Photo: Noah T Productions
CaitC is a drum ‘n bass producer/DJ with big, big dreams. And this dreamer is unafraid of turning ceilings into new floors.
A driving force at the forefront of a new generation of female Dutch producers, in nothing short of two years, this talented Breda artist levelled up late last year with her debut EP on LUX Music and she has plenty more to come.
So how did she do it?
Over to CaitC, an inspiring woman who turned unfortunate circumstances in which she tore her ACL (the main ligament that links the thigh to the shin) and flipped her nine month recovery into time where she learnt her studiocraft and levelled up and created all kinds of possibilities with imagination and a healthy pinch of grit…
The first of a new generation of female artists in The Netherlands with a release in drum and bass. Big up!
Thank you. It’s quite cool actually. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s a big thing. I know there are a lot of girls producing in England as well. The scene there is already picking up on those girls. But here in The Netherlands – either they don’t produce much, or maybe they don’t send music out to labels. To be honest, I’m really not sure about the reason.
So how did you do it?
Lots of work. I haven’t been producing for that long. I started taking lessons in October of 2020 – one hour, once a week, playing around with Fruity Loops. I changed teachers and since January of 2021, I really started focusing on producing and made my first song. I produced almost every day since around March 2021. We had a lockdown anyway and I had nothing to do – I also had a gap year at school.
Did you take that gap year for music?
No, this one came along quite unfortunately, because I tore my ACL. I needed a full recovery for nine months. But now, yes. I have taken a gap year for music. I see how much progress I’ve made since January ’21 by practicing so much. I want to give it another year and see how much I can achieve.
What are you most proud of when looking back at 2021?
Of course the release of my first EP – a two tracker. It came around October the 15 on Lux Music. It really is the start of more music coming. And also my other track Play on Lux music. Besides the music I’ve released, I’m also really proud of the gigs I’ve had and the announcement of me playing on Rampage with the Nox Crew!
You DJ’d before production, right?
Yes. Obviously there wasn’t that much to play at in 2021, but I played at NOX (Eindhoven, Koelhuis) – my biggest gig at the time. And then just before I had my biggest gig of the year, they announced everything would close down again. Luckily I was still able to open for Fox Stevenson (live). The day after there were no events anymore.
That was really cool – a big achievement for me. Funny, because it was in Tilburg where I went to my first drum & bass party with Fox Stevenson b2b Feint. So I kind of went full circle.
Let’s go back a bit. How did you get into DJing?
Yes, about two years. I had my first gig after one year of being a bedroom DJ. I got this gig by winning a DJ contest. I had a few bookings and then corona came along.
Before I started DJ’ing, I went to loads of events and listened to a lot of music. I was more of the support kind of girl (laughs). I played rugby for long time before that, so I focused on that.
I tore my ACL two times actually. The first time, I decided not to go back to rugby. My trainer wanted me to go back, but I had found a new passion in music.
A bit more safe as well perhaps.
Well. I tore my ACL for the second time at a party (laughs).
At what moment did you realise: this music is something I really like and I want to make serious work of that?
I hadn’t started DJing yet. We went to a party in Tilburg once again. Maduk was playing then. His music, and music from Liquicity is what really brought me into the drum and bass scene.
I just saw him standing up there, knew how happy I was just to be there with friends listening. That’s why I wanted to be a DJ myself.
At first at home and practicing with friends, eventually it become more serious and I started bringing out mixes – got my own gear too. I noticed how quickly I learned it. Right now it is one of the only things I can keep doing without getting bored. That’s when I thought I really want to do this.
What habits or mindset really stood out during your journey so far? What did you have to do more of or less of to achieve this?
I do watch a lot of YouTube video’s by other creators and artists. They have really good input and have been in the scene for a long time. I also ask a lot of feedback and look at many different opinions from people. I myself make dancefloor (music), but I try to ask feedback from people who make different subgenres as well. Everybody gives different bits of feedback and it is really nice to look at it in different ways.
Something I could work on is not taking feedback or criticism personally. It’s a bad habit of mine, I want everything to be perfect.
At the end of the day you’re probably your worst critic.
If you could borrow the ‘superpowers’ of one artist for a day, who would you pick and why?
First I’d say Muzz, he makes really nice basslines. His sound design is really good and it is something I want to master too.
Andromedik also, he makes really strong anthemic melodies. I myself still struggle with making my melodies sound great and catchy. When you listen to it a whole day, that’s one thing – but you have to make it stick in the head of other people as well. He does a great job at that, as multiple anthems he wrote for Liquicity to prove. So that’s something I’d like to perfect as well.
The first release is a milestone clearly, but what’s the next thing for you?
A few months ago I competed for an internship at Onyx Recordings. They’re based in UK and won best newcomer label at the Drum&BassArena Awards. Onyx did a contest with House of Hi-Fi, and I achieved second or third place. I got a release out of it, which is really nice. I don’t know the exact date yet for it though.
I have been talking to other labels meanwhile, but cannot say anything. Nothing is sure yet. But I can say 2022 will definitely bring more milestones and I can’t wait for new music to be released.
Due to your release you have become more or less an ambassador for Dutch female D&B artists.
I do hope I am, or at least will be. I’m not so sure if I want to call myself an ambassador yet, but I would like to be an example for other women to start producing. I do think with the right push and mindset everyone can achieve this.
There will always be people who try to tear you down, that’s something that not only happens to women but also men. As for me, that has only helped me want to show that I can do it. I want to show everyone what I am capable of.
As for networking and connecting with others: there are a lot of Facebook groups. Hospital Records for example has a group for females. You can join the group, even if you are not a producer or DJ. There is also a Discord channel and it is really nice to chat to different girls and ask their opinions there.
Do you think girls tend to underestimate their abilities with making music? More than guys do perhaps?
I do know a few girls that have found making and mixing music too technical, and it might be something that scares them off a bit. I really like learning different programs, so for me it came naturally.
In my opinion it really depends on where your interests are. But once you get to know the basics of the DAW (digital audio workstation) you want to use, you can let your creativity flow.
I don’t know if they underestimate it more than guys, I also know some guys that feel like learning a DAW is a big thing to tackle. But I also feel like guys are drawn more to making music in a DAW. When I look at my friends, they are all producing.
We need the right push – from the people around us as well. What really helps me is that I have great people who believe in me. It is a great support system and I really love my friends for that.
What other tips come to mind on started properly with producing?
Well, I really started late with this. Just make sure you know your DAW real well. I skipped over the part, figuring every button out, thinking: I figure it out myself, I know programming. Watching someone on YouTube to figure out what everything is – in hindsight, with that knowledge, I could have worked on my stuff a lot faster.
Lessons do really help too, providing structure and proper feedback. It is a good place to start. Not a must, given the amount of material through channels like DNB Academy, but yeah!
I am also subscribed to Patreons of Protostar and Muzz. It is really nice to see how their approach is different when it comes to creating. From that you can improve on making your own style and approach.
What really keeps you motivated with staying at it? Do certain convictions or beliefs come into play?
I always been a big dreamer with big goals. I know not everything can come true, but when I shared these with people, they often said: you won’t or that’s a (too) big dream.
I want to show them that I can do it and want prove it to myself. I get tons of joy from making something that I like, having that ‘wow, I made that’ moments.
And what keeps you going on days when producing gets really tough?
I’ve had a few moments without motivation. I really beat myself up for it, but along the way I am learning it is okay to take breaks – and that you cannot always create a tune every week.
Some people can, but there’s no shame if it doesn’t work out like that. Or when you can’t get the melody right. I learned that it is okay to put it away for a bit and then come back.
I can be really hard on myself, but stepping away and returning with a fresh mind – most often it then does work out.
Doing something entirely else like watching Netflix is fine really. Or even making a bootleg to play out, to keep your mind off the serious tunes.
What really is your goal with music when looking further ahead?
As I said before: anthemic, melodic tunes – it is really nice to see when you’re at a party and for example First to go by Andromedik comes along. At times like these people scream along with the melody. It is a dream of mine to have people scream along with my melodies!