Lately, the talk surrounding Canadian producer and DJ Felix Cartal has focused on his hair, his love of sushi, and his latest album, Different Faces. Growing up in Vancouver listening to punk bands like Death From Above 1979, he later developed a taste for the electronic side of music. Eventually he tried his hand at producing, which culminated in his 2009 debut EP, Skeleton. Attracting the attention of Steve Aoki, he began a series of releases on the Dim Mak label; last year's single "The Joker" catapulted him to worldwide fame. His most recent album, Different Faces, exemplifies his signature vocal electro-house sound and features the big-room voice of Polina and the gritty-growling of Sebastien Grainger. We catch up with Felix Cartal on his album release tour with Clockwork and chatted about his hair, his love/hate relationship with EDM artist Autoerotique, and his following on Twitter. He plays the I Love This City rave on Saturday at Shoreline's Park Stage from 8:40 - 9:40 p.m.
How does it feel Tweeting about your meals and having hundreds of people reply with their opinions?
It's interesting. It's funny; I find Twitter is the opposite of Facebook. When I post things on Facebook that are super personal, nobody seems to care, but on Twitter it's the ones that are less related to music that get more attention. I think people on Twitter get to know you better and want to be able to relate to you. Tweeting about how I'm watching Seinfeld is more interesting to people than tweeting about my new songs.
Your newest album, Different Faces, has a lot of different influences, including Japanese pop and drum 'n' bass. Can you tell us a little about where these came from?
For me a lot of the poppier songs, like "Black to White," and even "H.U.N.T." with Sebastien (of Death From Above 1979), are sort of coming from a Calvin Harris spot. I've really like everything he has done lately. He straddles the line of mainstream and the interesting really well. With an album, you get to try a lot of things, so that's why I like making records. You can make different tracks instead of just variations on a single.
You have a wide variety of vocals on the album, both lush melodies and growling choruses. How do you go about figuring out who you wanted to sing vocals on each track?
When I was choosing the vocals for this record, it was just people I really wanted to work with. I just started hitting people up, but not all of them could do it. To work with Sebastien was amazing because Death From Above 1979 were one of my favorite bands when I was younger, and for them to reunite now and have him on my record is amazing. To work with The Sounds was amazing as well. I'd met them two years ago and talked about a collaboration and it was simply talk. But when I was making the record I called them up and they were still down to do it. And with Polina and Miss Palmer it was through connections; I heard the demos of Polina and Miss Palmer and liked them, so decided to work with them.
With so many vocals on the album, your sets can turn into big sing-alongs. Which song would you prefer to sing-along to?
"Don't Turn On the Lights" is still kind of catchy for me:
How about someone else's songs? What can we find you rocking out to at a karaoke session?
"Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen. She's from British Columbia. We got that Canadian bond.