Catnapp Exclusive: The Powerhouse Making Waves In Berlin's Music Scene
The cat is officially out of the bag.
Catnapp’s music is unapologetic. An untameable synthesis of heavy bass, drums, and pop, with delicate lyricism and electronic production overlaid with rap and breakbeat influences. It’s fuelled with more spunk than you can shake a stick at.
The Argentinian producer and songwriter has been based in Berlin since 2015, signing a deal with Monkeytown in 2018 she released her album “Break” with them last year. Since then she has carved her way through the Berlin techno and electronic music scene with her distinctive sound and live performance style, playing at Sonar, Melt, and Berghain to name a few. This summer she released her most recent EP “Damage”, and if you watched Netflix’s Unorthodox over lockdown you may recognize four of her songs from the soundtrack.
Despite the intensity of her music and huge on-stage persona, she has a calming presence in person. Unpretentious, open, and at ease, she spoke to us about her music, creativity, and influences.
How has your creativity shaped your identity?
My identity shaped my creativity actually. I mean I have lived a pretty happy life, but the things that have happened to me have molded and directed the way in which my music went and the things’ that I chose to write about. I’m definitely a very sensitive person and when I’m sad, I’m really sad. When I’m angry, I get really angry and I need to let it out in a way. So music was the way in which I was able to do that. I think my personality, or sensitivity, directs my creativity. When my creativity activates it allows me to let that energy out so that I don’t let it out on someone else later!
How have certain moments in your life shaped the way you create?
Sometimes I have more stressful moments. With a deadline, I have to deliver a certain amount of songs for a certain date with a certain purpose, which is a stressful and mental environment to create in. I’ll lock myself in the studio and force myself to make 8,9,10 tracks in a certain period of time. The outcome is different than if I’m super laid back and I have all the time in the world to make music. The songs will be about different topics than when I’m stressed, for sure; it definitely shapes the outcome of what I do.
Does reflecting on your creative process reveal some unknown truths?
I’ve realized that I’m actually very good at producing under stress, which I didn’t think I was. The year before last I had to create a full album in four months. I locked myself in the studio and finished everything, and I was like “I’m done! What month is it?” I finished it in one month! But I don’t think that’s very healthy. I don’t think it’s the best way to enjoy the creative process. Although learning from that experience I know that I can still create songs that I’m really happy with despite being super stressed.
Did you have any milestones in mind when you started out and do you think you’ve reached any of them?
The milestones that I have change all the time. Oddly enough, I’ve covered most of the ones that I had, but then new ones appear. It’s hard to just stop for a moment, to take time to appreciate those milestones that I’ve already accomplished. The new ones feel so big and huge; suddenly the old ones feel so small and distant. But it’s important to really stop and look at those, appreciate them, and feel happy about them. To take time to celebrate and to give yourself some acknowledgment! A lot of artists, including myself, are always looking ahead instead of back and not appreciating how they got there. We set these huge goals, and everything that happens in the middle isn’t appreciated as anything in its own right. It’s just another step to get somewhere. What I have realized in the past year is that everything I do to get there is part of it.
A few years ago I performed a show with Mix Master Mike, the Beastie Boys DJ. At the time it just felt like one of the stops along the way, I should have been thinking “OH MY GOD! I’m actually performing with this amazing guy. This is somewhere!” Now I’m trying to appreciate every step of my career, and every step of my life (which is my career basically) instead of just looking towards a goal. I was missing out before.
What gets you in a creative flow?
Being angry! Being frustrated about something, or suffering. I sometimes get in a creative flow when I’m happy outside, riding my bike, skating, or doing something that gives me adrenaline. But then I get home and it’s gone. If I’m angry for some reason I need to express it in a musical way! So the minute I get upset about something I just run to my computer really unleash something, and it just happens, its magic, its crazy. That’s why most of my lyrics are so angry as my writing mostly happens when I’m feeling angry! Then the anger goes from me and is just left in the music. When I perform I feel like I can allow other people who may also be angry to unleash their anger as well. By screaming the lyrics, doing a small mosh pit, or a big mosh pit, or something like that. It’s like doing musical sports.
Do you ever feel that making music can get draining? If so, how do you deal with it?
I feel that music can get quite draining. Especially since I’ve been pursuing my career and doing the same project for ten years now. It can be heavy and hard sometimes to try and maintain a certain aesthetic or certain musical path. But that’s the only draining thing about it, and I usually get out of it quite quickly. I just do what I want to and do what I feel. I don’t have to do it for another decade if I don’t want to, but I do want to! So I continue doing it naturally, I relax, and I just keep ongoing.
Sometimes when I feel drained I wonder if I want to do something else. I picture what I would do if I were to stop making music. Go to the mountains and study astronomy maybe? But then I might want to take my guitar with me, might want to make a song, and might want my computer to produce the song! Then show that song to everyone! It just wouldn’t work out. Everything can be draining but if you like it and enjoy it then just keep on doing it.
Photography: Fizzy Mag / Brit The Kid