on SoundCloud and Bandcamp. Felly cultivated a laid-back image with nods to beach and surf culture in both his look and early songs. Rapping and playing live instruments as well as producing, he released a steady stream of tracks in 2011, which he eventually compiled on Drive-By Music. He also made beats prolifically and eventually issued compilations of beats which he listed for sale online. He began performing live and his popularity spread as Felly sold out shows across the United States. No less than four releases arrived in 2014, including two rap EPs (Waking Up to Sirens and Milk & Sugar) as well as two instrumental beat tapes (Black Instruments and Sun God). At this juncture, he began to add tropical and bossa nova flair to his hip-hop productions, which he twisted into trap beats on 2015's This Shit Comes in Waves. TSCIW featured some of his 2273 Records cohorts, including tourmate and frequent collaborator Gyyps. Beats from these sessions would later appear on his next beat tape, South Linda. In 2016 Felly released an eight-track EP titled Young Fel. Following a national tour, he returned to the studio for his follow-up. Wild Strawberries arrived in the summer of 2017 and featured appearances by Konshens, Cousin Stizz, and Gyyps, as well as production by Dre Moon, Dot Da Genius, and YoG$. In 2018, Felly decamped to Brooklyn to work on his first solidly conceived studio album. The record, Surf Trap, aimed to find the core of Felly's various approaches to sound, melding his beach-cruising production with harder-edged rap production. The album was slated for a late fall 2018 release and was preceded by sunny first single "Pretty Girl" in September of that year. ~ Neil Z. Yeung & Fred Thomas