What first drew you into music production and dubstep production in particular?
From the time I was about 10 years old, I knew I wanted to do something extraordinary with my life. When I was 13 years old, I actually found my passion for music production through the Guitar Hero & Rock Band video games. I fell in love with the concept of the game and it heavily influenced me to teach myself the guitar, bass guitar & the drums. At first, I wanted to be a guitarist in a rock band, but I couldn’t find other band members committed enough to form a full band. So then, I tried to figure out a way I can make music using each instrument a band would all by myself. Later on, I found out I can incorporate each of those instruments, plus much more in a DAW, so Ableton became my go-to DAW! As I got older and started taking music more seriously, I decided to attend Icon Collective Music Production School when I was 20 years old. I happened to be fortunate enough to be in the same classroom with Scott from Slander, which is where the dubstep influence comes from. He also guided me through becoming an artist, not just a producer and opened my eyes to what being an artist and having an artist lifestyle is all about. With Scott’s guidance and my previous instrument background, I went back to my rock influence and combined those sounds with a more modern dubstep sound influenced by Slander and many others. I’m very happy with the results I’ve had so far!
Kastello is a very unique producer name, how did you choose that name? Any special meaning behind it?
To be honest, there’s no hidden special meaning behind the name. I just had a friend in high school who was very clever at coming up with unique words or names to describe things. When I was at the point of becoming more serious about my music production, artist name and image, I asked if he can help me come up with a name that is similar to my birth name Karo. I really wanted a name that would give off the sound I’m going for, and the image I’d like to set for myself. I was also thinking of a name that is very universal, meaning I could have been a pop star, rapper, producer or DJ with the name and, it would still make sense. He then sent me a list with about 25 names and I noticed Kastello. I absolutely fell in love with the name and the possibilities seemed endless. I could take any musical route and feel the name and image will still fit in wherever I go. Everyone’s been calling me Kastello ever since.
Dubstep is known to be one of the most complex genres to produce, how did you manage to develop such great mixing skills in such a short time? Also, what is your studio setup like?
I would have to say I really developed my mixing and production skills in a short amount of time, because of the hard work and dedication I put in when I was attending Icon Collective. I gave each hour of those studio sessions 110%, and I did not take my time at Icon Collective for granted. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from great instructors and experienced producers. My studio set up at home is pretty standard. I have a brand-new iMac with custom features for more power, and the monitors I use are the Yamaha HS7. I’m connecting that to a Scarlett 2i2 sound interface. For midi, I use the M Audio 49 Key Midi keyboard. I have Sol Republic MasterTrack headphones and an older MacBook Pro for the road to get basic drum loops or breakdown/drop ideas down to transfer to my iMac to make into full projects.
Your latest track “Kosmic” is your best track in our opinion! From its artwork to the Incredibly powerful sound we absolutely love it. Could you tell us more about the story behind this track? Also, what is your creative processes like?
I appreciate you guys supporting my music and recognizing the hard work! Kosmic is a very special project to me. This is a project I’ve been working on since the summer of 2017. I focused on creating a unique vibe that really separates me from other bass music producers. I had a friend of mine named Hallie do the artwork of the EP for me who is the same graphic designer that created myKastello logo and emblem. My approach to the creative process for this one was not like any other track I’ve done in my music career. I personally don’t think I have the same creative process for every track I produce, so I really wanted to take my time on the track. It was the point where I was transitioning from house music to bass music. This meant changing the entire Kastello image/sound and I really wanted to prove a huge point that this is the best route, and the best sound/image to go into the future with. Having the instrument knowledge and a talented graphic designer to match the image to be sound made it all a possibility.
Listening to your music we can tell you are not an ordinary dubstep producer! Do you play any musical instrument?
Yes! I taught myself how to play the guitar, bass guitar and drums at an early age. Then when I got to school, I learned how to play the piano. Having some knowledge of all these instruments meant the possibilities are limitless. I can always quickly record something and process it enough to fit into the more modern dubstep sound. I can also incorporate a lot of different techniques used in different genres of music to achieve a certain sound or vibe that’s not easily created by many. I listen to every genre of music all the way from Hip-Hop, to classic, to EDM. I have produced over 10 genres of music so far, and it really pushes my creativity to the next level as well as my production skills. Even if the tracks will never be released, it’s great to step out my comfort zone to improve my craft. All the instrument knowledge helps me create literally anything that comes to my mind.
What are your goals for the new year? Any upcoming projects we can get excited about?
For now, I have released 2 of the 4 tracks on the Kosmic EP. I see myself releasing the final two songs midway through summer around June-July. My friends over at FPIA have also referred me to a new graphic designer. This means a newer more modern style of cover arts will be coming out with my music and also more visual content. I’ve also been asked by my good friends at Emulsify Records to do a third track release with them. That track will be coming out in the summer as well. Apart from those, I have a little more than 10 unfinished tracks in a variety of bass genres. I’m aiming to finish those tracks and release them by the end of this year or sometime beginning of next year. Some of those tracks I will send out for possible collaborations with other artists if I feel the project will be a good fusion of our sounds. I also have been planning on setting up my website with an online merchandise store and also, I might upload production videos breaking down how I produced some of my songs and the process I went through. Apart from musical projects, a short-term goal my team and I have set is to sign with a booking Agency as soon as possible. I’d like to expand my sound and let the entire world hear and see what Kastello is all about!
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