At the overflowing TAO Beach held in the famously plush Venetian Hotel, skin and sun shone in ample supply as Russian DJ and producer Arty spun to a feverish Friday crowd. Four years have passed since his first release at the age of 19, Vanilla Sky, which launched a career of successful originals, remixes, and collaborations. In fact, I would say one of my first-loved trance tracks would be his tune "The Wonder", a sweeping journey through expansive chords and infinite space that came out on Anjunabeats in 2010.
Such quality production has continued to this day, most recently with his upcoming release, "Grand Finale", which has been in the works for almost two years. Having premiered as an instrumental version last September on Tiesto's Club Life radio show, a preview of the final vocal version on Arty's Soundcloud racked up over 19,000 plays in just a week. Add to his studio skills an unquestionable knack for DJing, shown at TAO Beach as he took the high-energy crowd on a roller coaster ride, weaving Alesso's "If I Lose Myself" remix and Zedd's "Spectrum" together with infallible classics, such as "Hide And Seek" and "The Reward Is Cheese".
Between his pool-side set and that night's performance at EDC Las Vegas, we got an opportunity to sit down and find out more about the man behind the music. Take a listen to his EDC set below and read on for a look at his rise to fame, future collaborations, and his dream project.
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EARMILK: So, is this your first time in Vegas?
Arty: Not really. It’s my 15th or 16th time. Or 20th, something like that. I’ve played it a lot. I’ve played Marquee. I’ve played LAVO. I played EDC last year. I have experience with Vegas.
EM: How was the energy today?
Arty: Today was the best day show that I’ve had. The people really appreciated what I do. They knew all the tracks, really old tracks, tracks like “Zara”, which is three or four years old, and they still knew that and it was amazing for them to hear the track live. I really appreciate what I had today.
EM: You grew up in Russia. What was the scene is like there?
Arty: Right now it is a pretty sad scene, but so many amazing artists are coming to the states and putting us on the map. But not much is happening there, maybe some festivals in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but those are the only two cities in Russia that can throw big shows for 5,000 people or 10,000 people. The last big shows we had were Swedish House Mafia in Moscow in December and Skrillex came to St. Petersburg and Moscow as well. But it’s not like in America, where when have all these big shows in a month, like in February, March, April, May, you still have all these crazy shows.
EM: If the scene isn’t that great now, was it great before? How did you get into electronic music?
Arty: I don’t know, that’s a pretty good question. When I started making music, and when I took my first big steps, I didn’t know what this scene is about. I was pretty young and nobody wanted to see me in a club because not that many people knew about my music. But when I grew up, I came to the point where Russian clubs can’t book me because of my fee and because I am really busy. It’s happening right now, so I played only two shows this year. I played Dance Plant in St. Petersburg with Axwell. And I played my own show in another city, which is really hard to spell, but that’s going to be the only two shows I played this year and probably the last shows I will play.
EM: What’s the biggest moment of your career?
Arty: I feel that it’s in the future. I’m pretty sure.
EM: You’ve collaborated with a lot of artists like Paul van Dyk and Armin van Buuren. Is there anyone that you’re still looking to work with?
Arty: Yeah, I mean we did a great job, Paul and I. We started to make these two tracks, which came out in 2009, a really long time ago. I’m in the process of collaborating with Mat Zo, the new track is coming up, and also a collaboration with Axwell. That’s probably the collaboration I am really looking forward to.
EM: Is it releasing this year?
Arty: With Axwell? I can’t tell you. It can come out this year, it can come out next year, it can come out in the next five years. Nobody knows because it is Axwell.
EM: What’s the most difficult part of being a DJ at your age?
Arty: Traveling. I mean, it’s not about age. I think the most difficult part for DJs is to travel from airport to airport, hotel to hotel. You can’t complain about the rest of your DJ life because you have a great crowd, you have an amazing time, have your friends around you. The flights sometimes are killing you, but even the flights you can’t complain really because it’s something you need to do to get to the next place. Even though when you are tired, exhausted, and the jetlag is killing you, you’re still having a great time after.
EM: You did an episode of "Together We Are" for EDC New York. Are you going to do anything like that for EDC Las Vegas?
Arty: I believe SiriusXM is recording the set tonight, so it is going to be a live as well.
EM: That’s in eight hours or so. How are you going to prepare?
Arty: I’m going to sleep for a couple of hours, do some mashups, and leave the hotel three to four hours before because we do not want to be stuck in traffic.
It’s the funniest thing: I was in a Skype with Mat Zo and we spoke about EDC and last year he missed his show because he was stuck in traffic. He told me that this time “I’m going to try my best to not miss my shows.” I told him to take a helicopter because he is playing 10:30 to 11:30, which is the worst time to get to EDC.
EM: Where you do you see yourself in five years?
Arty: You know, I got this question one year ago, and I got this question two years ago, and I still can’t answer it. Nobody knows because the scene is changing so fast and your mind is changing so fast as well. One time you want to make a banger, next time you want to make something more light and more emotional, and a third time you just want to make a score for a film.
EM: Do you see yourself composing something for a film?
Arty: That’s my dream, to make a soundtrack for a film. But it’s a big thing and maybe I will get to the point when I can do that, or maybe I won't. But I will do everything that is in my hands to try and do it.
EM: Any words for your fans?
Arty: I just appreciate them. Today, just a few minutes ago when I was up on the stage, there were a lot people who knew my music. That’s what I appreciate, when people come to the show and they are reacting to the music. It reminds you that they didn’t forget about what you did before and, of course, will support what you will do after that.
Photo Credit Ariya Behjat