Sweater Beats Webster Hall 2

When I met Sweater Beats (Antonio Cuna) on a West Village sidewalk a handful of years ago, I told him right then and there (having been a huge fan of his Alicia Keys flip, “Baby Baby Baby“)… “you’re going to be a star.”  I like to think I’ve got the chops to be class-act A&R, because I’m probably still right about the universally beloved Sweaters.

Squeezing me in for a quick Skype chat on the last day of his recent tour with Chet Faker, Sweaters and I discussed, among many other things, a more mature sound on his much-anticipated EP with HW&W Recordings, releases on the inimitable Symbols Recordings, his Australasian Tour (to which he just added 3 more dates; see below), and his love for the West Coast, Japanese anime films, and the Biebs.

Read our interview with Sweater Beats here, and enjoy our special selection of his music throughout.  Pick up a copy of his recent That Feel EP on iTunes.

Touring with Chet Faker

It’s been really good.  Good vibes, which is what I like. It’s not like super turnt up; it’s like full-on body roll vibes.  Like 40 minutes of that.  I’m down.

Upcoming Travels

Today is the last day of the Chet Faker tour. I go back to New York for a week.  After that, I go back to Australia.  I’m finishing up a new release on HW&W, and  I’m just gonna be playing out all the new stuff and try to push that.  I guess it’s like an unofficial EP tour.  I’ll be gone for 3 weeks.  It’s that road life.

Sweater Beats 2014 Australasian Tour

Travel must-haves

AKAI MPK Mini Keyboard Controller makes producing easier on the road; look how tiny it is! And my Sennheiser HD25 headphones are small, compact and durable.  They’re good general purpose headphones.

The possibility of moving to the West Coast

Definitely. I’m going to move to LA or somewhere.  It’s just super mellow and more my speed. I love New York, but I think LA is more my speed in terms of how people just gel.

I moved to Brooklyn from Maryland for school. I graduated last year with a degree in Media Studies.  It’s funny because I’m not using any of it in my career. I pretty much went to school to make websites, even though I don’t even have a website of my own.  I have a Soundcloud – that’s my website.

Soundcloud fame

Soundcloud is like a tool. It’s not the end all, be all.  You put yourself out on Soundcloud and people will come to you if it’s really good.  You gotta spread your word, and Soundcloud helps you spread that.

Upcoming EP on HW&W in July

There’s 4 songs.  It’s called Cloud City. (That sounds like something from a sci-fi movie or a videogame.) I know. I don’t mean to be cheesy, but I definitely got inspired by Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle, so that was the main thing. (It’s from Star Wars…) Nooo, they’re Hayao Miyazaki films.  (No… it’s from Star Wars. Look at this Wookieepedia page for ‘Cloud City’) Wait… there was a Cloud City in Star Wars.  (We LOL’ed.) But that wasn’t the inspiration. I watched hella anime shit, and that was the main inspiration for it. All the Miyazaki films.

The new stuff is still super sexy body roll, but it’s different from that too.  It’s more mature, older HW&W type stuff with synths and electronic vibes; older, more mature Sweater Beats.

Releases on Symbols Recordings

It’s a separate thing.  The HW&W EP is definitely different from the Symbols stuff.  It’s a continuation maybe.  No album yet though.  I feel like that’s down the line a little bit. I want it to be a conceptual thing, but I haven’t thought about anymore than that.  But the EP now is a little bit conceptual.  You’ll get it once you see it, or hear it.

“Where You Are” with Vindata and Bella Hunter

We gelled super well.  We were all working on the same wavelength.  That song was 80% done in not even a day, like 6 hours or less. Jared was working with Bella, and he had a studio session with her and recorded her vocals.  I don’t know what track he was working on, but he took the acapella from that session and we started working with it and came up with the tune we have now.

Playing the festivals, I definitely want to have my own festival songs. I don’t normally write stuff like that, because I’m always very chill, body rollin’ in my bedroom by myself. It just came out like that, but I think having played festivals, it had something to do with it.  I think maybe some of the new EP is festival-y.

Top 3 Artists To Watch

Lido and these two dudes from DC that I recently met, Manila Killa and Hunt for the Breeze.

Guilty Pleasures

I’ll be upfront about listening to Justin Bieber.  I can’t hate on his music. Also, that show Elementary with Lucy Liu.  Some people think it’s dumb, but I love it.  Lucy Liu does make it a lot better.  I like mystery shows… even like CSI: NY.

Dream Vacation

I need a vacation. I guess the last time was Christmas when I went to my parent’s house and wasn’t working. My dream vacation is probably somewhere near the water, like Hawaii.  I see myself doing that.  (Are you a good swimmer?) No. Chillin’ on the beach with a piña colada, that’s my thing.

Sweater Beats’ Ideal Bae

I do have a bae and she’s my ideal. She’s my rock and keeps me grounded, and keeps me going.

Gettin’ sexy to his own music

No, that would be too weird.  I would do it to R. Kelly any day, but not Sweater Beats.  I’ll let other people do that.

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