Between signing to Big Beat Records and headlining a tour, the DJ and producer has a lot to be grateful for.
Producers used to be the ones in the background. But nowadays, they are become as big as the singers who contribute features on their tracks. Antonio Cuna, better known to his fans as Sweater Beats, is just one of those people who knows how to command the soundboard but is also down to perform it all onstage.
"When Soundcloud was popping off and bedroom producers were putting their instrumentals online, they were making names for themselves for their intstrumentals," he told Myspace. "Then they started having singers and features on them, but it was still their song. I think these days we're treating producers as creators, as opposed to to just people who are providing music for artists. We're artists ourselves. I think it's amazing. I think the first time I realized that the game was changing was Cashmere Cat with Ludacris, [Jeremih and Wiz Khalifa], the "Party Girls" song. That was a game changer."
Hailing from Maryland, the now New York resident took his love of music, from R&B to rock, and started making beats and soon full musical projects including 2014's Cloud City EP and his latest collaboration with MAX, "Did You Wrong."
"I've been sitting on this song for five months or so, and I showed it to Big Beat," he explained. "I showed it to A&R, and [they] linked me with MAX. We set up a day to finish the song in New York, and everything just clicked with him. He's a beautiful human being. Our vibes interconnected. It was a match made in heaven."
With years of composing, mixing and remixing sounds, Sweater Beats not only signed with Big Beat Records but also hopped on his debut headlining tour, For the Cold Tour, where he traveled around the US, including areas he never thought would be into his sonic style.
"Tour's been great," he said. "We've been traveling to places I've never been before. Driving through different highways, it's just been beautiful. Just meeting fans, one-on-one, in these places where I didn't know I had any pull is just super heartwarming."
Closing out 2016, Sweater Beats is grateful for the past year and what he's accomplished.
"It's really surreal," he said. "I just take it day by day. I work my hardest. I make the best music I can. No slacking off. I've always dreamed about this since I was in middle school playing in bands and see my favorite bands play these venues. Then after the show, they'd be hanging out by their tour bus or tour van. And I thought, 'I want to do that one day. I want to go on tour with my buddies and see the world.' And I get to do now. It's amazing."
Aside from being thankful, he also listed his highlights and low times this year.
Best Moment of 2016: Signing with Big Beat!
2016 Moment You'd Rather Forget: The election.
Best Gig You Played of 2016: For The Cold Tour stop in [Washington,] DC because my parents were there.
2016 Show You Wish You Could Do Over: San Francisco stop of tour because first show nerves got to me.
Best Concert You Saw in 2016: Anderson Paak at Coachella.
Most Awkward Show You Watched in 2016: Can't think of anyone more awkward than me.
Album on High Rotation in 2016: James Blake - The Colour in Anything
2016 LP You'd Like a Refund For: I stream all my music.
2016 Movie You'd Watch Over and Over: Avengers Civil War and I already did.
2016 Movie You Wish You Waited for on Netflix: X Men Apocalypse.
TV Show You Binged on While on The Road This Year: The Office. Forever and always.
TV Show You Wouldn't Mind Seeing Cancelled Next Year: Big Bang Theory.
Oddest Touring Experience of 2016: A fan screaming at me to play 311.
Go-to Meal on the Road: Panera Bread.
EDM Artist Who Should Be on Our 2017 Playlist: Bearson, if he's not already.
Best Advice You Got in 2016: Look at your track mixdowns like a sphere.
Plans for 2017: New EP. More New Music. More Shows.
One non-music related thing on your wish list: A juicer.
2017 New Year's Resolution: Wear more sweaters.
See your favorite artists' best and worsts of the year by visiting our 20 Questions page.