Although a newcomer to the music scene, 21 year old Cuban American pop singer Rudy Touzet has been heating up the airwaves and growing his fanbase with his fun and catchy songs. Born in the culturally diverse city of Miami, his exposure to the Latin music and fast paced lifestyle helped to shape him as an artist. He started performing and writing songs at an early age, fueling his desire to continue writing songs and performing them for people. An avid journaler, Touzet developed a love for journaling as a way to express his thoughts and feelings, describing a correlation between his journaling and songwriting. Despite the challenges of launching a music career at the start of a pandemic, Touzet has not allowed that to slow him down, having released three singles with producers Luke Shrestha and Simon Jay over the past last year. Working with Charlie Walk’s Music Mastery Studios from the start allowed Touzet to meet people in the industry and make connections and is where he met Shrestha and Jay, with whom he formed an instant bond. Touzet released his first single, “Contigo” (featuring Teddi), in March of last year, an upbeat dance track that incorporated both Spanish and English lyrics. He quickly followed it up with “Take It As A Win” and “I Don’t Know”. His latest single, “Fatal Attraction”, was released on January 29th of this year and was inspired by an experience of being at a party and spending the evening hanging out with a woman twice his age and his attraction to someone who knows their worth. Touzet now lives in LA, where he attends school and is actively pursuing his music career. With plans to release more music in the coming months and a strong desire to perform for people, it’s safe to say that he is definitely an artist to watch! You can connect with Rudy Touzet via the following links. Interview by: Emily May.
Growing up in Miami, what can you tell me about growing up there and about the culture and music scene? How do you feel it has shaped your music?
Yeah. So growing up in Miami and the music I was listening to when I was younger, and now I guess…it was all culturally diverse. There were a bunch of different cultures I was introduced to, especially with all of the different Latin music. And being Cuban myself, it was cool to kind of listen to all of the different songs and all of the different types of music in Latin culture and the Spanish rhythm. That’s why I did “Contigo”. I felt like that was just a way to bring something that is a part of me into what I am now and do a Spanish…Spanglish…pop song. But yeah, it was just very diverse. It was a fun time in Miami.
With regards to your single “Contigo” being a dual-language single, do you plan to incorporate Spanish into your lyrics going forward?
Yeah. Definitely! That song was very fun to make. One thing that is difficult now, being in California, is that I’m not speaking Spanish as much. I think doing more Spanish songs in the future will definitely help me to keep my Spanish-speaking abilities, and also just incorporating more of that into my music will definitely be an awesome thing to do.
Having started your career and releasing music during the pandemic, what has that been like for you? How do you feel it has changed your approach to how you make music? I read that you recorded your single “I Don’t Know” in your closet!
Yeah. It’s definitely been not what I was expecting, when releasing my first debut anything music-wise, during a pandemic. I guess it was cool to be able to have a song sound that high quality, being inside a closet and just recording vocals there. I think it’s definitely different now that I’m in California and 20 minutes away from my producer’s studio. It’s starting to feel a lot more normal with what we can do so far. Releasing music now has definitely changed what I thought it was going to be like.
You’ve talked about taking to your journal to write about what’s going on in your life and your feelings. What can you tell me about the connection for you between journaling and songwriting?
There’s definitely a connection. Whenever I’m blanking out on something or have the urge to write a song or write something that’s going on in my life right now, I kind of use the same journal for both. It’s nice to just flip through the pages and go back to what I was going through and kind of feeling that emotion just by reading it and finding some sort of inspiration through that and making art with music.
You’ve described yourself as a shy guy who gets along with everyone while still being able to maintain your awkwardness. Do you feel like it’s challenging to be a shy guy in the music industry? Do you feel like you are coming out your shell a bit as you gain more experience?
I think I’m finally climbing out of the shell, slowly. I’m definitely still on the awkward side (laughs). I think in just talking with people on the phone and on Zoom calls and just constantly putting myself on camera has definitely boosted my confidence and helped me to maintain that confidence and be that artist. Also, it’s helping me with communication skills and not going to conference calls and saying three words (laughs).
You have said that the first song you ever wrote was for your third grade valentine and that it made you hungry to keep writing and playing your songs for people. What can you tell me about the growth of your songwriting over the years and what that process is like for you?
This is so strange, but actually last Friday, when the new song was released, I was with my friends and they played it in the car. Out of nowhere I was reading…I was going back and looking and I found that song again. Well, I found it a couple of weeks ago, but I found it just in my files. I just started bawling. It was just a weird, surreal experience because I know that’s what little 8 year-old Rudy always wanted, to write and do music and just hearing my songs on a speaker. It was just so eye-opening and such a full-circle moment. With my whole writing process, I stopped around middle school to do musical theatre. I was still singing and stuff so I felt fine about it, but then I came back to writing in high school and now just seeing my stuff on Spotify and Apple and YouTube…I never expected that. I just started crying and was like “Little 8 year old Rudy would be proud”. I full on bawled…I sent a picture to my friend and they were like “What’s wrong? You just released your song”. And I was like “Yeah. I know”.
Do you think you will do more musical theatre in the future or just focus more on writing and performing your music?
I hope to come back to it. I did a couple of little musical theatre things during college. Just little short films that had musical theatre aspects, as well as just singing with my voice teachers to musical theatre songs. Once everything is settled with the pandemic, I’d love to do a show or something, just to get back in that grove, but right now I’m taking the time to focus and write more of the music that I’ve been trying to put out.
You met and came to work with producers Luke Shrestha and Simon Jay through Charlie Walk’s Music Mastery Studios. What can you tell me about the Music Mastery Studio and what it’s been like to work with them?
Those guys are the best. I love those guys. Working with Music Mastery…I came to them with YouTube tracks and just songs I had ideas for and stuff I wrote in the past. Charlie gave me a rundown and introduced me to Lisa, who’s part of Music Mastery, and all of these other people. They were like “We can get you producers. We can help you out.” Music Mastery itself is just a family and whole world that will help you with connections and help you meet people in the industry to collaborate with and stuff. That’s how I met Luke and Simon. Our first song was “I Don’t Know” and as soon as we heard the final version, I was like “So, yeah. We’re gonna write 20,000 more songs. I’l be in the studio in 3 weeks. Can’t wait to see you guys.” We all just bonded and now we’re a whole team.
You recently released your new single “Fatal Attraction”. What can you tell me about the single and the experience that inspired it?
I, going off of “See you in 3 weeks”, went to the studio and for the first time I came into the studio with nothing. I was like “Let’s see what we can come up with and start from scratch.” They sent me the beat, but I definitely wanted to change a lot of things with it, just so it was more me. We were just talking and sharing stories and just seeing what we could come up with and what we could use. I ended up telling this story from their 4th of July party a couple of years ago. Basically, I was just alone at the 4th of July party. My friends were off somewhere else and I started hanging out with this woman who was so cool! She was so cool and did whatever she wanted and was a boss. She was twice my age and we were just hanging out and having a good time. So we kind of went off of that as the theme of the song and were like “Hey, that’s actually a really cool thing.” We needed up using the whole boss, empowering, doing whatever you want feeling. I think it was Simon who said, “Yeah. It’s almost like a fatal attraction” and I go “Yep! That’s the title and now we’re going to finish “Fatal Attraction” and record it right now.” And then they were laughing, like “Wait. Let’s do it.” That’s how it all came together.
You have said that “Fatal Attraction” sounds more like your voice and the songs you have coming out this year. In what ways do feel that song reflects your voice and how would you describe the sonic direction of your upcoming music and what people can expect from your new songs?
With “Fatal Attraction”, I think it’s more my voice in the way that it shows off my range that goes from low to high to belting to…I don’t even know what I’m doing in the song. I think that it gets people to hear my range and what I can do with my voice, as well as keeping this dark pop side that I’m trying to pursue with the upcoming songs. There are some upbeat and almost less dark pop songs, but you can still see them as Rudy Touzet rather than any other song on Spotify.
You now live in LA, so what can you tell me about the transition in moving from Miami to LA to focus on your music? Did you have any preconceived notions about what LA would be like and what has it been like for you to live there?
Well, I moved to California for school. I go to Chapman in Orange County. But, most of the time I am in LA. I didn’t have any expectations, but just knew it was a place I needed to go if I wanted to do music. It’s a place where I can meet people and network and collaborate. It’s definitely different from Miami, just because I feel like in Miami everything is so fast-paced and stuff, with everything when it comes to the people and the traffic and the music. I feel like here, it is more relaxed and I can focus and slow things down. I used to be very fast-paced and now I overthink everything and want to perfect everything when it comes to music. I think that being here has really helped that and helped to perfect me as an artist and as a person and the art that I am trying to pursue.
You’ve done a couple of behind-the-scenes videos, one for “Contigo” on TikTok and one for “Take It As A Win“. What led you to want to do behind-the-scenes videos and do you plan to do more going forward?
Yeah. We actually have a lot of footage that we need to edit and put together. I originally was just taking those videos for me. I always go back to my camera role and scroll up sadly and see the terrible pictures I decided to take! At the same time, I scroll and see these videos and it’s almost like journaling. I feel like I am back in that same moment, especially with the “Contigo” behind-the-scenes. I remember just guessing what note I’m going to do for the ad lib and all that, so it’s fun to just look at. I wasn’t expecting to post it, but felt like if people liked the song they should be able to take a look at what we were actually doing to create that song. I feel like that’s why. I started doing more of that and there’s more coming the are similar to that.
What’s next for you? What are your hopes going forward, post-pandemic?
I would love to perform not on a screen (laughs). I mean, I do have a lot of music coming in these upcoming months. I’d love to just be able to sing to someone face-to-face and see their reaction and what they think of the song and be able to do all of the different things they don’t hear in the song live. Just having that interaction.