During his time at George Washington University, Karpeh first began to learn music production by making beats for friends and doing remixes. His production style was largely influenced by SoundCloud. On December 14, 2015, he released a remix for Billie Eilish’s song "Ocean Eyes" on SoundCloud and, on November 18, 2016, the remix was included as one of four other official remixes on the Ocean Eyes (The Remixes) EP. On September 22, 2017, he released "Cold War", the first single from his debut EP, Blood Type, which was first released on February 21, 2018, and then re-released on April 13, 2018 with the additional single "Stolen Moments". Cautious Clay's debut live performance took place in Brooklyn at Baby's All Right on March 8, 2018, to a sold-out crowd. On April 30, 2018, Cautious Clay's first official music video for "Cold War" was released on Pitchfork.