CID On 'She Wants The D,' Musical Evolution, Collaborations: Interview
New York City producer, DJ Carlos Cid, or as his fans know him CID, has been quietly producing some of the biggest dance tracks over the past two years. His discography spans several years, but things really started to go from dreams to a reality as his tracks started to get picked up by Nicky Romero's Protocol Recordings, Dutch independent powerhouse, Spinnin' Records and co-producing alongside Cedric Gervais the worldwide smash remix of Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness" that took over the radio.
Things started to shift once his very fruitful relationship with Don Diablo netted "Got Me Thinkin'" released on Steve Angello's house imprint X. It didn't happen right away, but CID started to shift from heavier and more main room electro songs to the club-driven house beats that are now a main stay in his discography.
He has was just tabbed by Kaskade to join the American dance icon on his Automatic album tour across the country as well as collaborate on the LP track "Us." Though we didn't catch up at the show in New York City due to time restrictions and some traffic, we did get him on the phone a few days later to discuss how things have changed over the past few years, finding a balance between producing and live shows, his track "She Wants The D," his many collaborations and much more.
MT: You've come a long way since your days of releasing music as Carlos Cid, like "Change The Light" and those old remixes. What has driven that change in your sound to what you're making with "Love Is Blind"?
CID: I think that for any kind of young producer you go through this phase where you just start learning how to make music and you don't really find what your sound is. I think the key to building as an artist is finding your sound. I think in the last year I really found what I think is my sound and I'm trying to develop for me as an artist. For me that's really the main change that happened.
MT: Do you think this is what you are going to make going forward?
CID: Yeah, I think so. I did this song like 2 years ago with Don Diablo called "Got Me Thinking". When we made it, it was really before the whole future house thing happened. We were just having fun and we did it here in my studio. Since that record everyone was like "Carlos, that's what you need to do. That's your sound." I fought it a little bit but I just feel comfortable making more house oriented stuff. This is what I'm going to be sticking to.
MT: Speaking of collaborations, you been working with a lot of different people. What have been some of the most interesting or challenging ones to do?
CID: I worked with a violinist once, this guy was pretty out there. I find that when you work with people who are not in the same field you can really learn a lot from how they approach music. So I think that's been the most interesting. Coming in and collaborating with someone from the classical world.
MT: Which song was that?
CID: It never came out. It was actually for his project. We worked for a week. I don't know if it will come out. It was really strange but cool.
MT: Would you try and do that again?
CID: Yeah definitely. I'm always open for collaborating with people, it's a learning experience. As a producer you're kind of stuck in a box. Working with other people you get to see how they approach things.
MT: Did any of those DJ collaborations take a long time to finish?
CID: The ones with Don [Diablo] -- we had been connected by his manager at the time and he's in Amsterdam. At first it was over skype. He wanted me to help him do a dancefloor version of his new single, so we collaborated on that. With him nothing took more than a day or two, such as the "Make Me Feel Better" remix, which was the one we put out last year. He did a show in New York and then came over to my house and we did it in like 5 or 6 hours. With some people it takes a little longer and then you go back and change stuff.
MT: In the past you said the vocal on "She Wants The D" was an accident. Have you had any other happy accidents like that?
CID: It wasn't really an accident, it was just the fact that it sounded like she said "She wants the D", which I found it hysterical. I did it one late night and I played it for a couple people and I didn't realize it at the time. Some of these things come together so quick and you definitely get lucky. I think the first song I ever put out was a happy accident. It took me like 2 years to ever put anything else out, but nothing ever as funny as "She Wants The D".
MT: Do you work on vocals and help write them?
CID: Yeah, now that I'm on Big Beat I've been in a lot of writing sessions with songwriters and vocalist. The dance world is trying to find a balance between what these songwriters do and what works with what I do.
MT: Your discography is pretty split between remixes and originals. Is there one you prefer?
CID: I love doing both man. I think with remixes you have a little more flexibility, you can go poppy. With originals you have more creativity. I love doing both.
MT: As your career gets bigger are you afraid of trying to keep a tour/production work balance going forward?
CID: That's everyone who I've spoken to's challenge. This month I was on the tour with Kaskade and it's tough. Its 5 days a week, so you have to take full advantage of the time that you are back home and in the studio and knock out as much stuff as possible so you have a little buffer. Everyone kind of deals with the same thing.
MT: What is something people might not know about you?
CID: I'm ambidextrous.
MT: Did you play sports growing up?
CID: Yeah I played tennis. I used to play a lot in high school. 5 times a week.
MT: So you could play with both arms?
CID: Yeah I actually switched. They started me righty, and when I was about 10 my brother's coach said "You're a lefty, you should switch." Then I started playing lefty.
MT: What do you have coming up?
CID: Well today I put out a remix for A-Trak which I'm excited about. I have a release coming out on Kascade's label called "Like This", and a release ["No"] coming out on Tiesto's label which is a sample of TLC's "No Scrubs". When you deal with samples they take longer to clear and people have been asking me about it. It's coming. With Big Beat I have a couple singles lined up in the works that I can say much about yet.