Today, Antonio Cuna, better known as the Brooklyn-based producer Sweater Beats, just released his That Feel EP, on Kastle‘s Symbols Recordings. On the EP, he showcases a fresh take on his R&B-leaning future bass sound swapping out samples for original vocals for the first time. Check out That Feel below and purchase it on iTunes.
In celebration of the release of That Feel, Sweater Beats has put together a GDD exclusive “15 Minutes of Timbo” mix highlighting select Timbaland-produced tracks that have greatly influenced his music. Additionally, we were able to chat with Sweater Beats about his experience as a musician growing up in the suburbs of Maryland, his vision for the new EP, what he hopes to accomplish with his career and more. See the tracklist for the mix and the full interview after the jump.
Gotta Dance Dirty: GDD interview tradition: what do you like to drink?
Antonio: On the regular, coffee. When I’m playing, Stella.
GDD: Tell us about your musical background and how you’ve gotten to where you are today.
Antonio: I started playing guitar around the age of 13 and I played violin in middle school too. I learned a lot of music theory through that. I started making beats after high school, some weird synth pop stuff. I discovered this whole world of electronic music, and I just kept digging deeper into it. At some point I got confident enough to put my music up online and send them to blogs.
GDD: So you grew up in Rockville, Maryland. How did the suburbs influence your music?
Antonio: Rockville was very accepting of the local music scene, there were people who would host house shows that my band would play at. I was exposed to new music, and learned different approaches to making music. I also learned a lot about performance during that time, and that background definitely helps with how I perform these days.
GDD: What exactly is the meaning behind each of your song selections in the inspirations mix?
Antonio: Timbaland is one of my biggest influences in the music I make now. I think his style and production is so timeless. For the mix I just picked some of my favorite Timbo productions.
GDD: You’ve just released your debut Symbols EP, That Feel. What was your initial vision for it? Did that vision evolve as you were producing it?
Antonio: I started off picking out the types of sounds I wanted for the EP. During that process I decided to theme the EP around string instruments, and the vision for it became clearer.
GDD: How did you approach the EP differently than previous releases? How was your experience working with vocalists?
Antonio: I kind of just dove right into making it and picked out the best ideas that fit together nicely. I sent them out to Erin and Sunni, and just let them do their thing. After I got the vocals from them, it all really came together for the final mixes.
GDD: What is one thing that you wish everyone knew about you?
Antonio: Nothing that people don’t already know. I’d like to keep some mystery to Sweater Beats.
GDD: What do you hope to accomplish with your music career?
Antonio: I just hope that I can make music for the rest of my life, to work with amazing people and have people enjoy what I make.
GDD: What’s next for Sweater Beats?
Antonio: I’m currently writing music for my release with HW&W.
Sweater Beats – 15 Minutes of Timbo Tracklist:
1. Intro Buddha – Timbaland
2. Hot – Missy Elliott
3. (Oh No) – What You Got – Justin Timberlake
4. Try Again – Aaliyah
5. Keep It Moving – 50 Cent
6. Throwback – Timbaland
7. Ching Ching (Pt.2) – Ms. Jade
8. The Jump Off – Lil Kim
9. Promiscuous Girl – Nelly Furtado
10. Sexyback – Justin Timberlake
11. Bounce – Timbaland
12. Pony – Ginuwine
13. Came to Give Love – Aaliyah