A Letter From The Editor
“That him? He’s so young and cute” my girlfriend chirps over my shoulder. It’s a weird experience to see the face of someone who has intentionally remained anonymous. Similar to the first time you see Thomas Bangalter or Joel Zimmerman without their iconic helmets. “Huh, not what I expected but okay.” It’s even weirder to get to know them as a person. I can’t speak to the personalities of Daft Punk or Deadmau5, but Caius, he’s a humble, laid-back musician in pursuit of real art.
DnM: God morgen Caius! or should I say god aften?
Caius: Haha, “god aften” would be most appropriate as it’s a little past 5 pm here in Denmark.
DnM: Ah yes, a few hour separating us. The sun just woke up here in British Columbia, Canada.
DnM: Thank you for taking some time out of your busy schedule to sit down with me. How are you?
Caius: Of course, anytime. I know you’ve been supporting me for a long time, so I’m happy to show you my appreciation back. I’m really good. Been a couple of busy weeks lately, but it’s nice to work hard on something you feel makes sense.
DnM: Been happy to do so. I get what you mean, to see the fruits of your passionate labor. It’s a good feeling.
DnM: I did my usual digging when prepping for this interview and was sad to find that you’re history is an anonymous as your face. So I want to start this off by throwing in some underhand softball questions.
DnM: Cool with you?
Caius: Yes sounds good.
DnM: The first and most annoying of questions, who is Caius and where did the name come from?
Caius: Hmm. The easiest question first. The name actually just came from watching a movie the night before i released my first track. I didn’t know what to call myself, but then that night I heard someone mention the name Caius, which was supposedly the name of a concert hall in ancient Rome or something like that, and then I was like “that could work”. And after researching on the name I found out it was Julius Ceasar’s real name as well.
DnM: That is super cool. And a nice little fun fact about Julius Ceasar. What movie was it?
Caius: The movie I believe was “Cloud Atlas”, but I’ve never re-watched it, so I’m not sure.
Caius: The other question is a bit hard. But I guess I’m just a 23 year old Danish boy who likes to make music. I come from a small village out in the woods close to Copenhagen, and now i live in Denmarks second largest city Århus.
DnM: Haha, that actually brings me to my next question!
DnM: How does someone from a northern Scandinavian country get into a kind of music describe as: ‘lo-fi gritty’ ‘post-disco’, ‘melodic joyride’?
Caius: That’s a good question. I think for me, I grew up listening to a lot of jazz in my parents home, which I really like, and I feel that has a similar kind of vibe to the music I try to make, even though it theoretically is quite different. Then I also always try to keep a minimalistic approach, which is a Scandinavian thing throughout many art forms. I’ve never really tried to make anything because it’s cool to play disco or club music, or whatever, I just try to make music that I would love to listen to myself in my headphones, and that then happens to have some inspiration from disco, lo-fi beats and jazz.
Caius: I think also my main inspiration has been hip hop beats, but just with the approach of adding more to the beats so it would work as a complete track, and not just to instrumental to some ones rap.
DnM: Theory based Jazz…we can’t all be Shook with 7 min improve sessions. But I totally see that style in your work. Between the chord progressions, those claps from hip hop and that pursuit of art not popularity.
DnM: Didn’t know the Danes like minimalism. But it all comes together in something that is uniquely Caius.
Caius: Yep. But on the subject of art not popularity, I think it’s also important to make music that you would like to listen to if you were the listener and not the producer. I think to many produce for their own sake, and expect others to appreciate it like it was something that wasn’t made for their own sake.
DnM: You couldn’t be more right. Too many artist these days see what’s popular, what’s trending on soundcloud, what’s the biggest pop song. Then try to re-make it with the subtlest of their own twists. Not to make music, not because it’s something they would or want other people to listen to, but because they want to see that play number go up
DnM: Just as distinct as your music is your cover art. We’ve got that black and white style of photography that heavily incorporates angles and lines. Who helps you make and take these?
Caius: The first photography came up when I asked my ex-girlfriend to take my press photos/album cover picture in my dads old kitchen. We edited it together and came up with the turquoise square because I wanted to hide my face. Then for the next covers I just kept searching for cool places in Copenhagen that could make some interesting pictures.
DnM: It’s built a cool brand.
DnM: And damn dude, are you reading my interview sheet?
DnM: The big question though, your face. Or lack there of. It’s a huge trend I see in modern artists. This anonymity. What made you don the multi-color square?
Caius: Haha. Yeah I probably would be lying if I didn’t say that the fact that Daft Punk showed me, that you could actually make your face something different for you as an artist, I wouldn’t have thought of it as a possibility. But the truth behind why I did it myself, is because I was afraid to get sued due to sample rights on my first track and the square just happened quite randomly to prevent that.
DnM: Hahaha. Love it. Yeah I don’t think there would have been the deadmau5 mask without DP, nor Marshmello.
DnM: How does this translate on stage? I’ve seen the progression in your artwork and you now have a full wearable ‘mask’ so to speak. Are you just poking some eye wholes and wearing this while you play live.
Caius: I think you’re right. Hmm yeah the stage show is a little bit of a problem with that. I have the mask, but it’s quite heavy, and I can’t see through. So for the live shows I’ve played up until now it has been without a mask. But fans always get really excited to see my real face. The square is still a signature in the live show and a lot of the visuals evolves around the square.
Caius: In time, I really want to get a mask though.
DnM: I do feel somewhat privileged to have the face reveal here. I can see how exciting that would be in a live setting though, seeing your face after listening and following for 3+ years.
Caius: Yeah. But honestly I’m not afraid of getting sued any longer, so my face isn’t super important to keep a secret for me.
DnM: Speaking of your time in the industry…the industry has changed since you first hit the scene and even more since I have. But you owe a lot of your come up to blogs, the blog-o-sphere and hypemachine. Just look at “Things going to be okay”.
Caius: Yes that is so true. The music scene made it so easy for talented electronic musician to blow up on their own around 2014.
DnM: Will you be able to leverage people like AcidStag, Caveman Sound or bear toons and achieve the same success as say you did with new releases? Is there still the same kind of network and power today?
Caius: That’s a good question. I feel i still get the same support from blogs as I’ve always done, but their impact is not as big as it was earlier. And the same for the natural growth on Soundcloud. Spotify is really taking over now, and even though their algorithm based music suggestion gives me another type of exposure, it seems more random than it did when it was tastemakers who vouched for you.
DnM: Yah, the industry is in a really weird state of flux right now. SC doesn’t provide what it once did, people have lost the attention span to read a blog or follow a taste maker, Spotify has huge reach but it’s not the right kind of exposure or audience.
Caius: I completely agree. It seems that Spotify is trying to be more attractive to independent artists, but they haven’t worked out how yet. They let you pitch music from your Spotify artist page, but I think that there’s too much music for them to really give it a proper listen, and now I hear they will also give artist the opportunity to upload directly. But I think they still need some time to work it out.
DnM: So, what does the future hold for Caius and the industry at large?
Caius: The future for Caius, I’ve been working on an EP, which is 95% done. It was the plan to release that, but something else might happen now, because of some new opportunities that has opened for me now. But i promise that the best tracks of that will still come out. It’s just about adapting to the new more Spotify dominated industry. I think if you work it hard enough it can work for you as well.
DnM: Well I for one, look forward to the EP, the future collaborations and opportunities presented to you, and the waves you’ll make in Spotify. Thank you so much for taking the time. It’s been a real pleasure.
Caius: Of course. Always a pleasure. Thanks for wanting to interview me.