The first time I stumbled upon Armond "Unlike Pluto" Arabshahi's music, I was pleasantly surprised, as he has his own touch and gives magic to all his productions. His talent and capacity to create his own worlds through music is amazing! Born in Atlanta, Armond is definitely becoming of one of my favorite artists on the American electronic scene. His style of music combines aspects of dubstep and house music, while feeding energy and power to his personal production. If we have to describe the result of that surprising combination it will would likely best be described as new electro dubhouse. I thought an interview would provide the perfect opportunity to gain more insight into the world of producer Unlike Pluto.
EARMILK: Could you introduce yourself to EARMILK readers?
UNLIKE PLUTO: Hey EARMILK! My name is Unlike Pluto, but my parents call me Armond Arabshahi. I am a 20 year-old producer born and raised in Atlanta where I am currently studying Biology at Emory University. I’ve been splitting my time between school and music which can be a crazy balancing act, but I thrive off of stress, lack of sleep and massive amounts of energy drinks. Music has always been a huge presence in my life and I plan on keeping it that way.
EM: What are your influences into your music production?
UP: My earliest influences came from various forms of rock. I played guitar in several hardcore/punk/screamo bands in high school – part of the whole post-hardcore scene. I started noticing these rock artists integrating electronic sounds and methods into their compositions and production. It was something totally new to me and for lack of a better phrase… it blew my mind! I guess you could say I formed an obsession, so I started experimenting with these new sounds on my own. Eventually it led me to Unlike Pluto.
EM: We can find Indian and spice vibes into your music, what could you say about that? Does it come from your origins?
UP: I'm actually Persian! Yes, when I was growing up my parents listened to Persian music, so I guess you can say that some of it rubbed off on me. I also learned a few Persian instruments (setar & Tombak) growing up, which shaped how I play other instruments (guitar/piano/synth).
EM: Do you feel more comfortable as DJ or as a music producer? What is your set up for DJing and for your production? What is your working method?
UP: My comfort zone is definitely in music production. I’ve never thought of myself as a performer, so DJing in front of a crowd of people is something new and exciting for me. For DJing, I use Abelton Live with NI Maschine for triggering loops, one shots and carrying out simple fading effects. Ableton Live is also my go-to for production. I like to set it up with my favorite plugins – Gladiator, Sylenth, Massive, Operator and whatever else I can get my hands on. My working method… well it depends. You never know when that random slap of inspiration is gonna land across your face. But I do almost always start at the piano or guitar. My introduction into the world of music was playing these instruments, so they are an integral part of my production process. Once I’ve settled on a solid chord progression, I dive into the nit-picking, making parts, and sound design until the track is finished.
EM: Any releases that are forthcoming that you're really excited about?
Do you have any upcoming project for the next days, any new collaboration?
UP: I actually just released my first EP, Poetic Jargon, this month! I’ve been psyched to see how people respond to it. I’m always working on new material and aim to have another EP for release by late summer. I’m especially excited for this second EP because I think the tracks will be a more solid reflection of me as a producer. After working on Poetic Jargon, I feel more grounded in the musical direction I want to pursue so I think the second EP will showcase that. I often collaborate with my childhood friend and incredible vocalist, Vermin. We work very similarly, so creating music with him is effortless and fun.
EM: Any tour /date?
UP: Just playing locally at different venues around Atlanta for right now. But I definitely have plans for a tour sometime in the near future. All my show dates are posted on facebook.com/unlikepluto.
EM: What do you think of the actual electronic scene?
UP: The EDM scene continues to surprise me on a daily basis. It is always evolving and morphing into something completely new which is fascinating and attractive. I think the main reason why so many people have become infatuated with the EDM scene is because of the wildly diverse group of artists that make up the genre. All of these artists have completely different influences, stories and inspirations and come from completely different backgrounds. The amalgamation of these elements breeds a type of creativity that defines the electronic scene – it is unprecedented, innovative and JUST DOWNRIGHT AWESOME!!
EM: Do you have any parting words for your fans and future fans you would like to share?
UP: I would like to say it means the universe to me to have you enjoy my music! I do what I do only for you and I can’t thank you enough for that incredible gift. Keep head bobbin’, keep dancin’, keep livin’.
We thank Armond for sharing some insight with EARMILK and providing us with an exclusive track for free! Armond gave us the distinguished pleasure of unveiling his new track which is a very solid Euro electro dance record featuring vocals by Vermin.
Moreover the ever-generous Armond decided to share with us his first EP, Poetic Jargon. Stream the EP below and follow the link below to download the EP for free.