We had the good fortune of connecting with Nathan Cuevas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nathan, how do you think about risk?
Let me get on a soapbox real quick. Life is just one big risk. Tomorrow is never promised. Yup cliche I know. But if you were on your deathbed right now would you be content with your life? Stop thinking “it’s too late” or I’m not ” talented enough.” The common denominator of your favorite athlete, musician, streamer, etc. is that they took the first step. Just do it. Risks aren’t a bad thing. I used to paint them in that way for a long time but you shouldn’t avoid them (within reason of course). Risks are what makes life interesting. You’ll get a million no’s for a yes. Your parents will question you. Your friends might abandon you. Your significant other might resent you for it. You might even get hurt (emotionally or physically) taking risks. A quote by Jim Carey at a graduation speech I pretty much live by goes something like this: “You could fail at something you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on what you do love.” Not just exclusively in music. Anything in life. Just do what puts a smile on your face. That’s it. Everything else will fall into place. Enjoy life, the only thing that’s holding you back is really yourself. That little voice in your held is holding you prisoner to what could potentially be your bliss and to me that is worth breaking out of. Period. But that’s only if you take the first step. With great risks come great reward, and I wholeheartedly co-sign this. Great risks also come with great failure. Often more than we’d like. And that’s okay. As long as you push through and don’t give up – you’ll never lose. For me risk taking has made me a better person and a better artist. Moving to a new city/town, submitting to labels, starting a label, trying a plugin in an unorthodox way, participating in remix contests, releasing a new song, releasing a bootleg (hoping it doesn’t get taken down) driving for 2 hours for a 30 minute set, tweeting hoping you don’t get canceled, reaching out to your favorite producer hoping they give you the time of day. These are all risks in some shape or form. Some bigger than others, but risks regardless. In the process of risk taking I guarantee (even if you fail) you’ll become stronger, wiser, and more enlightened. Risks. Risks. Risks. Weird word now if you read this far. Embrace the risks. Embrace the rejections. Realize you can do it. You never know what will come out of it. I’d like to hop off this soapbox with this: Someone who is having fun is invincible. Don’t take that literally please. /soapbox
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
DIALYUP is a project I came up with while attending Icon Collective. This project revolves around the sound of Jersey Club and Baltimore Club music. What I think that sets this project apart from other artists is that it take modern elements of electronic dance music and combines it with Jersey Club. What I’m most proud of this project is that I’m able to create music in a variety of moods which in turn I have Jersey Club to thank for. It is a very flexible genre that accommodates my ever evolving emotions (haha). For example one day I could be feeling very elated. Boom let’s make some happy club music. Feeling angry? Time to incorporate some aggressive sound design with some booty bounce. This is what I’m mostly proud of about this project. I’m able to be myself and recently some labels have picked up on it! Shout outs to La Clinica Records, Hermanito, and Backroom Records for believing in DIALYUP! I am where I am today because of Icon Collective. They gave me the tools, techniques, and insight to even be able to do music full time. They taught me how to be a professional in this industry through and through. However, music isn’t always business. I have to give it up to all my friends throughout middle school, high school, and college for somewhat being the catalyst. Besides being professional, I believe that being a musician requires life experiences. We enjoyed each others company, played music, ate pizza, and played video games. Ah yes the simpler times. During this time of my life I learned how to play piano, ukulele, bass, guitar, drums, and sing as well. It was definitely a hard road. Especially before Icon. Music isn’t easy to get into. You experience a lot of resistance and my parents weren’t exactly thrilled to hear that I said music was going to be my career. Also the path of music isn’t cookie cutter. There is no set path. I learned over time that you have to figure it out yourself. Another obstacle was definitely finding your sound. Ah yes the ever elusive sound. What makes you, you. Even to this day I don’t know my exact sound, but I do know it revolves around this Jersey Club genre and I’m enjoying it. A lot. Even to the point of obsession. Haha. Everyday I open up Ableton to sketch out an idea or finish some tunes (a never ending battle by the way). So I got through obstacles through sheer willpower and not giving up. Just kept on truckin’! Cut out the outside noise and focus on your craft. Put in the hours and be like water my friend. The biggest lesson I’ve learned along the way is this: Make music that you enjoy. That’s the secret. That’s the endgame lesson for me. Enjoy it so much that it’ll feel illegal to have that much fun. When I’m dancing like a fool in my home studio – that’s it. Nothing else matters. No one else’s expectations, just you and the music. I know Jersey Club isn’t big as House, Dubstep, or Trap. I just ignored the so-called meta of electronic dance music and just stayed in my lane. At first you’ll be alone on that island, but eventually people will catch on and flock to you for being different. Oh yeah be different. Think differently. Learn the rules then flip it and reverse it. Make a genre you don’t make. Go crazy! I want the world to know that DIALYUP embraces being different and just being honest with how you’re feeling. Whatever genre, community, or world you live in. Be about it. Lose yourself in it. And you better love it 100%. Not 99.9%. 100%. And I hope whoever listens to my music can feel that. DIALYUP is just a dude who loves music and does what he does for the sake of music.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Okay here goes. Alright first we are getting In-N-Out. No questions. After that we can to Balboa to take in the scenery and check out the museums. Then we go to Convoy for some bomb ramen or korean bbq. Favorite ramen spot has got to be Raki Raki (good luck with parking though). Korean BBQ – I enjoy Manna BBQ. Many food coma memories (and usually ends the day for me haha). Dessert. I’m a simple person. Baskin Robins. Cookie Dough is the move. Then we can go cart at K1 Speed. Then we go swimming. Beach time! My favorite one is Pacific beach because they have a long jogging/biking lane so we can also skate or rollerskate.. Also rent out a few Birds and have a drag race (evening is best). Hit up the bars. No specific one, I found most of them have their own little thing going for them. If I had to choose one though it’d be Firehouse (they also have DJs!). It can’t get anymore Ibiza than that spot. Add friends for an even greater time. Leave the car at PB (depending on alcohol level). We uber/Lyft to downtown to catch the headliner at Bassmnt or go to Time Nightclub if house is more their thing. Then end up at Denny’s. Remember you don’t go to Denny’s – you end up there. And repeat. So yeah that’s what a typical pre-covid san diego plan would look like for me and my best friend. Don’t forget the car rides in between destinations. Those are the best. Ah those were the days… Drink responsibly! 🙂
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Big ups to Icon Collective. Love all the people there. My teachers, my mentors, and all the friends I made while attending. I couldn’t be where I am now without you. Thank you. Thank you Des McMahon, Vito Finamore, Petey Clicks, Chase Jackson, Orion Rogers, Lumberjvck, and Gigantor! Some artists that I look up to: Stedicam, Katzhu, Wye Nawt, Muerte, Arbityr, Skellytn, Farco, Jilli, & and Dak. Much love ya’ll! 🙂
Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/31kpdqeO4EBxFxzlpAA5Fb?si=wUsyxRvXTwaoR5VWxIB-eg Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/dialyup