Arthur Galestian Interviews DJ/Producer Arty (DJ Mag Top 100 #28)
Saturday, September 22, 2012
[Condensed Audio Interview: Jan. 2013 Podcast]
Arthur Galestian: Ladies and gentlemen, my name’s Arthur Galestian, I’m here backstage with the one and only Arty! How’s it goin’, Arty?
Arty: Pretty good, man. Pretty good. I’m really happy that we got to this place at the right time because there was a lot of traffic on the road on the way to San Bernardino. You know how it is when it’s Beyond Wonderland, when it’s Nocturnal, there’s always crazy people driving to this area. Yeah, but we’re on time, so I’m pretty happy.
AG: It’s always a good thing when you know you have more than enough time to get on stage.
Arty: Yeah, there’s a reason why we left the hotel four hours before the set.
AG: Now, this isn’t the first time you’ve played for Insomniac. You were over at EDC over the summer.
Arty: I love these guys. They gave me a lot, I gave them a lot. Festivals like Beyond Wonderland – it’s crazy, it’s massive. EDC was just off the hook! Really looking forward to Nocturnal tonight. It’s just going and going and going and it’s got cool people, cool hospitality, it’s a cool organization… So, really happy to work with them. We also had a show with Eric Prydz at Palladium like in July, and we had a show at Exchange LA and everything was just awesome, so I’m really happy to work with Insomniac at the moment.
AG: Now, you’ve helped pioneered this new sound, which is like a hybrid of trance and house. So what would you say sparked the beginning of that sound, how did you come upon it?
Arty: It’s not new for me, because I did it from the beginning of my career. I never played pure trance music. I never was a really “trancey” guy. I really like all of these things happening in trance tracks with the beautiful melodies, arpeggios, with these beautiful emotions. Trance has this really special feeling, like it’s really hard to explain what it is. But, it has it. The thing is that I really like trance music, but at the same time I really like the vibe of house music. So, when you mix house and trance music, you get the best parts of different styles. And it’s not only about house and trance music, I like to play with the genres to see the reaction of people, to see what they like more, what they like less, and to have these tracks – these really special tracks – that will be bangers on the dance floor, but at the same time, the people get this journey through emotions, so I really like it.
AG: How do you gauge what people like at the moment? When you’re sitting down in the studio to make a track, how do you decide if this is something people will feel on the dance floor?
Arty: Well, I’m thinking about how it’s supposed to work on the dance floor, but not like too crazy, not like making crazy electro stuff to make people move. No, I’m not that guy. Even right now when electro music is taking over, every track has these saw basslines in them. But, I’m trying to be a different guy. I’m still working on more emotional tracks that bring in some story, not just tracks for dancing. It’s more about thinking in the breakdown or something like that. Like my last track, “When I See You,” it took me ages to finish it. I actually just signed this to Seb Ingrosso’s label, Refune. It’s going to come out in October. So I made the first version in May, and suddenly a few weeks ago, I decided to get back to this track because I wasn’t 100% happy with it. I rebuilt everything in the track, and I worked for ages on the track, and right now I’m really happy with it. I played it last night at Pacha, played it at Dayglow Festival, and I’m really looking forward to playing it tonight.
AG: You have an incredible tune also with BT and Nadia Ali called “Must Be The Love.” Tell us a little bit about your experience working with BT and Nadia.
Arty: First of all, it’s pretty surprising for me to see that this track is doing really well so far in the Beatport charts. Right now, it’s top 20 in general I suppose, number one in the trance charts in two days after it was released, it’s crazy. I actually got the message from BT like, “Let’s work on the track, I have a beautiful idea,” and he sent me the project and the MP3 file with the Nadia Ali voice—a beautiful voice, from the first hook I just loved it. There was an arrangement, but I totally rebuilt it, made a new song, made a new harmony, made a new melody, and then I sent it to BT and he started to do all of his crazy stuff, because he’s like really into engineering and sound engineering. So it was a really, really good experience. But it was not like “We’re have a potential trance hit,” or something like that. No, we were just making something different. It’s pretty different. I don’t know what people are thinking on the side, but for me this is actually a pure progressive track—a little bit of trance, a little bit of progressive. It’s like some sort of music from 2007, 2008, or 2006, I don’t know. It’s just pretty cool, I really like it. It’s not usual stuff for nowadays. It’s not a usual track for trance music. And it’s just going well. I’m really happy with it. I just feel really honored to work with BT. First of all, he’s an awesome guy. Second, he’s a legend of electronic music—a true legend—because he achieved a lot of things not just with making tracks, but making stuff like hardware gear. And I finally worked with Nadia Ali, she was one of the best vocalists for me in the trance scene back in the day. I listened to all these tracks like “Rapture” so it was a big honor for me and I’m really happy with the result.
AG: You’ve no doubt realized a lot of success, especially being one of the youngest in the scene. What words of advice would you have to give to other DJs and producers who are trying to follow in your footsteps?
Arty: Just follow your dream, actually. For me, it was like that. I was born in a small city somewhere in Russia. It was not like people gave me an opportunity to achieve these goals, I just wanted to make it by myself. So I started making music and I had these goals, like these highlights, like “your track is supposed to sound like that track, if you can’t get that quality.” It was a good achievement for me to get the sound from that track to be on the same level. I’m still not totally happy with my sound, but I’m trying to work really hard on it. Working hard is the most important thing, too. I remember myself, back in the day, some two years ago for example. I’d spend twelve hours straight per day on the computer, it was crazy, and it was a great experience, because I made all these tracks. Right now, I’m traveling a lot so the DJing has become part of the musical career, so you need to make intentions for DJing, you need to make intentions for the music. You still need to be that guy who’s working twelve hours per day. It’s becoming harder and harder, but this is the thing about music, you can’t be on the same page every day, you need to move forward.
AG: When would you say the point was when you decided, “This is more than just a hobby, I want to do more with this.”
Arty: It came to me when I was in university, on my second course. I was in the mechanical/mathematical faculty. And I just suddenly realized that mathematics is really not the thing that I want to do in my life, and the music is truly a passion, because I was in musical school for piano lessons for seven years. It was a crazy experience, and I realized it when I was in university, so I just decided to put everything into music.
AG: Awesome. Is there anything else you’d like to tell our listeners?
Arty: Not so much, I told a lot! [laughs]
AG: So where can we find you online?
AG: Arty, thank you so much! It was a pleasure.
Arty: Thanks, have a good time!