Interview: Five Minutes with Felix Cartal

Platinum winning producer Taelor Deitcher, widely known as Felix Cartal, has just released a new single titled, ‘Mine’ with singer Sophie Simmons. Felix Cartal was featured on the Billboard list as One of the 13 Dance Artists who Dominated in 2017. Names featured in the list include Odesza, Illenium, and Marshmello. The producer received platinum certification for his hits ‘Get What You Give’ and ‘Love Me’ in Canada, while ‘Love Me’ continued to gain momentum as it was nominated for Dance Recording of the Year at the Junos 2020. Felix Cartal worked with names including Kaskade and R3HAB and has also done official remixes for renowned acts such as Selena Gomez, Zedd, Galantis, Dillon Francis, , Ellie Goulding and Diplo

We find out more about the Vancouver-based DJ in our exclusive interview below. 

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

If we’re looking at it from the sciences or arts perspective, I actually think I have more of a science brain than an art one. Sciences have ‘solutions’ to problems and the arts is sort of the opposite, there are not really right or wrong answers — it’s more opinion-based. I think that’s why I’m infinitely fascinated by music, it’s a problem that can’t really be solved. I love that about it. I’m approaching it with a solution-based mind, making the best decisions for that situation, but deep down I know it can’t technically be solved and because of that, I’m constantly engaged.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

It’s totally 50/50. Sometimes I come in with an idea that I try to create the best sound for, sometimes I’ll stumble upon a sound that’s inspiring, and I have to add a concept to give that sound more context.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

Yes, I constantly am collaborating with vocalists. Way too many to list, but most recently Lights… and upcoming with Sophie Simmons

What’s on your current playlist?

Tame Impala, Lane 8, Caribou, Rufus Du Sol, Harry Styles, Radiohead, and Shallou.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

None of this would happen without them, I’ve been doing this over ten years now and that is kind of mind-blowing to think of. I’m always trying to think of the best ways to let them know that. I’m staying after every show taking photos with people, and love hearing how they first got into my music. There are so many different ways and I love that.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

I think I chop vocals in a way that feels unique to me. I stumbled upon that technique around 2012 (check my song ‘After Dark’) and have been refining it ever since.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

There are two types of days. On one day, I go in with absolutely no gameplan, try to just “play” and stumble upon new sorts of ideas. Either on piano or finding a loop and just chopping/speeding / slowing things, and really just having fun and not overthinking it. The other type of day is once I have an idea that feels good and then it’s more just grind work, actually mixing things, trying to find the right arrangement to get the idea to feel complete. I think it’s important to have a balance of the two, to keep it fun, but also to stay in the practice of completing ideas

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

I think it got to a point where “this is all I can do.” It’s weirdly freeing to be all-in?

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

A black towel. It gets hot up there! And white towels always visibly shed.

Any emerging artists on your radar?

Naomi Wild, Cyn, Dizzy, Amanda Delara, and Lil Halima.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Honestly just hearing new music from artists that I love. The worst moments are when I haven’t heard anything inspiring in a while. Also long walks or runs.

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

No hardware, all software. I’m obsessed with being portable. Because of that, I’m really loving the Arturia recreations of old hardware synths and instruments. Their Mellotron is my current fav.

Any side projects you’re working on?

Yes, I have a house project called Glass Petals with a buddy of mine. It’s just fun club music to party to. It’s been fun to make this stuff and not take myself too seriously with it.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

I’d like to think so. But I don’t think you’re ever finished refining. I’m always trying to find my weak spots and deliberately work on them. To quote my own song… “All I know now is I know nothing now.”

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

LOTS of new music… just wait.

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