SPIN Sets Presents: Rad Cat
exclusive DJ sets + Q&As with the best behind the decks.
Rad Cat is a multi-dimensional being that is ever-expanding his musical abilities by allowing himself to experience all the positivity and fun life has to offer. He has a vast range of interests, always looking for creative ways to incorporate them as tools to help inspire his approach towards music production. Recently, he’s been stepping into a courageous phase of his career, returning back to the root of himself that’s been heavily influenced by house music. With this new challenge, he’s hoping to reignite parts of himself that have been dormant, in order to connect with other sources of passion and love that’ll encourage his artistic expansion to reach new heights. SPIN had a chat with Rad Cat and got some intel on his childhood experiences, being led to electronic music, overcoming discouragement, self-expression as a Latinx artist, and more. Check out his recent single, “Happy Never After” here.
Who is Rad Cat and what do you stand for?
Rad Cat is the result of a Mexican kid that grew up loving music from a very young age. I definitely stand for people being themselves and having the freedom of self-expression. People always thought I was “weird” when I was growing up, but I just embraced it and have always been doing my own thing.
Tell us about your sound – where does your style originate from and what have been your biggest visual, social, and sonic influences?
My sound is definitely inspired by a bunch of different genres, but mainly Hip Hop, R&B, and House music. My biggest visual influences are anime & car culture. They both kind of go hand in hand & the aesthetics of both scenes are really interesting to me. As for sonic influences, I’m very inspired by people like SG Lewis, Madeon, & Porter Robinson. They all make amazing music and are so good at injecting pop flavor into their songs, it’s very inspiring to me.
Was there a definitive turning point to your success? When did you realize the magnitude of your impact within the industry/community?
I think the major turning point/actual start of my musical career was when blackbear heard my remix of his song ‘idfc’ and hit me up to work together. Making beats is a whole different animal than making EDM, so I really learned a lot from my time working on music in the Hip-Hop/Pop space. I don’t know if I’ve made any crazy impact within the industry/community just yet, but I’d love to continue inspiring other people (especially Latinx people) to chase their dreams and do whatever it is that makes them happy. We only get one life, so might as well live it doing what you love.
Talk to us about a pivotal learning moment in your career.
My time spent in the Hip-Hop/Pop space definitely taught me a lot about how to make a ‘good’ song. It taught me that the lyrics/writing of a song are just as important as the instrumental. I take a lot of what I learned from all of that and apply it to each and every song I make now.
In what ways have you pushed yourself beyond existing self-imposed limitations?
I’ve always pushed myself to be the best artist/person that I can be. I grew up in a point in time where making/listening to electronic music was still considered very ‘weird’. People at school would make fun of me or try to bring me down by telling me that I would never get anywhere by making ‘robot noises’. Stuff like that would definitely push me to try my hardest in order to prove everyone wrong. I’m glad that I never let anyone’s negative comments make me give up.
You entered the musical world by picking up the electric guitar at the young age of 12 – How were you led to your love for electronic music and how was making that transition?
Before I was into electronic music, I was a really big fan of Pop Punk, Blink-182 specifically was my favorite band in the scene. One day though, I came home from school and somehow stumbled across a Deadmau5 song on Spotify. I think my life really changed that day, because after that, I was hooked on electronic music. I became obsessed with figuring out just what it took to produce a song.
You’re known to produce some of the most infectious remixes out there for some of the biggest names in the industry such as, T-Pain, Enrique Iglesias, blackbear and more – what’s the most enjoyable part of reimagining tracks and being able to put your own flip on it?
I’ll always love remixing songs because it gives an artist the ability to take an existing song into a completely different direction than what was originally intended. My favorite part about remixing a song is completely getting rid of everything but the vocals, and essentially making a whole new idea from scratch. I love the creative freedom that comes from remixing songs.
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?
I’m happy that we’re slowly getting back to ‘normal’. Besides music, I’m just really excited to attend anime conventions & car shows again. Both of those things bring me so much joy, so I’m happy that the events are slowly coming back.
Is there anything on the horizon that you can share with us?
House music!!! House music was really the root of why I got into electronic music. Throughout the years I spent time perfecting my craft/sound in the Future Bass/Mid Tempo scene, but I am happy to finally be going back to my roots by making House! Expect a lot of House & Disco from me in the near future 🙂
What do you wish for the future of electronic music? In what ways would you like to see it evolve?
As it currently stands, the electronic space is mainly occupied by straight white men. I really hope to see much more inclusivity of marginalized communities in the electronic world.
Any last words for the SPIN-verse?
Thank you for taking the time to chat with me! I’m very excited for what’s to come for the Rad Cat project in the near future. I’d like to give a huge thank you to anyone who has been along for the ride with me so far. The support/love means the world to me and it is really what keeps me going.
Check out Rad Cat’s SET below! Want more SETS? Head over to SPIN TV to keep up with all the latest and greatest DJ/producers breaking through the electronic sphere.