Felix Cartal is a long-time favorite of ours here at Your EDM. After a huge year amassing several millions plays, Felix shows no sign of slowing down in 2017. His mixtape series, The Weekend Workout, has been a staple of the dance music community for the past 5 years, and now “Drifting Away,” his most recent single, has been stuck in my head for the past two weeks.
Between some of the catchiest vocal chops I’ve heard all year, lush chords, and a phenomenal vocal, “Drifting Away” is a song that definitely packs the potential to become a summer hit. With it’s tropical vibes and feel good melodies, this is definitely a cut that will see a lot of radio play.
Felix’s Weekend Workout mixtape series is approaching its 200th episode, with this week’s being the 193rd installation. Showcasing his diverse taste, Felix takes us through some of this week’s recent hits; with everything from San Holo’s “Light” and HI-LO & Sander van Doorn’s “WTF,” to Felix’s new remix of Dillon Francis’ “Anywhere.”
Stream “Drifting Away,” along with Episode 193 of The Weekend Workout below, and be sure to check out our brief interview with my fellow Canadian as well!
You started your Weekend Workout series 5 years ago. What was the vision you originally had for it and how has it evolved into what it is today?
“The whole mix concept started kind of randomly but also organically. I had a friend ask me to make them a mix for the gym because they heard I was ‘doing that DJ thing,’ then another asked, and then another. Rather than make individual mixes, I thought it would be a good way to brand a continuous mix series, around the idea of a workout. Weekly radio shows weren’t too much of a thing except for a few of the big guys, but I liked the format to showcase what I was listening to. The series has evolved over time into having lots of my friends do guest mixes, and I feel fortunate to have put on a lot of guys early before they took off (The Chainsmokers, Louis The Child, SNBRN, Anna Lunoe…. the list goes on.) The series to me has always been a no holds-barred approach to mixing music that I am feeling at that time, and trying to incorporate a wide range of what I like, not just one style all the time. I feel like I’m taking more chances with it now than ever.”
Obviously, your song choice has changed a lot for the mix since then, along with the stylistic approach of your own music. How do you as an artist believe you evolved into who you are today?
“When I first started making music, I made things that were really aggressive. I applied sort of a counter-culture, punk rock attitude to the sounds I was choosing, but also I was just ignorant on the technical side and digital software didn’t really sound that good yet. Not knowing what I was doing was sort of an asset then (and can still be). Somewhere in the middle, I think I got lost a bit, but I see it as a necessary growing period. I know my songwriting chops were constantly improving, but I felt like I wasn’t writing music that I would listen to. That has definitely changed recently.”
What are your thoughts while making music, and how do you currently approach writing music with your inspirations in mind?
“This year has very creatively inspiring to me. Thinking lyrically about a lot of the themes that I was addressing sonically in my early years has been a interesting way for me to write things that are honest. So in songs like “Fakin It” and “Drifting Away” I’m sort of framing the loner anthem / DIY mentality that I did from day one within the context of knowing how to write a good fucking song (finally).”
Who are you currently listening to right now?
“I’m always all over the place…. Tame Impala, Emile Haynie, The Weeknd, Safia Nolin, Mura Masa, Mome, Radiohead, SOHN, Cream.”
Your recent singles have all been a breath of fresh air from recent trends, and sound like they’re your own – something that has become overlooked in the current space of dance music. What do you think makes your music unique?
“I’m not really too concerned with writing a hit or a crazy dance floor record. I’m just trying to write a good song first and foremost, an idea that pulls from things that I’m going through at the time that feels genuine. I feel musically authentic for the first time in a while and I think that’s really starting to come through in my recent catalogue.”
Do you have any advice for aspiring producers out there who are inspired by your music?
“Just ask yourself one question when writing music…. ‘Would I listen to this song if it wasn’t by me?'”