Meet CA7RIEL, the Unabashedly Funny Crossover Success Story from Argentina’s Trap Scene

Photo by Toto Pons.

When Catriel Guerreiro jumps into his interview with Remezcla, he doesn’t crack any jokes, but he’s so irreverent and startlingly straight to the point that he still turns the supposedly formal conversation into a chucklesome episode. Known as one half of the witty cloud rap duo CA7RIEL and Paco Amoroso, CA7RIEL has built a reputation as an all-around musician— and as an amusing online character. His Instagram profile is crammed with offbeat 10-second pinned stories, abrupt musical improvs, and sneers boosted by silver grills. His public romps seem equally spurred by Slowthai’s selfie game and Bad Bunny’s trend-setting drip—a mischief-breeding combination.

From his social media presence, you wouldn’t think he’s actually one of Argentinian trap’s eminent crossover success stories. His songs with Paco Amoroso allowed him to collect streams by the millions, while landing gigs in Argentina’s indie temples like Niceto Club in Buenos Aires. With Argentina’s trap explosion breaking into the mainstream with artists like Duki, Nicki Nicole, and Paulo Londra, CA7RIEL released his solo EPs POVRE and LIVRE in 2018. The EPs’ R&B grooves are as eccentric as he is, but surprisingly appealing, with CA7RIEL singing as if he were gargling with a bottle of moonshine. 

But since teaming up with Amoroso and reaching a runaway victory with the duo’s work, CA7RIEL hadn’t come out with a new solo record, let alone a full-length album. His humorous attitude—unabashedly silly, fabulously quick-witted—prevented any statements about a follow-up to his solo EPs from being taken seriously. But, contrary to the maverick image he projects with his online shenanigans, CA7RIEL does not take success lightly. He’s very committed to his musical output, and, in conversation, he’s sincere and even appreciative of his career. He’s a clever chap, funny but respectful, and private about his feelings. “I don’t like saying things out loud to the world. I think I gotta hit the shrink to allow myself to tell things. But let me say: I’m so grateful for the life I’m living, dude. I’m so thankful for how things turned out,” he tells Remezcla.

After three years since his own solo work, CA7RIEL is finally back with his album EL DISKO, out Nov. 10. Remezcla spoke with the artist about his new record, paying his producer with a brick weed, and releasing “genreless” music.

What can you tell us about your new record?

EL DISKO is an album in which CA7RIEL is 0% betrayed. You see, I’ve come a long way. I belong to the music scene. I’m used to carrying and setting up drum kits for musicians. So when I came across the Illuminati from the music industry, I had to bargain with the devil and work on some things that knocked me sideways, but that I didn’t like. I double-crossed myself for that. The CA7RIEL from the past sold out the CA7RIEL from the future. He gave in and made songs that he didn’t enjoy, but that did very well. It went that way with my friends—the tunes we released with Paquito were, in truth, social experiments. We’d finish a song and say: “Are people going to like this?” To our surprise, people loved the tracks. So we realized that the formula worked.

But this record sounds good, and I’m delighted with that. I’m a guy who’s harsh on himself, with the music I make and the way I make it, but I’ve grown up. EL DISKO is the future CA7RIEL, and the songs are those I was looking forward to doing. It’s a record that satisfies hearts but not so much the wallet. I don’t know if I’m going to make something better in my life, honestly.

Does it relate in any way to your previous solo EPs?

Yes, it’s a futuristic version of it. POVRE, LIVRE, and everything I released before are like looking at a photograph of when I was a naive little kid—it makes me cringe. There’s so much room for improvement. This CA7RIEL, instead, is very modern, very self-assured, and stomps in with the sounds that define me. It’s an album that characterizes me and it doesn’t have any featuring artists. In a couple of tracks, Evlay lent a hand. He’s a hit-maker who, [in 2018], mixed LIVRE in one night. I paid him for that with a small brick weed. Can you believe it? That was what we had back then. But now we’re slicker and we have more tools. I love the guy. So the producers are Tomy Sainz, a drummer who learned to use Ableton during the pandemic, and CA7RIEL. Tomy is my hero.

Are there any genres you follow on EL DISKO?

No. I’m a degenerate. I don’t follow genres of any kind. I like to dress up and disguise myself. Music is aesthetic to the ear, and I can hide behind anything. It does have lots of elements of soul music and Black music. But it gets nasty. I’m a fan of anything that will make you move your head or your body. And the album makes you move both. The record’s first part is high-strung, but then it slows down and gets emotional. It’s like a trip. EL DISKO feels like a light-hearted movie.

I’m a degenerate. I don’t follow genres of any kind. I like to dress up and disguise myself. Music is aesthetic to the ear, and I can hide behind anything.”

Polvo” from 2020 doesn’t know about genres either. It’s like your own “Safaera.”

“Polvo” is the last track on the record. Only the bravest will make it to “Polvo,” because not everyone will be able to absorb the record quickly. People who enjoy music and enjoy CA7RIEL and are looking for something alternative to global pop will like it. I like pop music —I know by heart every hit song and all the lyrics. But I make what I can. I’d love to open my mouth in front of a microphone and churn out a hit. But I have psychic concerns that prevent me from doing that. I may have to visit the shrink one day. There are other ways and sonic roads to explore, though.

Do you rap or sing on EL DISKO?

I sing, dude. CA7RIEL raps, but he’s not a rapper. He ain’t lined up with the rapping tribe. The record has many soul elements, melodies, and grooves. And when there’s soul music, anything can turn into rap.

Why do you say you won’t ever do something better than this album?

Because I gave it everything in a moment of inner peace. My hair went back to its original color and my face came back to its original form. My thoughts aligned. So when we’re back at the frenetic madness of going around the world and making some rattle, my DNA will mutate. EL DISKO, instead, is CA7RIEL in its purest state. That’s why I’ll never outperform it. I may release songs that do better in the charts. I may reach red carpets and stuff. But something better than EL DISKO, so pure, no way. In this record, CA7RIEL respects himself. That’s what’s going on here. I’m happy about it.

Listen to EL DISKO below.