When the Coronavirus shut us down, clubs and festivals ceased, and everyone was essentially forced inside with no definitive end in sight, DJ Times wondered: How is our tribe coping? How are DJs getting by?
So, we sent out our “Coronavirus Questionnaire” to DJ/producers from all musical genres to find out. During this period, DJ Times will continue presenting the questionnaire responses from talented music-makers from all over the world. Here’s our latest entry, this time from Western Canada, the Vancouver-based electronic talent Felix Cartal.
What’s it like where you’re living? How did you spend most of your time? Vancouver, B.C., was in and out of lockdowns, not as intense as other parts of the country – but we definitely had our moments. It gave me a lot more time in the studio, and also a chance to spend more time with my family and new nephew.
Did you lose important gigs, or any other business opportunities? The initial announcement of the pandemic wiped out an entire Miami trip with six or seven shows planned – so that was a disappointment. As for my promotion for my album, Expensive Sounds for Nice People, it’s definitely put things on hold a bit. Normally, we’d go straight into a big tour the minute the album drops; but we have to wait a bit more as my country opens up slowly.
What exactly are you doing differently to make up for the lost opportunities? Have you learned anything new as a result of this? I think focusing deeper on production has been a benefit, for sure. I’ve had extra time to get the music sonically where I wanted it to be, so the album benefited from the bonus hours in the studio. I’ve also been DJing live on Twitch weekly, which has been a great outlet to connect with fans, as well as maintain my DJ skills.
What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? For example, any releases during this period? Yes, we just kept releasing normally because I think music is important during these times, even if there are no live shows. The buildup to the album was longer than I wanted, but I’m happy it’s finally here.
In the studio, what’s your set-up? What’s your creation process? I’m loving the Arturia V collection, particularly the mellotron. I used a lot of it on my album. I start with a chord progression that makes me feel something and build it out from there. I try to make a production that matches the mood of the lyric, not just random production for the sake of it.
What’s your typical DJ set-up? I use USBs on CDJs. I love the simplicity and not having to bring a laptop to the club anymore. Many have died from spilled drinks.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? How much I miss traveling and how much that inspires what I do.
Have you done anything online recently? I’m on Twitch weekly at 7 p.m. PST on my channel. We call it “Wavy Wednesday,” and it’s been really fun getting to know the people who tune in who are now known as “The Bortgang.”
Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? Glass Petals’ “Simulation.” Is it real? Is it fake? Is it all just a simulation?
Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? I think knowing everyone is sort of in this together was weirdly comforting. It did feel weirdly unifying. Also, just having a few friends to call and going for walks outside have been really helpful.
To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.