[INTERVIEW] Cat Dealers Share Origins, Interests Outside of EDM, + "Summer Thing" Remix
Over the last ten years, Brazilian bass has emerged as one of the top genres in electronic music. At the forefront of this movement has been and continues to be the brother duo of Lugui and Pedrão, globally known as Cat Dealers. Showing out for their home country, this pair have spread their electrifying signature sound to ever corner of the world. They have performed at some of the most iconic venues, from Tomorrowland to Ibiza, and bring their infectious stage presence to every set.
Along with these memorable performances, Cat Dealers has shared the stage with the likes of Nicky Romero, David Guetta, and other legendary artists. With over a billion collective streams across all platforms, Cat Dealers is also the second biggest YouTube channel in Brazilian EDM, nearing almost 900K subscribers. Their energetic hits have gained support from Martin Garrix, Tiësto, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, and many more. As Cat Dealers continue to embark on their U.S. tour, they never fail to bless their audience with new and upcoming releases, such as their recent remix of "Summer Thing".
Check out iEDM's exclusive interview with Cat Dealers below.
iEDM: How did growing up in Brazil impact your taste in music? Which artists were role models to you throughout your childhood and why?
Cat Dealers: Being Brazilian had a huge impact on us! From a very young age, we started consuming such diverse and high-quality productions, as Brazilian music is so rich. It's very inspiring! We grew up listening to a lot of Brazilian rock bands like Charlie Brown Jr and Raimundos, which were the ones we looked up to and admired. But of course, we grew up listening to Brazilian classics like Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, and Tim Maia, they were everywhere! And, since we are from Rio de Janeiro, all parties were Brazilian Funk so we got to learn with everyone. Combining all that, the result is something that feels unique and true to us.
iEDM: What initially sparked your passion for producing and DJing? What was the most difficult challenge you faced when launching your music career and how did you overcome it?
Cat Dealers: We’re brothers and began sharing a love for electronic music when we were teenagers. We have almost 6 years in between us. Lugui was underage and couldn't go out to clubs and festivals, while I was going and telling him everything, we even managed to take him to some. Lugui came up with the idea of working with music because as soon as we started to get really engaged with electronic music, he got an interest in DJing and the background of music production. It started as a hobby initially but it became our passion super quickly, it was impossible not to actually go for it.
The hardest moment is difficult to specify because there are always challenging moments happening, they just change the circumstances. But I would say starting is probably one of the most difficult parts because you face the insecurity of being new to it. After a while you get more used to how everything works and when you start to actually have a career, that's super inspiring. There is only one way to overcome it, keep doing it.
iEDM: “Gravity”, with Evokings and Magga, was one of your first major hits since starting Cat Dealers. Why do you think the opening guitar progression balances so nicely with the drop’s bassline? What were some of the highlights of working with Evokings on the track?
Cat Dealers: Working with Evokings is amazing for multiple reasons: first, we are huge friends with them, so it is always nice to share the studio together and it makes it even easier for the ideas to flow. Second, they are really talented musicians and that's something that makes a big difference. When they first showed us the lyrics and the guitar progressions, we instantly fell in love with it. Everything was perfect and we created the whole thing on top of the guitar and the vocals, so the balance between the bassline and the guitar happened naturally because they are bound together.
iEDM: What is the story behind coming up with the name Cat Dealers and how does it reflect your identities as artists?
Cat Dealers: Our mother started rescuing homeless cats for adoption but she ended up getting way too excited and thought she was going to save all the cats in the world (she does help a lot of them)! Some of those cats she rescued ended up not being adopted and she kept them at our home, so now we own 11 cats! Everyone that came to our place used to ask about the cats, and we always offered them a cat since we could actually get them some. So we were literal cat dealers, which is where the name came from. Naturally, we love to play with the cats, we grew up with them, and they are so enigmatic! We grew up with cats so they totally reflect us.
iEDM: You had so many amazing performances in 2022, from playing at Tomorrowland to your debut at Ushuaïa in Ibiza. What were your favorite live show moments from last year and which of your songs do you think had the best crowd reactions?
Cat Dealers: Tomorrowland, Ushuaia, EDC Vegas… They all left us extremely impacted. Besides being our debut, it was our dream to play in those places. They are very globalized festivals, there are people from all over the world there, and seeing that they are singing and enjoying our music is surreal. And we played a lot of Brazilian big shows as well, such as Lollapalooza, Rock In Rio, and Só Track Boa which are unbelievable. It was an amazing year. Every time we played "Hey Hey" on the shows, the crowd reaction was insane! We were opening some of the sets with it. But we have to talk about the rework we did on our version of "Your Body". It was just amazing!
iEDM: What are each of your favorite interests and hobbies outside of music? What are some of your favorite things to do when touring new places?
Cat Dealers: We love to ski, so we do it whenever we have an opening in the schedule. Of course, there is the fact we are from Brazil and there is no snow here, so we also try to do some wakeboarding and maybe will start kitesurfing soon. Also, we take advantage of the fact that our work allows us to visit different places to do tourism and make the most of the city. We just love getting to know new places so our schedule fits perfectly. We mostly don't have much time in the cities we go to because we are in a hurry but we always end up having some free days in between which we use the most! And we love going to isolated beach places as well, where there is only you on a paradisiac beach just by yourself, that's real peace.
iEDM: Over the years, your sound has shifted from Brazilian bass to more of a blend between that and tech house. What factors played into this change of direction and how were you able to make this transition smoothly?
Cat Dealers: If we compare it to the beginning, we certainly changed a lot in the way we produce our tracks. We’ve met other artists, exchanged experiences, improved ourselves, and been influenced by new sounds. So many factors made us grow musically over these last years and this is something that we will never cease to do as producers, it’s an eternal cycle of development. We’re just trying to make something different and something that respects our musical tastes. I think that little by little we found this line of sound that became the Cat Dealers’ identity.
iEDM: What production techniques did you utilize in your new remix of “Summer Thing” to add more of an electrifying club-ready vibe to its bassline?
Cat Dealers: A driving baseline with more energy and danceable rhythms. The original has a more laid-back feel-good vibe. This remix makes you want to move your feet!
iEDM: In what ways did the original “Summer Thing” stray from Cat Dealer’s identity? What soundscapes in this remix align the most with your musical persona?
Cat Dealers: As we said above we’re always in motion. The original song was one of the songs we most enjoyed releasing at that time. It was upbeat, with sweet and melodic vocals. Definity is a fantastic song. But now, we couldn’t find a way to play at our set because we are changed musically, so we decided to bring a version that matched more with our sets. This is something that happened in several of our songs and we all have reworked many. Our greatest hits have all gained a new look.
iEDM: What are you most excited about in regard to your upcoming United States tour? Can you hint at any surprises or plans for these sets that your fans can look forward to?
Cat Dealers: February will be exciting! We are going to play in three different countries in one month. We're pretty pumped! We are bringing a well-adapted set. As we said, our songs have been given a new look and we are very keen to play them on this first tour of the year. We are always changing our sets and understanding the crowd better, so we evolve a lot on every tour we do! Because of that, we are really eager to come back and show you everything we have been doing in the past few months. So for those of you who have been to our show before, you can expect something very different.
Photos Courtesy of Cat Dealers
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