2018 was a rough year for Carnage. Between losing both Avicii and Mac Miller, both dear friends of his, and seeing all the hate on social media on all sides, he’d decided enough was enough and took a short hiatus from it all. Now in 2019, he’s looking to get back head first into the carnage (pardon the pun) and tear shit up.
First, though, he had to release a pretty emotional song and music video for “Letting People Go,” which retraced the steps his family took when migrating from Nicaragua, through Guatemala, and across the southern US border as illegal immigrants. But now, Carnage has only bangers lined up for the rest of the year, plus some new upcoming shows and RARE fests.
Check out “Letting People Go” again below, and read on to learn about Carnage’s path back on the road to success and the public eye.
It’s great to have you back in the game — your decision to take a break from producing and djing a few months ago took a lot of people by surprise, and left fans with a lot of questions. Why did you go on a hiatus?
You know, in this fast paced world we live in today it’s so tough to take a step back and say to yourself ‘i’m doing too much’. Because of that, I slowly noticed I was putting myself in unhealthy and hectic environments night in and night out all around the world. I was in a constant state of creative block but knew when I had some creative juices flowing over break that I was getting myself in a better place. Bettering myself, and taking care of myself holistically, was truly what my break was about. We all saw what happened to Tim, this sh*t is not a game, it’s real. We all gotta take care of ourselves and help each other. I woke up one morning and told myself it was time, I deserved a little time off. I was tired, sick, emotionally and mentally confused and I needed this break to start ASAP.
It looked like Avicii’s & Mac Miller’s death hit you pretty hard. What was your relationship with them like?
As I just said, this sh*t is not a game, it’s real. Tim & Mac were two of my homies. Everyone knew how close Mac and I were because of ‘Learn How to Watch’ but Tim and I, we had a bond man. All 3 of us were such creatives, we had so many great ideas. We would talk about music, culture, how we could change the world and then it was all taken from us, they were taken from us. It’s crazy man, I miss them every day. RIP LEGENDS <3
You recently released ‘Letting People Go,’ which is debatably your most emotional and powerful release to date. What was the production process like for this song? Any inspirations?
LPG is undoubtedly my most favorite release to date, the day I finished it in Thailand was truly incredible. It’s one of those songs where as a producer you finish it and you can feel a wave run through you. This song isn’t a banger compared to some of my other dance productions, because it’s raw and emotional. As seen in the music video, this song is directly related to my family… the song is dedicated to my Grandmother. During my time off I had time to reflect on my roots, what made me, and how important I am to my family and how I have to keep providing for them. My family did everything to give me a platform, and had to make a lot of tough decisions to do so, and this song is for them.
The music video is incredibly moving as it retraces the steps your family took when migrating from Nicaragua, through Guatemala, and across the southern US border as illegal immigrants. What does this video mean to you?
As said this song is for my family and this video is a testament to that. The purpose behind the video was to show how crazy of a journey my family went through to give me this life. This video is so real to everyone who can relate and truly honored my family. I see tweets and get DMs all the time about how this video means so much to them and knowing how much this means to my fans makes this video 100x more important to me. As a proud first generation American my responsibility is to help those less fortunate and going through legal hardship. I want to be a role model for all, but especially immigrants and other first generation Americans.
You’re known to have some of the biggest collaborations in both EDM and Rap. In the past you’ve worked with Migos, Mac Miller, Steve Aoki, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Pump, Rich The Kid and many more. Any major features or collabs coming down the line?
So many big collabs coming up… only fire too! My next single actually has a biiig feature. Got 2 dudes on it that are basically stadium level acts, real talk. I also am hoping in and out of the studio with artists all the time where new ideas are being born. If you were at my Exchange LA show [review here] you probably heard my new track with Shoreline Mafia, who I brought out as a special guest. I have 5 or 6 heaters right now in the bank, all ready to go, and am really just waiting on the right time to drop them.
What’s your stance on SoundCloud?
6 years ago I remixed Hardwell’s ‘Spaceman’ and put it on SoundCloud and now it has 30+ million views. SoundCloud over the years has been such a powerful platform for so many new artists and now I can confidently say I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. Though platforms like Spotify and Apple Music dominate the market I still find so many dope tunes by up and comers on SoundCloud that I spin out in my sets. I also still upload all my tracks to SoundCloud too because it’s stupid not too. SoundCloud also has those lowkey FIRE edits from bedroom producers around the world… I need those!
The first phase of your Europe tour looked epic as well. We saw Drake brought you out in Amsterdam.. Twice?! What were some highlight shows from the tour?
Amsterdam will forever be legendary because of my brother Drake, enough said.
However – Cyprus was the craziest shows of the tour. The show in Cyprus was at Guaba Beach Bar, which is one of the craziest venues ever. The crowd is electric, the doors opened at 10 AM and I went on at 7:30 PM AND we shaved my videographers hair off… sorry Bryan!
Any major shows or festivals coming up in the U.S.?
Oh ya… I have like 20 unannounced shows that I am itching to get out like upcoming RARE Fest’s and headlining shows in some of my favorite cities. Till then – you can catch me around North American including at Greatest Day Ever in Brooklyn. After that I’m headed off to Europe for round two. Going to be an epic summer!
In the past you’ve built 2 schools in Nicaragua. How’s that going?
I am glad you asked thank you. Both schools have flourished into something special that I am really proud of. In just a few years the schools have been able to help so many kids from my home country get an education. In Nicaragua, if you have any real education it nearly guarantees a shot at success. Not everyone gets that chance sadly.