With over a combined 20 years experience under their belts, NYC-bred minimal tech house DJ/producers Carlos Castano and RIFFA are the embodiment of grinding artists continuously on the rise.
They sat down with No BS at the Pop International Gallery located on Bowery Street in New York, to chat about how they kick-started their careers, ways to counteract creative blocks, and the grueling journey to earning respect in the music industry.
A self-proclaimed fine selector, Carlos Castano, was recently signed to the Objektivity record label (run by Dennis Ferrer & Andre Hommen) — a point in his career he acknowledges as a huge stepping stone.
When asked about accomplishing this feat, Castano emphasized, “cut no corners” and advises fellow artists to “dig deep into your roots” when looking for inspiration.
As for RIFFA, he believes his parallel career boost was when one of his biggest influences, Kyle Watson, played out his track on his American tour.
RIFFA finds inspiration in sample digging, and his creative flame can be ignited by something as simple as a crisp snare. Both Castano and RIFFA continue to push forward, with plans to expand their respective brands by packaging their innovative art. When asked about a disconnect in regards to people making great music and not knowing how to promote themselves on social media, RIFFA said:
“There could be a disconnect, sometimes people don’t care about other aspects (of their careers) and all they do care about is the art.”
Carlos added: “Everything aligns. The way you thrive, the way you socialize, make music and present yourself. Everything has to be there.”
RIFFA “All the social media can come later as well as the networking. If you have a phenomenal product to work with then you’re in a good spot.”