LA’s hometown spotlight : Carlos Arteaga
Alias: Carlos Arteaga
Real Name: Carlos Arteaga Xitumul
Hometown: Garden Grove, CA
Profession: Knob twister and aspiring producer
Hobbies: Kickboxing, gaming, meme enthusiast and amateur cook as of recently
Affiliations: MJR, Intricay, Lucent
From the moment I met Carlos I knew he was special, and I cannot wait for the world to see that also
Carlos Arteaga is a Southern California local just trying to make good on his hard work. He has a good ear and uses his background to help him make the right moves. As he’s making his way through this scene, he has had some great advisors and mentors, each giving him good advice that has made him stronger and more determined to succeed. Putting everything on the line, Carlos has taken a leap of faith to make his mark, and 2017 has been a big year for him, but it is not even close to where he would like to be.
This has been a big year for you with signing with MJR. How has the support of MJR helped you?
It has helped me build a lot of connections, especially towards other artist personally. Like one of the things when Sam Jones and I were announced, that was actually a pretty huge deal for me. Because I felt like I made a huge breakthrough and [to be taken] on a more serious level. So one of the things I did when I was in Amsterdam for Luminosity, I wanted to introduce myself to Sam, because he is one of the guys I look up to, because he is one of the guys who will
be the new generation of trance. So since we are both young in the game, compared to some of the older heads, it would be cool to see how his train-of-thought is, where his state of mind is, and to see how we can work together.
Since signing with MJR, it has allowed me to make new friends and network. I feel that signing with them was pretty much the opportunity most would kill to have and I know a lot [of people] would like to take my spot for it, but I am going to make it worth my while and show why I deserve this spot.
How did the concept of your podcast Correlations come about?
I started back in Jan 2015, and this podcast was something in mind for months ahead of me actually starting it. I just didn’t want to have some lame cookie cutter name for it. I actually wanted to introduce something from my psychology background and honestly, this was something that came to me at the weirdest time at like 3am on the freeway. I was driving and all of a sudden, the name Correlations hit. In psychology it’s how certain factors correlate with another and it just hit me, pretty much that is every fucking DJ set put together. Like how do these songs correlate together? How do they work? I wanted to push my background of psychology more towards the music I make. Rather it be like toward sampling or song titles. Because it is still a topic I still love, even though now music is [my main] focus, it’s still a topic that I am a huge nerd about it. I still read research papers, and it still fascinates me. I just want to push that towards my music as well. So we will see how it goes, but it will be a surprise for me and for you.
A couple of years ago you took the leap of faith to really concentrate on your music. What obstacles have you faced from making that jump? Do you regret it?
Once I left my work with the government, I was so fucking scared because I was pretty much working in the most uninspired environment. I was working with people who were like, “…this is good. I will just work this for 25-30 years, retire and die”. For me, I was always thinking about what is ahead, rather it be one month or a year. Like for me, if I’m not constantly stressed out about something, it gives me anxiety because I just don’t get comfortable, and comfortable is bad. It means I lost ambition to drive and do something else. So I pretty must find things to stress myself over, and once I made that huge leap of faith, my goal was to at least finish one track in the meantime. I actually managed to do that in a month and a half. I really got what I needed in that time off. I went back to work because I needed to make ends meet with my bills and paying my tuition, but I got what I needed out of that break. I was able to learn a whole [lot] more during that time. The track still sounds like garbage compared to now, but it was something I wanted to put off to the side. And maybe revisit it in a couple of years later and pretty much do a rework of it once I can. I still feel that I have gotten pretty advanced with the guys I have been mentored by. Guys like Allen Morrow, Stephen Kirkwood, Shugz have all played a huge part in my progress and producing; and without them I would probably still be running into dead ends with like bullshit tutorials. Honestly, without them I would not be anywhere where I am [today].
You started producing a few years ago, how would you describe the evolution of your music in that time? Where do you find your influences?
Early on was just produce, produce, produce. [My mentors told me] don’t expect anything to be a Beatport top 10 or no.1 [at first]. What you gonna make first will sound like shit. But at least you finished that shit and own it! Cause it’s better than a million other bedroom producers who started projects but never finish. Once you know you can finish, you know what it takes from point A to point B. And along the way, you are going to learn numerous new techniques and mixing. Even those guys are constantly learning, and they are years ahead of me. So right now, I feel like I am in a good spot to take what I have learned and now I am not afraid to experiment anymore. Before I thought, it was a straightforward thing; but I realized experimentation is the key to everything.
Rumor has it at Luminosity; you were a crowd favorite amongst some of those playing including Sam Jones and Shugz. How does it feel to have their support? Any advice they gave you.
That was probably the craziest thing. The current online joke is I am the favorite of Ireland and other shit, since a lot of the guys, random people in the crowd that I met, happened to be from Ireland and North Ireland. It was really cool thing, because one of the guys actually recognized one of my sets from when I opened up for Bryan Kearney a couple of years ago. So when you see this Irish man tell you things like that; [when] I consider myself a nobody from LA, and I [think] like how far can I push this shit. So it was really cool to have international support. I still feel like I got plenty to do left, so for just like a small thing like that, that is honestly just the coolest feeling in the world. It has made all the last couple of years worth it. All the pushing, it’s a pretty damn good feeling.
In 2017 you were signed to MJR, what does 2018 have in store?
Definitely hammering out finer quality originals. I have a couple of stuff in the works right now. I have a remix that I am not going to name at the moment, but I have a lot of faith in it, and hopefully I am able to share it with you all eventually. But I really do feel like 2018 will be a surprise for you guys as well as myself. So I will say anything and everything will happen.
If you could live by one motto, what would it be?
This has been my motto for the last 10 years. It’s pretty much,
‘wish for the best, expect for the worst and don’t be surprised for anything in between’
From that, it pretty much describes not just my personal life as well, but this whole thing in music. I am not gonna lie and say I was doing this since I was 6 years-old or a servant pianist; I am like no, fuck that shit. This I pretty much took a chance on and I became pretty good at it. I’ve had a pretty good success rate. And it is something that I do enjoy and love. It is something that I pretty much have given up a lot of things for it. Like a steady career, or social life. And its one thing that if honestly, even if I don’t make it, I know I gave up everything for it.