Felix Cartal is no novice to the industry. He’s currently just released his fourth album, Expensive Sounds For Nice People and like much of his musical peers, psyched for the touring days to resume after a dreaded pause. Cartal’s journey has become centered on a more uplifting phase of his life, finding the optimism in every moment and silver lining to every circumstance. This sweetly toned perspective coupled with Cartal’s signature emotive electro-pop sound, makes for a complete and thoroughly explored collection of rose-colored, upbeat tracks. At this point in his life, Felix Cartal is clear on the trajectory of his career and understands the power in letting himself play and setting himself free. SPIN caught up with the Canadian producer as he dives into his the making of Expensive Sounds For Nice People, creative transformation, upcoming live shows and more. Be sure to stream his new album here.
Who is Felix Cartal and what do you stand for?
I’m an electronic producer trying to constantly explore new sounds that feel authentic to me and also the best music I can make at the time.
Tell us about your sound – where does your style originate from and what have been your biggest visual, social, and sonic influences?
I think upbeat house music with melodramatic lyrics would be the best way to describe it. I would say vocal chops are a big part of my personal sound, and I’m constantly trying to refine that to feel more like me.
Was there a definitive turning point to your success? When did you realize the magnitude of your impact within the industry/community?
I don’t really feel like there was a big catalyst moment, but I definitely felt grateful the minute I knew I could do this as my job and nothing else.
Talk to us about your fourth upcoming album, Expensive Sounds For Nice People – What inspired this title, and what elements/themes were you exploring within this project?
I’ve been thinking a lot about what gives art value, and specifically music. And it always comes back to the people who share and support the artists they love. In that sense, they are the nice people the control whether or not something feels expensive.
In what ways did you push yourself beyond existing self-imposed limitations?
I really wanted to push some more uplifting vibes on this record, things that will feel big and emotional on the dancefloor, and I don’t know if I focused on how it would work in that situation in my previous works.
You’ve described this project as “emotional” and “selfless” – Being that you’ve always had a focus on authentically exploring your range of emotions through your music, how has that evolved through this record? What makes it selfless?
I think I try to approach my productions in my collaborations as selfless because all I think about is how to make the emotion of the vocal be represented authentically as possible in the production. I’ll do my best to choose what fits the vibe of the collab over everything else.
An inevitable part of creating any artistic project is the transformation you undergo. Oftentimes, we exit the process with more wisdom of how we perceive the world around us – How has this album expanded your perception of music, life, and yourself?
It’s nice to put another stamp on a finished project, and as I get older and have more albums under my belt, I become less precious with my attachment to them. I’m excited this is finally out and equally as excited to start the next.
As we’re integrating ourselves back into an open world, do you have any other exciting ventures besides music you have your sights set on?
Honestly, I miss traveling so much. I’m just excited to get back out and do that again.
Is there anything on the horizon that you can share with us?
I’m excited to play the Gorge in October, one of my fav outdoor venues. And also, this livestream I’m putting together for my album – a mini livestream festival.
What do you wish for the future of electronic music? In what ways would you like to see it evolve?
I just want artists to make the records they feel they need to hear that they can’t find anywhere else. Everything else is just noise.
Any last words for the SPIN-verse?
Listen to the album front to back! I tried to make it the best experience possible.
Check out Felix Cartal’s SET below! Want more SETS? Head over to SPIN TV to keep up with all the latest and greatest DJ/producers breaking the electronic charts.