Slush Puppy wants his edgy hyperpop to inspire you to “break out of yourself”
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Producer/songwriter Slush Puppy knows that he can do just about anything musically — and with that confidence, he plans to do just that. “My music is manic, all over the place, and allows people to enter into my life,” Slush says. “I make whatever the fuck I want. I play every instrument, I record, and I produce. I’ll write a ballad, love song, or a fucking screamo song — I want to do it all. The genre is just myself.”
While these can be read as bold claims, the 21-year-old certainly has the recorded output and musical knowledge to back them up. In the last three years alone, Slush Puppy has experienced viral success with the release of a string of versatile singles that range from industrial-trap, indie-pop, and throwback hip-hop. His artistic range can be jarring upon first listen, as delicate love songs such as “Juliette” may seem like they contrast with the heavy tones of his 2021 breakout, viral success “EAT SPIT!” But once you realize Slush Puppy is more of a producer virtuoso who follows vibe and feeling over genre, it all makes sense.
The artist born Sam Catelano was exposed to music from a young age, growing up in a laid-back environment of San Diego, California. “It was very beachy musically there, and everyone always seemed to have a guitar around,” Slush says. He, too, picked up guitar, and by the time he was in middle school, he downloaded his first recording software and began piecing together songs. “It was just for fun, but it soon became my only hobby when I was in school.”
Learning production was a game changer for Slush, as it would eventually open doors for him to not only create his own music, but produce for a variety of artists — ranging from Phem, Royal & The Serpent, and DeathbyRomy. He says, “Whenever I produce, I don’t know where it’s going to go. I just trust my instincts and don’t psychoanalyze them too much. I don’t want to chase random hits, I just want to have fun and throw sounds together.”
Collaboration has proven to be extremely beneficial for Slush and some of his favorite sessions so far have been with Royal & The Serpent, the rising alternative artist who's featured on his song “EAT SPIT!,” which blew up on TikTok. The aggressive track of booming 808s and dark subject matter came from a place of zero expectations, with Slush admitting, “I was just at home and made this weird hyperpop, glitchy beat, which I never did before.”
“I actually didn’t think [the song] would ever come out," he explains. "[Royal] posted it all over TikTok, and then it randomly got thousands of comments and likes. Kids started getting tattoos of it, and it brought out this edgy thrill to this community behind my music.”
The success of “EAT SPIT” taught Slush a valuable lesson. He says, “If I’m here on Earth to make music, I’m just going to do it and not worry about anything else.” Slush, who describes his early material as “sweet boy indie stuff,” is now more focused on putting out something that people can not only rage to, but also find solace in. “No one is a perfectly happy person. Everyone has their shit, problems, issues, and anxieties. If I’m sad or going through things, I want to make some hard-ass shit that makes you want to break out of yourself,” he says. With Slush’s recent singles, like 2022's “NIGHTMARE!” and “Billboard,” which just dropped, it appears that the young artist is well on his way to venturing into darker sonic territory.
After expanding his sound and exclusively releasing singles, now Slush has his sights set on releasing an album. “It’s going to start with me continuing to put out songs one by one to help me find myself. With an album, it takes time and I want to make sure it’s not just me throwing a bunch of songs together. Maybe the album will reflect on the time period that I’m in, or maybe it won't.” Slush Puppy is undecided, but it doesn’t bother him in the least bit. With his confidence to explore whatever genre suits him and inspires a sense of relief, it seems as though he's just getting started.