Riding high on the success of their busiest festival season to date, Brazil’s biggest dance music export, Cat Dealers, team up with US sensation MAKJ fora bass-fuelled track Rewind. Cat Dealers have become a household name both in Brazil and on the worldwide circuit in recent years,with their viral remix of Tom Novy’s Your Body acting as a catalyst for international success. Since his breakthrough release with Hardwell on Countdown back in 2013, MAKJ has become known for his stellar collabs and flawless production skills,delivering a slew of notable releases including his recent tracks Retumba with Deorro and RAVE with Steve Aoki, Deorro and Showtek.
For those readers who may not have heard about you. Can you explain a bit more about you?
MAKJ: Hi, my name is MacKenzie Johnson, “MAKJ.” I like long walks on the beach, cheese filled tacos, baby wipes, and the color green.
Cat Dealers: We are Lugui and Pedrão, DJs and producers from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We play as a duo and we’re also brothers. You may know some of our songs, such as “Your Body (Remix)”, “Sunshine”, “Gone Too Long” or “Colours and Lights”, but if you don’t, we highly recommend it haha.
MAKJ you’ve collaborated with huge names including Hardwell, Deorro, Fat Man Scoop and BlumBros this year, can you tell us how you came about working with the Cat Dealers for your new single ‘Rewind’?
MAKJ: So I met Cat Dealers when I was playing a high school graduation party in Sao Paolo Brazil, 2014 I think. Weirdly enough both members of Cat Dealers liked my untz untz electronic music so much they gave me a demo cd of tunes. I checked it out and have been a fan ever since.
Cat Dealers, you’ve also racked up a long list of collaborations this year, how was working with MAKJ?
Cat Dealers: We enjoyed so much working with MAKJ, it was an awesome collab. We are super fans of this guys since we started to produce and working with people that you already know as a fan is the best thing. After we meet him online and started to work together, we liked him even more cause he is such a cool guy. Even being countries apart, we were able to talk a lot and get exactly where we wanted. “Rewind” turned out great, we loved it, and we’re loving seeing how the public’s reacting to it.
Last year you opened for Shakira on her Brazil tour and you’ve now been confirmed to perform at Lollapalooza Brazil in 2020, do you see yourself moving into the Pop/EDM crossover space more now?
Cat Dealers: This is actually our second time playing Lollapalooza Brazil, we previously played at the 2018 edition. We believe we’re always kind of were into that space, since the beginning of this project. But we do love exploring and getting to know other styles, we think it’s important for an artist to be able to grow musically.
Can you guys (Cat Dealers) tell us a bit more about where your name comes from?
Cat Dealers: We chose this name because our mom likes to help street cats, she brings them home and takes care of them. So we were living with a bunch of them at some point haha. Right now we live with nine cats in our house.
Whilst we’re on names… what inspired the name Rewind for the track?
Cat Dealers: We really like sci-fi and the idea of time travelling, so we were very excited to work with it on our song. The name “Rewind” came from the lyrics and also plays with that theme, so we decided to go with it.
‘Rewind’ accumulated 500,000 plays during its first 3 days of release, what was your reaction to this and how has the feedback been since?
MAKJ:It’s such a great song for both of our fan bases. It meets all the requirements for a good song. Works at the club and you can also show your mom without annoying her.
Cat Dealers: We were super happy! We were really excited with how the song turned out, so seeing how well it was accepted is amazing. We’ve been receiving a lot of great feedback, specially from the fans, and we’re loving the messages and seeing how they react to it during our shows.
Are there any artists you both love who help inspire your music?
MAKJ: Cat Dealers of course. Also Alan Jackson.
Cat Dealers: We have a lot of influences, not only in the electronic scene, so many people inspire us. But one that definitely has been a great influence since the beginning of our project is Skrillex, we love his work and sound.
You’re both known for living all over the world. Where did you make Rewind and how did you make it work being opposite ends of the world?
MAKJ: FaceTime and WhatsApp was the key to making this song happen.
Can you tell us a bit more about the software you used to collaborate?
MAKJ: Well I produce out of a software called Logic Pro. Cat Dealers are using Ableton so we just would create piece by piece and send stems back and forth until it was right.
Cat Dealers, you worked with vocalist Caelu on another recent single, ‘Colours & Lights’ with GoldFish, what made you want to work with him again?
Cat Dealers: We really like his work, he has such a markable voice that we think goes pretty well with the songs. His lyrics are also awesome and working with him is super chill and cool.
Do you have plans to work together in the future?
Cat Dealers:We don’t have anything planned right now, but who knows? Maybe in the future. We sure would love to work with MAKJ again.
What’s next for you both?
MAKJ: Just had a song drop with Tinashe. That’s basically how my year is ending. Also getting really fat over the holidays so don’t send me any slim fitting clothing .
Cat Dealers: We’re working on some new productions, we can’t tell much about it for now, but stay tuned, ‘cause we have some work in progress. Right now, we’re also focusing on our tour, we’re currently in Asia playing some gigs and then we’ll begin our summer tour.