After a whirlwind 14 years in the electronic dance music industry, Carnage has announced his retirement at the age of 31.
While his detractors will likely remember him only for his occasionally irascible offstage antics, most will—and should—celebrate Carnage as a pioneering electronic music producer.
Carnage's groundbreaking work in the early 2010s helped usher in a new genre called "festival trap," a thunderous, 808-heavy twist on the saturated electro music that dominated festivals at the time. Buoyed by a thriving SoundCloud community, festival trap quickly became a movement—and Carnage was its vanguard.
Although EDM was his bread and butter, Carnage's brushstroke painted a far more colorful mosaic in the music community. He operated as a prolific hip-hop producer, collaborating with a myriad of the world's top rappers, such as Mac Miller, Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa, G-Eazy, Young Thug and Meek Mill, among many others.
But he was able to creatively pivot with the gravitas of a true neoteric. Despite his early reputation for producing bombastic, unhinged dubstep and hardstyle music, Carnage wasn't afraid to wade into unfamiliar sonic waters. His commitment to artistic growth became more and more steadfast as he got older, releasing sultry dance music with the likes of Elderbrook and The Martinez Brothers, Diplo and Prinze George.
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Carnage, who friends and fans affectionally nicknamed Papi Gordo, recently celebrated his dramatic weight loss of over 100 pounds. His weight was one of a confluence of factors—including the deaths of close friends and collaborators Avicii and Miller—that led him to open up about mental health issues and step away from music for a brief period in 2018.
"I have so much to offer to this world, BUT I need to make sure that I'm 100% once again," he said in a candid statement at the time. "My therapist & doctor are recommending that I take some time off to get my head back in the game."
Carnage has also announced a small farewell tour, “Carnage & Rare Presents: Thank You," with five dates: Los Angeles (5/26), New York (5/28), Texas (5/30) and Australia (4/6 and 11/6).
Carnage released a statement via a press release shared with EDM.com, which you can read in full below.
Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life.
After 14 years, CARNAGE has been put to rest and is officially dead.
As many of you know, I grew up in Guatemala and came to the U.S. as a child who did not speak any English. The descendant of illegal immigrants, my family came to America to pave the way for a better life for me.
It's honestly hard to describe the ups and downs in my life as Carnage over the past 14 years. Today you see all the success and the flash, but what you didn't see was my struggle. Years of grinding trying to turn my dreams into reality, countless nights in the studio, sleeping on friends couches, scraping money together to get by. I was just a kid with a dream and looking back I really do pinch myself.
I started my journey as CARNAGE in 2008 and together, with the help of my loyal fans, have been able to achieve some of my wildest dreams. From working with music icons like Avicii, Drake, Swedish House Mafia, MIGØS, Tiesto, Young Thug, The Martinez Brothers, and Kanye West to selling out clubs, theaters, arenas, stadiums, and festivals around the world, a ll I can say is – THANK YOU – it truly means the world.
ASOC Family, you mean everything to me. I would be nothing without my fans, I can't describe how many of you have touched my soul and changed my life, you are what kept me going these past 14 years. ASOC Family will live on forever. Unfortunately all good things must come to an end, but that doesn’t mean we can’t go out in style.
If CARNAGE is going to die there must be – A Grand Finale.