22-year-old producer Paul Szeligowski, better known as Caster, is one of the fastest up-and-coming artists in electronic music.
A Polish native residing in London, UK, Paul has quickly captivated the interest of many fans with his haunting sound, blending bass music with the horror genre. Originally, Paul was one of the founding members of the melodic dubstep group “Abandoned”. After feeling creatively limited, Paul split off and began the Caster project.
In just a short span, Caster has accumulated millions of plays across many platforms, even gaining the attention of Excision and Seven Lions, as he continues to release music on their respective labels, Subsidia Records and Ophelia Records, as well as other renowned labels like Monstercat, New Dawn, GRVDNCR, and Theracords.
Caster‘s witchcraft branding and storytelling music have gained him a true cult following. As his fans continue to listen to uncover the mysteries of Caster, his growth as an artist accelerates to become one of the most innovative electronic music producers of his generation. Check out the exclusive interview below:
1. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how you got started?
CASTER: For sure! My name is Paul, I’m 22 and I’m living in London right now. My origins are Polish though, I was born in a small city in the south of Poland.
Ever since I was a kid I always had music flow in my veins. As a kid, I was really into more nu-metal stuff like Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, and later Hollywood Undead. I eventually discovered Skrillex and Kill The Noise through their collaboration with KoRn and it got me into the entire EDM world. I was instantly hooked.
When I was 8 I wanted to learn how to play the guitar cause I wanted to be a rockstar but I had really terrible teacher so I quickly got very discouraged. I eventually discovered drums though (which I ended up playing for like 10 years), and had a great mentor who also happened to show me FL Studio one day on one of our sessions, which is a software for producing music.
After the session with the drum teacher, I instantly downloaded a demo version on my PC and the rest is history. I started producing when I was 12 and I’ve been doing it almost every day ever since then. It’s like a drug or addiction, but it saved my life. Not sure where I would be now if it wasn’t for music.
2. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
CASTER: I’m pretty much self-taught. Besides taking lessons in playing drums I’ve learned everything myself when it comes to writing and producing.
Of course, I owe a lot of my knowledge to all of the YouTube tutorials and production streams that I watch even to this day. Funnily enough, back when I started there wasn’t that much content out there that would teach how to produce music, but somehow I managed to get through and just learn by constant practice and experimentation.
3. Who were your first and strongest musical influences and why the name ‘CASTER’?
CASTER: Besides all the nu-metal bands I mentioned earlier, from the EDM world my biggest influences would probably be Kill The Noise, Skrillex, Seven Lions, and INHUMAN (fka Code: Pandorum). I’m also a big sucker for Sleep Token, but I only discovered them recently.
I was brainstorming with my manager Abe on what would be the appropriate name for this project. I always wanted it to be dark, mysterious, spiritual, witchcraft, and ominous, but not in a cheap way. He suggested the name “Caster”, which I believe comes from an anime series called “Fate”. I was very skeptical at first, but it eventually grew on me and now I love it.
What I probably love the most about the entire project’s theme is, me and Abe have very different sources of inspiration. I love witchcraft themed horrors, all the pagan stuff and I’m also huge on Souls games and Lovecraftian stuff, whereas Abe took inspiration from a lot of anime series that he likes and various RPGs he plays, somehow we managed to take the best of both worlds and combine it into one cohesive thing that we all know as “Caster”.
Big shout out to Abe, I love him to death and this project would not be as epic as it is without his huge input.
4. What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners, and how would you personally describe your sound?
CASTER: I really want the listener to understand and appreciate the variety of my music. I could never stick to one style or genre. I tried to pick one thing for years but I would always end up frustrated, wanting to do something else. This project embraces my versatility and fully shows my creativity and imagination.
I’d describe my sound as spiritual, dark, very energetic, and sometimes even euphoric. I always try to bring something new to the table and blend a bunch of genres together in a fun and interesting way. I’m also really into metal and cinematic scores, so I try to add a pinch of that in every track too.
5. For most artists, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you? How would you describe your own development as an artist and music maker, and the transition towards your own style, which is known as EDM?
CASTER: Yeah for sure, I think I spent way too long on trying to emulate stuff from producers like Seven Lions or Code: Pandorum. Overanalyzing their tracks taught me a lot though, I picked a lot of new things from referencing and deconstructing their songs.
I’ve gotten a bit too deep into it at some point though and I lost my own identity in the music I was making.
Thankfully I eventually realized that I was becoming nothing but a mere shadow of them and I learned to embrace who I am and now I’m all about expressing my own vision and trying to bring something new to the table. Of course, they still inspire me to this day though!
7. Do you feel that your music is giving you back just as much fulfillment as the amount of work you are putting into it, or are you expecting something more, or different in the future?
CASTER: I’ve recently become a full-time musician, so I definitely feel the fulfillment more than ever now. I’m always hungry for more though, as we all are, but I’m trying to appreciate where I’ve gotten and the fact that I can just do a bunch of weird computer noises for a living now is pretty awesome. I’m definitely not planning to stop only at that though, I’ll keep pushing this project as far as I can.
Besides touring and playing shows being on my bucket list, I’m also trying to bring this project more into the movie/video game realm too.
8. Could you describe your creative processes? How do usually start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song? Do you usually start with a tune, a beat, or a narrative in your head? And do you collaborate with others in this process?
CASTER: I’d say it’s always different and depends on the tune. There were a few tracks – for example, my recently released track called ‘Sacrificial’ – where I had a certain idea or narrative in my head and just converted it into music form, but I’d usually just mess around and experiment with various sounds or riffs, and whatever catches my attention would eventually become a song.
Of course, it’s different for any remixes or collaborations, where I’d usually have a base/skeleton of a song and work from there.
I think that’s what I like about producing a lot, everytime I start a track or an idea it always feels fresh and unique, you can’t really create the same thing twice unless you hard copy and paste stuff you know?
9. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?
CASTER: Becoming ‘me’. Understanding that I can freely be myself and express my own vision and ideas through music took me a very long time.
I had many music projects before, one of them was a duo with another producer called “Abandoned” and it got very successful at some point, but it never felt like that’s what I truly wanted to do. Leaving the project and starting from zero was really difficult but I don’t regret it at all now.
10. On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or music career so far?
CASTER: There were countless incredible moments that happened in my life that I’m so proud of and grateful for, but I think what makes me the proudest is the fact that I’ve managed to push through all the difficulties for all these years and keep doing what I love without ever giving up, no matter how hard it was at times.
To me being a successful musician is all about being able to freely create what you want to create, having great chemistry and connection with your fans, and just simply being yourself and being surrounded by incredible friends and people that care about you.
I feel like this is where I am at now, and I’m so grateful for it.
Thank you so very much for having me on this interview, this was really fun!
I would like to do a big shout-out to my team, friends, my family, and of course all of my lovely fans! This project would not exist without your help and support.
– Paul Caster
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