The photo above says it all. While most college seniors' scope of attention includes studying for midterms, scoring hot dates, and eventually graduating into the "real world," Justin Caruso's efforts remain focused on producing chart-topping remixes for the likes of X Ambassadors & Ellie Goulding, honing in on his solo material, and touring with dance music legends–all while maintaining a full course load at USC.
"Caving" is Justin Caruso's third-ever original single, yet it emanates a striking balance of danceable beats and heartfelt lyricism that further corroborates Caruso's rapid rise to success. James Droll's immaculate vocals add a heartfelt layer of emotion to the catchy rhythm that'll have you dancing and thinking about your ex all at the same time. Caruso shared more on the URL collaboration,
"I haven’t officially met James, we have only talked via text and DM. I was put in contact with him by my A&R Natalie. She sent me the idea for 'Caving,' and I fell in love with it instantly. James has an amazing voice, and it was a pleasure to work on this with him."
While Caruso's triumphs may appear to have manifested overnight, the truth is that the young producer has dreamed about and honed in on his craft since he was barely a teenager. Steady determination, innate talent, and an appreciation for the "nostalgia factor" in music led Caruso to sharing the stage with the likes of The Chainsmokers and 3LAU. Currently, he's traveling with 3LAU, Tiesto, Slushi & NGHTMRE on a tour quite properly named Can I Drop Out Yet?.
See upcoming tour dates and get to know Justin Caruso in our Q&A below:
11/8 - Necto Nightclub @ Ann Arbor, MI
11/10 - Celebrities Nightclub @ Vancouver, BC
11/11 - Marquee @ Calgary, AB
11/12 - Knoxville's @ Edmonton, AB
11/16 - Royale @ Boston, MA
11/22 - Royal Oak Ballroom @ Detroit, MI
11/24 - Skyway Theatre @ Minneapolis, MN
12/1 - The Wilma @ Missoula. MT
12/21 - Ram's Head @ Baltimore, MD
12/23 - Terminal 5 @ NYC
OTW: How early on did you recognize your love of music and talent for producing?
JC: My love of music began when I was a freshman in high school and suffering from a basketball related leg injury. Due to the lack of activity I was able to do, I began to play around with garageband and logic on my computer and creating mashups.
OTW: Since you're still relatively new to the dance scene (but rising very quickly), what do you want fans to know about you?
JC: Im a pretty normal 22 year old college senior who just has an intense love for music. I don’t only listen to EDM, I love country, jazz, and hip hop. Due to my love of all kinds of music, I find myself pulling from each of those in my production.
OTW: For being so young, even still in college, what was the jump like from essentially producing in your bedroom to touring with the likes of The Chainsmokers or 3LAU? Did it happen suddenly or was it more gradual of a process than it seems?
JC: It was definitely a gradual long process, took years until I could even dream of that. The jump still does not feel real. I would find myself staying up as late as possible trying to perfect my craft at production and going to bed dreaming of sharing the stage with these guys. I’ll never forget opening for The Chainsmokers in Nashville for the first time and turning to my manger when I finally broke down crying in his arms when it finally hit me.
OTW: Was there any strategy behind the types of remixes or tracks you dropped to help jump start your career?
JC: I always wanted to bring a nostalgia factor to my music. My very first remixes were of The Who and Ben E King. From there, I wanted to remix songs by major artists to attract their fan base.
OTW: Has your experience attending USC helped or influenced your career's beginning trajectory at all?
JC: I’ve never been a fan of attending school even when I was in pre-school–I would cry getting dropped off by my parents. Once I got to college, I knew I wanted to be a music producer and tour, so that was my end goal; school was always my second priority. USC did give me some good connections, but the most it did was inspire me to keep working hard so I could eventually drop out, hence the "Can I Drop Out Yet" tour was born.
OTW: How do you strike a balance between prioritizing your music career with your personal and school life?
JC: Music and family comes first no matter what. I try and incorporate my friends into my music career as much as possible. They love to hangout and come on tour so we just make it one big party which brings those two aspects together. As far as school, I do as much as possible for that in the day, but once the night comes, it’s time to lock in on music.
OTW: Are you planning to transition to focusing on more of your own original tracks?
JC: Yes the majority of music I am working on now is my own rather than remixes.
OTW: What kind of future do you envision for your career or what are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish in the coming years?
JC: My biggest goal would be to move more in the pop direction and have a life performance aspect. I obviously want to tour all over the world and eventually create my own label.
OTW: Do you have any advice for your peers or younger kids who are trying to hone their craft and break into the music industry?
JC: Just keep working at it non-stop. From the outside watching all these guys you think it happened quick or over night but no one sees those countless hours and failures before the main stage and the sold out arenas. Have patience and keep working and stay true to what you want to make, your time will come.
OTW: Who are 3-4 Ones To Watch artists who you're watching?