On the heels of a hiatus from the gold-selling pop phenomenon TIMEFLIES—which he co-founded— CAL embraces a wider emotional and sonic spectrum than ever before. The artist has released his first two debut solo singles as CAL- “So Cal” and “My Brother.” Earlier this week CAL sat down with Billboard for an exclusive interview to discuss his new direction. On one hand, CAL belts out soaring hooks with dynamic range, channeling pop expanse. On the other hand, he flexes rhyme prowess and kicks old school bars befitting of an underground rap battle.
“My Brother” draws inspiration from his real-life brother who, at a crossroads in his life, gave him some insightful advice. “I didn’t know if I should do a solo thing,” he admits. “My brother said something that stuck with me. He was like, ‘You’ll never be as young as you are right now”. It was the right time for me to hear that. I thought, ‘It’s as good of a time as any for me to do what I want. Why not do it now?” Climaxing with CAL’s signature hip hop drops, “My Brother” provides hip hop, pop, and trap inspirations throughout and landed in Spotify’s New Music Friday in 10 countries. “So Cal” serves as a confessional summer jam. Clean guitar wraps around his voice as it stretches from observational verses into a high register hook upheld by a stacked choir of tracks.
CAL is gearing up to release a new collection of music dubbed The Identity Crisis, which serves as his most personal project to date. “I wanted to say things that related to where I am in my life now and explore my identity more,” he says. “As much as I Iove performing with TIMEFLIES, I wrote some of those songs in a dorm room. I’m not the same person. I had to write about my life and what I’ve learned and communicate my journey. I don’t think I knew how until now. He has been in the studio working with other collaborators such as The Chainsmokers, Cody Simpson, Quinn XCII, Breanna Yde, Johnny Orlando as well as writer/producers Justin Tranter (Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, etc), Daylight (Shawn Mendes), Jorgen (Pink, Imagine Dragons), Hiko (Khalid) and many others. Outside of music, he continues to evolve in the worlds of lifestyle, fashion, and activism. Not only does he remain an investor and ambassador for Thursday Boots, but he also supports Nothing New, which builds shoes from recycled materials. You can follow CAL and stay up-to-date on all upcoming artist news, tour dates and music news via the following links. Photo credit Dalton Misner.