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Conversations with Calson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Calson.

Hi Calson, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started music production just by myself around middle school when I was 13-14 and was really experimenting with different genres of music. My only academic knowledge towards music was when I took a guitar class in the 7th grade and a music production class in the 8th grade and I never took anything else from that point on. I was really into Electronic/EDM music around that age so wanting to create that was my specialty. I also really enjoyed getting into more hip-hop/pop derived styles especially when it came to more lower fidelity (Lo-Fi) styles of production. I didn’t have the best equipment so I felt like couldn’t really make anything of studio/higher quality when it came to my standards during the time being. When I was about to leave high school, I really wanted to take music more seriously so I wanted to put more of an effort to expand my comprehension towards learning physical instruments. I only fairly recognized guitar and keys to an extent but pushing my boundaries towards that really helped the process of being more tactile with my music and really feeling what I want to express as an artist. Singing was also something that I wanted to gain confidence in since I would be very insecure about my own voice. However, figuring out my voice and accepting it as it was really gave me the confidence that I can put into my music now and in the future. Overall, learning and being more open to my experiences and opportunities as a musician/artist/human being has really taught me an awful lot as of late and into the upcoming future.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It’s been a really interesting ride so far really following what I want to do with my life. From my experience challenges along the way were finding my own groove when it came to production, performing, and promoting my music to others. I’m not sign to any labels so I’m technically my own boss and I’ve had times where I can let my emotions get the best of me. However, learning how to control and let those emotions flow in a healthy and productive manner have really helped ease those emotions for me. It’s easier said than done obviously but that’s why music is so therapeutic to me even if I’m blasting large amounts of modulation/reverb and sometimes distortion out of my own amp when it gets really cathartic for myself. Another challenge/obstacle I found myself in multiple times was conforming to my own comfort. This year in particular, I really let that part of myself get to me to a certain point where it was really affecting myself and others to a certain extent. Not realizing how much power the mind creates for ourselves and now coming to that realization that “I don’t really know everything” has really given me more insight to consider others way more and given me more humility. Realization that having a perfectionist mindset doesn’t help anyone including myself really helped me not dehumanize my actions especially bringing myself down for messing up on everything and catastrophizing everything. I try to remind myself that all the time about these experiences and how I’m growing from them which is why I even apply that into my music since it feels more raw to myself and being more raw to my audience really feels amazing.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’d like to say I’m an artist just to not completely say that I only do music since I like dipping my feet into other mediums but I do specialize in music and that’s what people who know me or discover my music know me for I assume. So to be my own salesperson, I am a musician, producer, and multi-instrumentalist to sound more pretentious. I started “Calson” back in late 2018/early 2019 since my last alias didn’t have much substance so it felt like a change was needed for sure. Afterward the attention I’ve received since then has been surprising to me but I like how people can really jam to the tunes that I’m making in my bedroom to be honest with y’alls. Being able to land on editorials on Spotify and being able to get my music heard more has been truly super rad to experience and that I’m still working on. Setting myself apart from all the other amazing artists has been a challenge however finding a sound that satisfies myself and that really sounds like myself has been something that I believe has set me apart because at that point who can be you but you? There’s no way anyone can take that away from you so might as well take the advantage of that. At this point on its only feels like the beginning anytime something amazing really happens within my life.

What were you like growing up?
As a kid, I was always very high energy and wanting to know what everyone was up to and their own interests. I’m pretty sure it annoyed a fair amount of people but I didn’t really care to a certain extent. I wasn’t very introverted since people gave me so much energy even when I felt very drained sometimes. I would cry a lot during school since I was very sensitive and never really had thicker skin to begin with. My sister’s overtime really thicken my skin up when it came to interacting with others which I’m very grateful for. Interest wise I was always caught up on video games especially when it came to more retro-based video games. I was obviously interested in the newer games that were released but I always found myself truthfully going back to older video games since I found more joy out of those pieces. Specifically, Namco arcade cabinets and Playstation One games since I was very attracted by their aesthetic art styles and unique gameplay overall. I also like kicking it with my neighborhood homies and doing whatever we found interesting those days. Some days it came to skateboarding/biking around the hood or exploring the depths of the internet and outrageous YouTube videos that we would quote a million times to ourselves. Being born into the Internet age is very interesting since it feels very peculiar yet pretty rad to have that access at a young age. Filming videos on my sisters old MacBook was another one of my interests that really got my creative side to build up. I would film videos of my hot wheels or amusement parks that I created with Kinect sets and trying to create my own rides with utilizing my furniture around the house. I wasn’t the best at it but I really enjoyed creating and constructing my own stuff since it felt very rewarding to tell myself “frick yes, I did this!” Possibly that’s where I get a lot of my creative drive from is letting that inner child of me be free and seeing what I can create with the limitless from then limited.

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Photos taken by Xavier Garcia

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