If you’re doing it right, every year of your life is a new chapter and each stage progresses in a way that makes the previous look childish. Atlanta’s CEDEK has been a beacon of maturity for producers, DJs and music fans alike as he has grown into the shoes that define him as an artist. He has been quiet on the music scene for over a year as he went into hibernation and allowed the creative juices of his mind distill like whiskey in a charred barrel. He has now come out of his cocoon, dropped the “Kid” from his previous alias (Kid Cedek) and is gearing up to unleash a slew of new material that redefines his imprint on the EDM community.
Every artist has a unique background that contributes to the story that they tell. Unlike many producers out there, CEDEK‘s was in writing and not music, although that upbringing developed into a skill that has allowed his music to stand against the monotony.
When I was a kid did a lot of poetry. I always l listened to a lot of music. I was listening to Metallica and random bachata and merengue. Spanish shit. It didn’t matter, just whatever I liked, but the writing…I was just always good at it. I went to school for advanced children.
You were an advanced child?
Yeah. (laughs) I also played chess for a chess team. Most people wouldn’t assume that I could punish them in chess even though I look the way that I do. When I got a bit older I had friends that were using Fruity Loops to make drum and bass, so in my head I was thinking, “this is cool but whatever.” I never had an interest in making music.
While spending his childhood writing, honing his inner Booby Fischer, and collecting music, his first real introduction to contemporary music culture was through dancing. He expressed his diverse ethnic background through his bodily rhythm and incorporated elements of break dancing, pop & lock, meringue and salsa into his own brand of free form. This study of music and dance would eventually be the foundation and catalyst for a conversation with the Atlanta veteran DJ Smiles. The two met while CEDEK was living in the Mid-Atlantic and it was a relationship that would forever change his life.
[At the time] I was an MC. I had nothing to do with music. I wasn’t making music or anything. I was on tour with Disturbed for the Music As A Weapon Tour. Outside the venues we would do a tent and they would have me introduce tattoo artists or the supporting acts that were on tour with Disturbed, which were Kill Switch Engage, Chimaira and different people. I dislocated [my ankle] because I used to fuck with parkour or at last I though I could fuck around with parkour (laughs). I was in the back of a tour bus for two weeks thinking about what I wanted to do for the six months that I had to recover. I decided to hit up that dude Smiles and say, “Hey man if you still need an intern, I’m thinking about saying fuck it and changing my whole shit up.”
I [interned with DJ Smiles] for six to nine months and then I got an offer to do Vans Warped Tour. Ever since I did Warped Tour in 2010, I’ve been full time.
With his music career out of the gates, he spent five years developing his skills as Kid Cedek and made a name for himself in Atlanta as a colorful character that was a walking advertisement. His previous professional background came from a early career in experiential marketing, tour management and public relations so now that he was selling himself as a product, he knew he had to make himself stand out in a culture full of eccentric personalities and talents.
I was getting so many mixed messages to what I should sound like, what’s current, what’s fresh, and how to keep up with what’s going on. For people to see me out, I used to have my face on the back of jackets and all kinds of shit. That’s how I met a lot of people, especially at bigger things like Winter Music Conference. It’s just not what I want to do right now. I want the music to speak for itself instead of it being about a brand. I know the importance of [branding] in any business, but in my new direction, I want my music to be the main reason why people fuck with me.
Only a few people have heard the new stuff like Infuze and ETC!ETC! but a lot of people are encouraging me. In particular Infuze has been like, “You have your own thing, you should really pursue that. It might take you longer than other people to get to where you want to be, but it’s something really cool to have.”
The new sound, to which Your EDM was allowed to preview, shows an aging wisdom in the mind of CEDEK. Dropping the “Kid” from his name is symbolic of the transformation he has made in his productions and in his overall understanding of creating music. He has reached a point where he is able to reach deep into the past and pull upon his history as a writer and make music that tells the tale of an artist navigating an enigmatic world. As a musical author, he has come to terms with his strengths and weaknesses which meant a removal of his ego to allow the artistry to flow without being distracted by a need to validate his self worth.
[Now] I’m quick to say I might need a collab on this if I don’t have what it takes for a certain track. It’s more about the prosody in the music or preserving the original song idea and how you can work with other people in order to do that. Before I would force drops and things. For whatever reason, I had it in my head that I had to finish this thing by myself but people collaborate. It’s cool to collab. It makes me better. It gets me thinking faster. I think it’s an important trait, not just to be able to make your own original music, but to be able to maximize the idea someone else has or turn that into something better.
Think of the Kanyes or the Diplos. They bring in a lot of other writers and producers to finish songs because it might have a vision but it might not be in your skill set to finish. It might be better for you to oversee the project and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. At the end of the day they are still putting out a project that is awesome and well put together because they brought some creative minds together to get that song to the point where it it can make a bigger impact than if they were doing it by themselves.
His experience and nuanced approach has cultivated a new sound for CEDEK that obliterates the genre spectrum. He maintains a heavy latin influence from a history in moombahton but the new material ranges from twerk, hybrid trap, progressive house, to even rock music. He is ready to start releasing the bootlegs that he’s been using in his DJ sets, starting with a twerk approach to Kanye West’s staple tune “Gold Digger.” In addition to the bootlegs, CEDEK has an abundance of tracks prepared for a full album, which will be released in the near future.
The idea [for the “Gold Digger” bootleg] was the vocal chopping in the drop and providing a different way to hear it by brining it to a current place. I usually do a good job about seeing what other remixes are out there to see if the job has been done on the song but after I finished it, I heard a Diplo remix and it was a Baltimore club track, which was a little dated for right now. I like to have a current flip of a song that does well in the club. I still play the original, so I wanted to have a current version for my set. It usually starts with, “I like this song so let me remix it for my sets,” then comes the through of it should come out.
Stay locked to Your EDM to hear all of CEDEK‘s new material as it releases and make sure to hit him up on social media for more words of wisdom. Big shout out to Oh Snap Kid for allowing us to use his photos.