Birmingham-based experimental dubstep producer Black Carl! has been taking his signature high-energy sets to a national scale, performing at Infrasound Festival, Sol Fest, Okeechobee Festival, Imagine Festival, Culture Downtown Music Festival, and more. While on the road, he’s been collaborating with an array of artists, namely Of the Trees, Sumthin Sumthin, player dave, Rusko and VCTRE. He likes to make his live performances “a little emo at times”, as he told SPIN. Black Carl!’s most recent endeavor includes a 30-date tour entitled “Rush Hour” with co-headliner, Saka. We can’t wait to see him tear it up across the US!
He sat down with SPIN to talk about who has inspired him, why player dave was the perfect collab, his song Rush Hour, and much more. Stream Fallen Petal here and check out Black Carl!’s electrifying SET below! Want more SETS? Head over to SPIN TV to keep up with all the latest and greatest DJ/producers breaking through the electronic sphere.
Who is Black Carl! and what do you stand for?
Black Carl! is me. It stands for music that makes you feel something.
Sometimes I tend to pour how I’m feeling into the song I’m making at the time. So, the end product comes out as something with a feel in it as well as something to jive to.
Tell us about your sound – where does your style originate from and what have been your biggest visual, social, and sonic influences?
My sound, I feel, is the perfect blend of soft and really heavy. I try to make things a little emo at times but when it’s time to get down, you’ll know. I also try to make epic in any song I do, which is definitely something I took notes on from CHEE. Other influences of mine are: Protial, Kursa, Jade Cicada, Sorrow, Charlesthefirst, Tipper, Keota and Aweminus.
Was there a definitive turning point to your success? When did you realize the magnitude of your impact within the industry/community?
The two week span of playing CharlestheFirst’s Wyoming event and The Untz Festival was a real eye opener that the work I’ve been doing wasn’t going unnoticed. I’ve never felt so much love from people that came from far and wide. With me being a kid from Birmingham, Alabama, I kinda thought sometimes we got overlooked. But that run reassured me that that was not the case.
What is the meaning behind your name?
Well, Black can mean whatever you want it to mean. It’s also the color of my skin. And my name is Carl. Plus I just thought it was kinda hard lol
Can you describe the influences behind your latest release, Fallen Petal?
I took a flight out to California to during some off time I had before having to be in Denver for the CharlestheFirst memorial. I went out there with a mission to make music with my friends in person instead of sending project files back and forth. When I made it down to San Diego with Player Dave, we linked and both were really feeling 140 and 172 bpm music at the time. So, that’s what inspired the types of songs we made.
What made player dave a good fit to collab with?
Honestly we are both two guys that like to make music that makes people feel something. That’s what made it a good fit.
So you and Saka had your first B2B set ever at Infrasound… What is Rush Hour and can we expect to see more of it?
Rush Hour is a song I wrote with my friend Saka recently. It’s actually started out as a joke because he’s actually from Hong Kong and we thought it would be hilarious if we made a tune named after the movie. Now, it’s turning into a whole EP, which led to us playing sets together. Who knows, you might be seeing A LOT more of us together.
In what ways have you pushed yourself beyond existing self-imposed limitations?
Honestly when I first started out. I felt like i was pushing myself to really make this happen for me. I was working three jobs and in school, still playing free shows and getting little to no money for them. I really had to push myself to get better as a producer, I’ll never forget that hunger. That hunger is why I’m still here today doing all of this.
What’s next for Black Carl!?
Expect my second EP, and a collab EP with my homie Saka. Also, my side project Integrate is dropping a tape as well this summer!
What do you wish for the future of electronic music? In what ways would you like to see it evolve?
Honestly, I want the genre of music that I’m in to thrive just as hard as this other stuff that has blown up! Just wanna see all my talented homies selling out arenas! Myself too of course! Lol
Any last words for the SPIN-verse?