Meet Katzú Oso

(Interview by Ashley Flamenco and Miguel Anderson)

(Photos by Leila Grillo)

About a week ago, Stage Confessions got the chance to chat with Paul Hernandez who goes by Katzú Oso; he’s a rising artist who makes deeply romantic synth jams, the perfect songs to groove to with your crush. It was the day before Katzú’s big show at The OC Observatory where he would open for Tyler, The Creator, performing alongside artists like BROCKHAMPTON, Clairo, and Jasper Bones. We met outside of a tiny Starbucks, surrounded by constant blaring car horns, where he told us about releasing his first song, “Sophie,” on 420, the experiences of love and heartache that have shaped his work, being a person of color in the growing indie scene, and how it was receiving the news that he’d be opening for Tyler. Katzú Oso has just barely begun his career but with his talent, we know there’s much that lies ahead of him; we truly feel that he’s going to blow up so watch out.

Quick Qs:

What artists have you been listening a lot to lately?

Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Mild High Club, HOMESHAKE, Steve Lacy — his demo is f***** dope, and pretty much everyone I’m playing with tomorrow at the show. They’re all under my related artists and it’s weird because I’ve been listening to all of them lately; I’m playing with them tomorrow so that’s exciting.

What is an all time favorite album?

Lonerism, for sure, by Tame Impala. It got me through a difficult time in my life.

What are some of your pre-show rituals?

Damn, that’s a hard one….I take a lot of breathers, I try to take a shot or two just to try to loosen up the nerves because if not, I’m really stiff up on stage. And I like to dance up there, when I’m feeling a type of way, I dance a little more.

When you’re making a song, what’s the vibe in the studio?

If the song gets me dancing in the moment, like in my room, I’ll continue to work on it. If I’m not vibing to it, then I don’t continue it, I push it aside and work on something else.

Actual Qs:

What music did you grow up listening to?

I grew up on The Beatles, as weird as that sounds. My dad’s a huge Beatles fan and he plays guitar too so he taught me. He’s also a big Carlos Santana fan so I kind of grew up with those old school vibes.

Does that influence your music in anyway?

Yeah, totally! My songs are all love songs and The Beatles are all about love so I resonate with that.

Are there any specific artists who you would credit with getting you into music?

Like I was saying, The Beatles are #1 for me, as corny as that sounds.

So you started putting out music this year but when did you decide that you wanted to pursue that as a career?

When I was getting the feedback from my first song, “Sophie.” I had dropped “Sophie” just for my friends, for my stoner friends actually, I dropped it on 420. I thought “because people are going to be smoking today, they’ll want to listen to some jams so they might as well listen to this.” And out of nowhere I was receiving a bunch of feedback and people were loving the song so I just continued and started doing more.

Did “Sophie” just blow up?

It was Sophie that got most people’s attention.

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We know that your music is very romantic so we’re wondering what kinds of experiences have shaped that romantic music?

Honestly, everything happened this year: I lost relationships, I gained relationships; I got out of a 5 year relationship so that impacted me a lot. Also, I tried to put myself in my friends shoes sometimes and write from their perspective. For example, with “Honeydew,” I was still with my girlfriend at the time and that’s a breakup song, it’s kind of a sad song. My friend was going through a breakup so I kind of wrote it from his eyes.

Oh okay, so when you wrote it, it wasn’t coming from what you necessarily felt?

No, I tried to write it from his perspective and my girlfriend hated it at the time, she was like “are you gonna leave me, what are you trying to say?” because it’s a breakup song.

When you’re writing a song, what’s a common starting point for you or what inspires you to create something?

I would say a new synth sound. Whenever I find a new sound or something that really gets my attention, I’m like “people are gonna vibe to this live, I need to put this in a song.” It’s nice to groove to synth in music.

Can you tell us a bit about your background?

Well, my family, they’re all from Mexico. My parents both moved here from Mexico so I’m first generation.

How has it been living in Montebello?

This is such a boring city, I don’t even do much here. It wasn’t up until this year where I just got motivated to make music. I’ve been playing in a band for the past four years but it was more indie-rock, less synthesizers.

What was the name of that band?

Spoken Folks.

Do you still play with them?

No. They play for me, they’re my backup band for live performances. We decided to just focus on Katzú and leave Spoken Folks behind.

Does your background play a role in your art, if so, how?

It does, totally. Well, I grew up listening to a lot of old ballads in Spanish and Rock en español, all of that. I noticed that a lot of those artists, they carried light synthesizers, it might not have been extra as f*** but they’re really light and stuff like that just inspires me.

The indie scene has definitely had a large growth in artists of color recently so how do you feel being apart of that wave of new minorities in the music industry?

Honestly, I never thought I’d even be apart of the wave. It’s exciting, it gives me hope in the music industry. Like damn, people are gonna put time and effort into listening to music that I made.

It gives us hope too because we’d say that the indie scene is really known for being mostly white.

Yeah. With other musicians, I always thought it was probably their parents paying for their recording time and all that but I actually didn’t really invest money into my production, I just use my sh***y equipment at home and make it happen.

What are some messages to other artists of color that you have?

Honestly, don’t give up. As slim as your chances may be, just keep going. I honestly still feel like tomorrow’s show is not gonna happen, it feels like it’s all a dream; it’s crazy, it’s surreal. If you believe in what you’re doing, just keep at it. If you’re passionate about it, just keep doing it, people will listen. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it’s yours and there’s other people who will like it as well. People hate on me all the time, I get people messaging me like “dude you write p**** sh**, you write love songs and no one listens to love songs,” but honestly, I’m writing it for the people who are listening and for myself.

It was really exciting for us to hear that you got added to the lineup as one of the openers for Tyler, The Creator’s show, how did you feel receiving that news?

I was driving somewhere and my manager texted me and I literally went apesh** and yelled. My friend was with me in the car and we f***** went apesh**, I was hyperventilating, I didn’t believe it, it was crazy. Then I messaged the band and everyone was freaking out. No one on social media believed me until they saw my name on the flyer.

We heard that you have an EP coming out soon, can you tell us anything about that?

There’s no official release date yet but there is a big project coming out in 2018.

Next, we’re gonna ask you a few music related questions and we need you to give us the first answer that comes to mind.

SATURATION 1, 2, or 3?

SATURATION 3.

Who are you most excited to see perform tomorrow?

BROCKHAMPTON

What’s a venue that you’ve always wanted to perform at?

The Fox Theater (in Oakland). I’ve been there and the sound there is amazing.

Last song that you listened to?

Jose Jose – “Almohada”

Favorite artist at the moment?

HOMESHAKE

We were actually about to ask you “HOMESHAKE or Mac DeMarco?”

I’m a big DeMarco fan but HOMESHAKE gets my heart.

Thank you so much Katzu! You killed it with your groovy performance at The OC Observatory.

 

Follow Katzu Oso on:

Spotify

SoundCloud

Twitter

Instagram

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Meet Temporex

(Interview by Ashley Flamenco)

Meet Temporex: he’s a 17 year old solo artist from San Diego who makes chill music with catchy (sort of) electro-pop beats. His work is probably best listened to on a cloudy day and it’s something that anyone who’s experiencing heartbreak or ever feeling a bit lonely can totally relate to.

Last weekend, I got the chance to chat with him about his favorite artists, his hilarious side project (Tony Splendid), what inspired his album “Care” and what elicited him to begin writing music.

Quick Qs:

What are some artists you’ve been listening to lately?

Definitely King Krule–both King Krule and his Archy Marshall project. And Sean Nicholas Savage; I really like his older albums like “Other Life” and “Bermuda Waterfall.” Oh and Puma Blue.

What’s your dream festival lineup?

Okay, so I think I’d like to have Tyler, The Creator as the headliner and I’d give him his own stage to decorate and stuff. Same with King Krule and I’d also have Connan Mockasin, The Garden, Mild High Club, Rex Orange County, Nick Hakim and maybe even Soft Hair if Connan is willing to play the set–that would be so amazing. If there were no money restrictions, I’d want to help everyone decorate their stage–that would be so cool.

What’s your favorite Tyler, The Creator song?

Off of his recent album, I really like “Foreword,” “See You Again” and “November.” I cried a whole bunch, three individual times, when I first listened to “November.” I really can’t choose one though, I have at least three favorites off of each album, I think.

Who would you love to collab with?

Honestly, I don’t know. I’m really working on my own sound right now and trying to get more experience for my own solo project. So I really don’t have an answer to that. Maybe Lil B; I want to produce for him, that would be pretty funny.

Do you have any interests besides music?

Yeah, I’m actually going to college for graphic design. I also want to be able to design clothes, pillow cases, furniture and weird things like that. I’m capable of making stuff, it’s just producing a lot of clothes and being able to ship them everywhere, that’s kind of difficult for me. I still gotta figure some stuff out. I’ve also been trying to teach myself animation and it’s a struggle but hopefully I put out a video or something soon.

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(Drawing by Temporex)

Actual Qs:

What is it about artists like Tyler, The Creator and King Krule that you idolize?

Tyler is capable of doing everything and anything he can think of pretty much. For me, having that type of freedom would feel amazing, especially having millions of people support literally everything you do. With Archy, he can pretty much morph his style into any genre. He released a song under Return of Pimp Shrimp and it’s almost disco-ey in a sense; that song’s amazing and it’s nothing like what he does on his King Krule project or “A New Place 2 Drown.” He went from making semi-dark guitar music to writing like lounge/house music? I think. But either way, it’s amazing.

What types of emotions do you hope to evoke in your listeners through your work?

I don’t really go for any emotion, but I hope that whatever I write can help other people know that they’re not alone in a certain situation and that there are probably hundreds of other people that feel the way they do. So if anything, I’d like people to feel comfort or happiness. But I might go with emotion for my next project. I don’t really know yet.

When and how did you find your passion for music?

I remember I heard some songs by Jerry Paper and I’d listened to “Cherry Bomb” (by Tyler, The Creator) a bunch and I loved the songs so much that I just really wanted to try it on my own to see if I could make anything but I couldn’t and for some reason I kept trying hahaha. And then I wrote “Care.”

How did you start making music? From what I’ve read (and what you’ve implied), you didn’t have much musical experience when you first began so was it difficult to come up with stuff or do you think you picked everything up pretty quickly?  And where did you start?

Well, I took drum lessons when I was younger but I don’t think I could play a real drum set now. I think that taught me rhythm and tempo or something, but I think when it came to keys, I watched a bunch of YouTube videos and learned chords that way. Early on, I sort of taught myself by trying to cover some songs and then really badly failing and then I’d just turn my mistakes into something and that would just be it. But I really have no idea how I picked up piano that quick; I think it just was all that I did for at least six months, maybe a year.

I’ve been listening to Tony Splendid lately (by the way, I love his lyrics, they really made me crack up) and I know he’s meant to be a joke but I was wondering if this side project began as a result of trying to create Temporex songs?

Hahahaha. They started as a joke and then I created a whole persona around it. I’d make really terrible tracks and I’d rap over them like a cocky SoundCloud rapper. I really only showed them to my friends at first but then I decided to release a whole album of it because it was really fun and refreshing to make. I’m surprised that people are actually listening to him.

What music related goals do you hope to achieve within the months to come?

I really want to start working on an album or at least have a song to start with that I’m happy with. Writing has been tough lately because I haven’t been very inspired and I’m kind of over my own personal style. Nothing feels good enough for my own personal standards; having something that I’m happy with would be cool. And I really want to make friends with other artists like the twins from The Garden or King Krule. They all seem so cool, I want to hang out with them even though I’d be awkward and shaky.

If you don’t mind me asking, is there a specific person you wrote the album “Care” about or does it have to do with multiple experiences with love and/or relationships?

It’s about multiple experiences where the person who I was seeing was confused or just kind of mean?? I guess. I don’t know, it’s hard to explain but I used to have crushes on some stupid dummies. Thank god for my girlfriend though, she’s amazing.

What’s your favorite track of yours and why?

I really like “Okay,” I think it’s because I can relate to it the most now since I’m going to be moving to a place where it’ll be harder to see my girlfriend. But the strings and everything in that song are so nice. It was really refreshing to make because I’d never made a song using guitar before and I’d like to continue using it, I just need to learn how to play better.

Do you have any upcoming shows?

Unfortunately, no. I’m getting ready to move up to Valencia next weekend. I don’t think I’ll have any shows anytime soon but you’ll definitely know about them.

Any advice for young aspiring musicians out there?

Make sure to do your best to sound like yourself. Don’t make what you think people want you to make. There’s an ear for everything.

You said that you’re trying to work on a new project. Are you able to give us a description of this project or how it may be different from “Care” or is it still too early to tell?

I’m trying to push myself towards working on a new album but right now, I’m still trying to learn more in preparation for it. When it’s complete (and when I start), I’m hoping it will blow everyone away, including myself.  It’s going to have way more complex compositions. I’m tired of looping, and maybe if I do a really good job, everyone who hears it will say “Oh shit, WHAT? This is Temporex? Oh man.” When I release it, I’m gonna try to release a music video along with a single too. But that’s me thinking too far ahead, who knows if I’ll ever even be able to start it.

Lastly, is there anything you want to discuss that I didn’t bring up or do you have any final thoughts?

Hmmm…I don’t think so. Thank you for this, this was nice!!

Haha thanks for letting me interview you!

Follow Temporex on:

Spotify

SoundCloud

Bandcamp

Twitter

Instagram

You can contact him at JOSEPHFLOREST3F@gmail.com