Here at Your EDM we’re always on the lookout for fresh new talent. One artist who popped up on our radar in 2020 is up and coming Southern California producer Rad Cat. He’s been releasing music independently over the past couple of years. You might have heard his music and didn’t even know it; he’s produced music for commercials for companies such as Nintendo and Samsung.
Now, the man behind the project, Christian Ariza, is looking to make the next leap in his musical career. He recently changed his musical style in this bizarre year of 2020, and he’s about to release his first track on venerable EDM record label, Dim Mak. We recently chatted with Christian about his rise in the music industry, what he’s been doing during quarantine, and what it was like growing up as a first generation Mexican-American.
Hi Christian, thanks for chatting with us, first off tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into music?
“I got into music kind of by chance. As a kid, I grew up listening to a lot of traditional Mexican music, both of my parents are Mexican. So, I always liked listening to that, and I think I would try and play instruments when I was a kid. I also picked up guitar when I was like 15. After picking up guitar I was into a lot of punk rock, I used to listen to a lot of Blink-182. Then I remember hearing I think at this point I was 16, and I heard a deadmau5 song. And I really didn’t like EDM at the time. I was like super against it, I was like how hard can this actually be? I think I downloaded a music program, called Reason, and I tried to make a song and I was like, damn, this is actually really hard. So, after that, I just kept at it, and I grew to love the whole EDM scene.”
You mentioned that you are first generation Mexican-American. Tell us a little bit about your upbringing and what it was like growing up in San Diego? How did having two immigrant parents kind of shape who you are today?
“Growing up in San Diego was definitely, nice. I go back and forth between Los Angeles, it’s a different vibe out here, it’s definitely more calm, relaxed. Growing up out here, it exposed to me a bunch of different types of people, and because both my parents are Mexican it exposed me to that whole traditional side of Mexican music. I think them being immigrants helped shape me into the way I am because they just kind of instilled in me that you can do whatever you want to do. As long as you believe in yourself and you do hard work, with hard work and all of that, you can do whatever you want”
You’ve been very prolific in your young career, I didn’t realize you’ve remixed T-Pain and Kevin Gates! Tell us how you came about doing such big remixes and doing music for commercials?
“Yeah, so producing music for other people, it all started when I made a remix for blackbear. He ended up noticing it, it was like some unofficial Soundcloud remix. He actually took notice, and after that he was like, hey, I want to work with you. He sent me a DM on Twitter. So, yeah, after that I did end up working with him, I produced a couple of tracks for him. Because of knowing his team and stuff, they got me one for Kevin Gates, so that was really cool. That was definitely like my first experience taking music super seriously. So I’ve done a couple of productions for blackbear and Kevin Gates, I have an official remix for Enrique Iglesias. But, that’s how it all started, him just noticing me off of a bootleg, basically…I definitely didn’t expect it, I think I was out eating with my friends when he DM’ed me and we were all kind of going crazy. That was a really cool moment.”
The Rad Cat project is still pretty young, tell me what the inspiration for forging your own path was, and what has influenced your sound?
“So, I think with my Rad Cat stuff, I think I’ve always really liked cutesy, like future bass-y stuff. It’s been just a favorite genre of mine, it’s really influenced by I would say, R&B, hip-hop, and house. I just try and make it sound cutesy, like some shit you hear in Anime. Porter Robinson and Madeon are definitely my top influences in EDM.”
Obviously 2020 has sucked, tell us what you’ve been up to during quarantine. Have you picked up any new hobbies or binge watched anything?
“I actually started watching way more Anime. I bought a guitar again, I didn’t have a guitar for the longest time, so I bought one again and I’m trying to incorporate it into the songs. I’ve just been trying to make a bunch of new music, because that’s really all there is to do right now. Other than that, I also like cars too, so I’ve been working on my car a lot. I have a Subaru WRX hatchback. It’s a pink one, I’ve done a bunch of stuff to it.”
What does 2021 have in store? What do you want to accomplish?
“For the upcoming year, the songs that have been released recently, I switched to kind of like a darker vibe. So, I’m kind of over it, because 2020 was literally just dark the whole year. So, for 2021, I’m going to go back to like the happy type of music I was making. I just want to switch up the vibe and do cutesy stuff again. So, yeah, a bunch of new music for the New Year, I have a bunch of stuff planned.”
What do you miss the most about being able to tour and play shows and interact with fans?
“I think I really miss just being in that environment, and being with friends and people that I really care about. Whenever I would go play an event or to watch people, I would just be surrounded by friends. It’s tough because no one’s been able to be surrounded by their friends right now. Yeah, I think that’s what I miss the most.”
Any words for the fans?
“I just want to say thank you to the people that have stuck by to listen. Hopefully, everyone embraces the change in my style of music back to the cutesy, future-bass stuff, because I’m really excited for that. Yeah, honestly, I just want to say thank you to everyone who listens.”
Check out the latest from Rad Cat, “Diamond” with Gloria Kim, out now via Dim Mak.