12 Oct Interview with CAYA
CAYA (Come As You Are) is made up of two members; Joe Santo and Daniel Mihai. They are a DJ/Producer duo from Las Vegas, Nevada who spin everything from House, Bass House and Future House. Go creep their Soundcloud page, you can check out the two-track EP “Shakedown” that was released back in August and remixes of artists like GTA, Autoerotique and Lil Wayne.
Last week, the boys finally released a brand new track called “Awaken”. A collaboration with favorite artist and dear friend: REVOLVR. The best part? It’s a free download, check it out below!
Bassdrop: What’s the story behind CAYA?
Daniel: I had met Joe in Las Vegas back in 2015 even though we both came from Orange County, CA around the same time. As soon as we met I clicked with him. He had the same passion I had for the music scene and pretty much the same genres. We were hanging out one night just having some beers and I had an idea of doing a duo for a min now but never felt comfortable enough with anyone to really get something going until I met Joe. Right there and then CAYA was born. I had always loved the name and what it stands for. I’m a huge Nirvana fan hence the name Come As You Are. That’s what we really want to make sure everyone who listens to our music really knows where we come from. We want to share who we are and want to know you they are and just be ourselves. I truly love the scene and how it brings people from all over the world together
When I moved to Vegas about a year and a half ago I didn’t really know anyone but my girlfriend was close friends with Daniels girlfriend so we met up one night and Daniel and I instantly clicked, we both loved music and had been producing on our own for years before this. One night when we were hanging out we both had this idea to work on some stuff together, we didn’t instantly come up with the CAYA name but as soon as we started working on some stuff together it was instantly born. We knew we had to do this together as we both have completely different styles and backgrounds and after a few track, we knew this is what we needed to pursue. Since then we have been writing so much cool music and we knew that this is what we both needed.
BD: How long have you both been DJ/producing for?
I have been producing and deejaying now for about 8 years. I started in Southern California just playing local clubs and bars, where I use to run a night called Electric Saturdays when at the time dance music wasn’t very popular and most considered me a taste maker in my little town called Fullerton for trying to do it. I knew that people needed to hear the music I was listening to in my bedroom at home. I started producing shortly after when I got my first copy of Ableton Live and started trying to mimic sounds like Cut Copy, La Riots, and MSTRKRT. Once people caught on to what I was doing they were hooked and before you knew it I had artists from all over the country like Skrillex, DESTRUCTO, DJ AERO, Scotty Boy and REVOLVR playing my little dungy dark room nightclub/bar. It was my home away from home the place I could escape and just be myself.
I have been producing for about 5 years, my homie Jeff Trunick (JRabbit) was who showed me the ropes of production. All the way from writing to mixing and mastering. The dude is a genius and completely created his own sound that everyone knew and I instantly knew that is what I wanted to do.
BD: For those who aren’t familiar with your music, please describe your style?
I would describe our music as a grab bag of bass music EDM fun. You never know what you’re going to get. We have been working on so much music and developing “our” sound it’s incredible the progress we have got in such short amount of time.
Honestly, the best way to put it is that we are very eclectic. Even when were in the studio we are always trying new things and coming up with new ways to make a tune sound as fresh as possible and we end up with this crazy tune. It’s really hard to stick us in one style because we try everything under the sun.
BD: Who are some artists that inspire you? Why?
There are so many for me from indie artist like garage punk band The Growlers to soul musician Raphael Saadiq and the homies from The Lost kings who have been putting out some fire. I really just enjoy music and whatever moves me. I come from a Post Hardcore background so I’ve listened to so many artists over the years it’s crazy. Dance music was always my passion but while I was growing up I was the weird kid who wore candy to Jr high and JKNO jeans haha.
This may be one of the most generic answers ever but honestly, Skrillex. He is a huge inspiration; Dude came into the game out of nowhere and just blew up. Created his own style and basically created a whole new movement in the States. His songwriting and production are so on point. Some others are definitely Caspa & Rusko whether they’re together or writing tunes alone, their shit is always so good.
BD: Are there any new projects we can know about?
Oh wow, yeah we have some really cool tunes in the arsenal right now. We are pretty much in the studio none stop and get together weekly to finish up tunes we each start on our own and come up with what I like to call that CAYA Magic =)
We have so much new music right now, ranging from trap/twerk and dubstep all the way to bass/future house and tech house.
BD: Being a duo does each one of you have a role?
For the most part, we always write just as much as the other one make every mission to always communicate with each other on what’s next for CAYA. No one does more work than the other because the music is really what comes first for the both of us.
We don’t really have “roles”, we both write just as much music as the other. A lot of times one of us will come up with an idea on our own and then we jump in the studio together and turn it into a CAYA tune. We both write SO much music constantly whether were separate at that time or together in the studio, our arsenal is getting so massive right now because were both taking older songs that we gave up on before we became CAYA and were turning them into fresh tunes.
BD: Most memorable moment to date?
I mean Joe and I have created so many memories in such a short amount of time by going to shows and being in the studio together it’s been such a great little journey. I think when we were all at our friend Kevin Leos’ place and we were just listening to tunes Joe and I had been working on and everyone’s face started lighting up and right then and there we know we had something special.
Like Daniel said we have created so many memories already but the best is always when we show people our tunes and their faces light up and they’re like “this is you guys?” haha that’s honestly the best. I know we have a bright future ahead of us and we have so many memories to be made.
Daniel: Chicken Wings, I fucking love those things and Tacos.
Joe: Pizza, Burgers, Wings, French Fries, basically anything that is really shitty for you.
D: Bourbon Old Fashioned
D: Point Break “ He’s not coming back”
J: I am the biggest Star Wars nerd.
Life of a DJ?
D: Oh man, this is something everyone needs to experience on their own it’s honestly been a crazy ride for me so far from raves to playing Groove Cruise festival in the middle of the sea. I have seen some amazing and crazy things.
J: I haven’t DJ’ed a ton but I’ve had a few moments at small shows that honestly still bring a smile to my face. Just being able to play out tracks that you’ve written and seeing people dance to that is the best thing ever.
D: Las Vegas duh.
J: Vegas for sure.
Favorite track to drop at shows?
D: Chocolate Puma & Tommie Sunshine – Scrub The Ground feat. DJ Funk. That shit hits hard!
J: Sleepy Tom & GTA – Cruise Control, that tune has so much flow to it.
D: People who don’t like to try anything new.
J: Close Minded people
D: Strawberry and Chocolate Chip in a waffle cone.
J: Mint Chocolate Chip.
D: Ableton Live
J: FL Studio
D: Flux Pavilion x NGHTMRE – Feel Your Love feat. Jamie Lewis
J: YOGI – Burial (Skrillex Remix) still one of the hardest drops.
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Cover Photo By: Brie Spezziale