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In five short years, whiz kid Arty has broken out with killer tracks, earned the respect of his peers and musical inspirations, and rocked the festival circuit. HeÃ¢ÂÂs issued three-dozen tracks, not counting remixes (thereÃ¢ÂÂs three-dozen more of those, including ZeddÃ¢ÂÂs Ã¢ÂÂSpectrumÃ¢ÂÂ and OneRepublicÃ¢ÂÂs Ã¢ÂÂI LivedÃ¢ÂÂ) from his first releases on the English epic-house label Enhanced Progressive in 2009, to subsequent releases on dance powerhouses Ultra, Big Beat, and Ministry of Sound. HeÃ¢ÂÂs grabbed the ears of his producing heroes Above & Beyond (who released ArtyÃ¢ÂÂs music on their label Ajunjabeats) and Axwell (one-third of Swedish House Mafia, whose label Axtone has also put out several Arty tracks), headlined global festivals and a U.S. tour, and moved to Los Angeles three years ago from his native Russia.
Arty is also the flagship artist of Los Angeles dance-event kingpin Pasquale RotellaÃ¢ÂÂs new Insomniac Records Ã¢ÂÂ a partnership with Interscope Records. Insomniac is RotellaÃ¢ÂÂs umbrella for hugely popular parties such as Electric Daisy Carnival, Nocturnal Wonderland, Beyond Wonderland, all of which Arty has played. The deal with Insomniac and Interscope has led to a number of collaborations with one of popÃ¢ÂÂs top songwriters, Toby Gad (BeyoncÃÂ©, Fergie), on ArtyÃ¢ÂÂs singles Ã¢ÂÂUp All NightÃ¢ÂÂ (featuring Angel Taylor) and Ã¢ÂÂStrongerÃ¢ÂÂ (featuring Ray Dalton). And there is more to come. Arty is currently working on his debut full-length album, due later this year.
So who is Arty? He was born Artem Stoliarov in Engels, Saratov Oblast, Russia, in 1989. It was still the Soviet Union then; the nation retook its earlier name when Arty was a child. Ã¢ÂÂI saw the transition,Ã¢ÂÂ he says. Ã¢ÂÂThe beginning of the Ã¢ÂÂ90s to the early 2000s was a long and harsh period of time. It was not easy for my family. They struggled a lot, but we were a strong unit. Family bonds are the most important thing in my life.Ã¢ÂÂ
At age eight, Arty wanted to be a professional footballer (soccer player), but his grandmother encouraged him to go to music school, which he graduated from at age 14. He considered attending a prestigious music college, but decided against it when he realized it was unlikely heÃ¢ÂÂd become a professional concert pianist. Besides, he was hooked on video games and American TV. Ã¢ÂÂGames helped me learn English,Ã¢ÂÂ he recalls. Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂd been playing them in English, and itÃ¢ÂÂs necessary to listen to the voices to understand the story of the game.Ã¢ÂÂ The sequencers Arty was beginning to play around with to make his earliest electronic music also required working English to follow their instructions. He studied electronics at a Russian university and says that if it werenÃ¢ÂÂt for music, heÃ¢ÂÂd probably have been a video game designer and developer.
Arty picked up on electronic music the way many people did in the Ã¢ÂÂ90s Ã¢ÂÂ during the late-decade Ã¢ÂÂelectronicaÃ¢ÂÂ surge. Ã¢ÂÂIt was the Prodigy album, the Chemical Brothers album, the Crystal Method Ã¢ÂÂ that was my first dance music,Ã¢ÂÂ he says.
Armed with his university degree, Arty got serious about his tracks. In 2009, he began sending demos to labels, which instantly snapped them up. Even ArtyÃ¢ÂÂs embryonic tracks, however new-fashioned, had their hearts in older forms. Ã¢ÂÂIf you ask other DJs where they start a track from, itÃ¢ÂÂd be kick and bass, but for me itÃ¢ÂÂs always piano melody,Ã¢ÂÂ he says. Ã¢ÂÂMost of my ideas are not dance. You can convert it to dance music, or you can just keep it as a piano composition. ThereÃ¢ÂÂs not a big difference.Ã¢ÂÂ
Along with making music, Arty decided to spin it as well. At 18, he started spinning at a DJ cafÃÂ©, an experience that taught him how to work a crowd and gauge their reaction. Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂd been thinking of myself as a producer first,Ã¢ÂÂ he says. His first major event gig took place at a St. Petersburg festival in 2010 for a dancefloor crowd of 5,000. But it didnÃ¢ÂÂt prepare him for what amounted to his public coming-out at Brabanthallen, a convention center in Den Bosch, near Amsterdam, as part of A State of TranceÃ¢ÂÂs 500th-episode tour, put together by the radio show/podcastÃ¢ÂÂs host, trance kingpin Armin Van Buuren. Ã¢ÂÂI was really nervous,Ã¢ÂÂ he admits. Ã¢ÂÂIt was streaming in video and audio and the whole trance world was watching. But it was a really good experience.Ã¢ÂÂ
The crowd was prepared: 2011 was the year Arty landed. Ã¢ÂÂI finally realized what kind of music I wanted to release, and where I wanted to release it,Ã¢ÂÂ he says. Two labels in particular beckoned: Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂm a huge fan of Ajunjabeats and Axtone. Each label is different: Axtone is super-house, Ajunjabeats is more trance. My goal was to release music with them both.Ã¢ÂÂ Ajunjabeats, run by Above & Beyond Ã¢ÂÂ who played the same A State of Trance 500 bill as Arty Ã¢ÂÂ scooped up Ã¢ÂÂRushÃ¢ÂÂ in 2010, the first of several anthems heÃ¢ÂÂd issue on the label, while Axtone, run by Axwell, grabbed Ã¢ÂÂTrio,Ã¢ÂÂ with Matisse & Sadko, in 2011.
Both Above & Beyond and Axwell rank as ArtyÃ¢ÂÂs key production and DJ inspirations. The third of the RussianÃ¢ÂÂs personal triumvirate is Eric Prydz, whom Arty would get to know in 2012 when they shared the stage as part of the second edition of the multi-act electronic tour IDentity Festival in the summer of 2012. Arty got to know Prydz during that period, despite being slightly star-struck. Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂve been a huge fan of his music since 2003, when he released Ã¢ÂÂCall on Me,Ã¢ÂÂ the record he hates the most,Ã¢ÂÂ says Arty. Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs the record I love the most. That has been the hymn for me for the last ten years.Ã¢ÂÂ That bonhomie extended backstage as well. Ã¢ÂÂEverybody was doing new collaborations and giving each other tracks for their new labels,Ã¢ÂÂ says Arty. Ã¢ÂÂIt was a really creative space. I made a bunch of friends: Eric Prydz, the Showtek guys, Porter Robinson, Madeon, and Wolfgang Gartner.Ã¢ÂÂ
At the end of 2012, Arty relocated to L.A., drawn to the hopping electronic-dance scene at all levels and styles. It is also the home of the Interscope Records studio, where Arty has access to a number of songwriters with whom he has been working on songs for his debut album. HeÃ¢ÂÂs done email collaborations in the past, and prefers these face-to-face situations: Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs way easier to be in a studio,Ã¢ÂÂ he says. ItÃ¢ÂÂs a collaborative, creative process when youÃ¢ÂÂre doing something together.Ã¢ÂÂ
As for working with Toby Gad on both Ã¢ÂÂUp All NightÃ¢ÂÂ and this yearÃ¢ÂÂs hit Ã¢ÂÂStronger,Ã¢ÂÂ Arty says he was not deliberately trying to do a pop record. Ã¢ÂÂI was just trying to do good songs. Getting together with a songwriter, youÃ¢ÂÂre just trying to get a good soulful feeling.Ã¢ÂÂ HeÃ¢ÂÂs worked with other songwriters, but Arty is sworn to secrecy about them for now.
He will say that the album sounds really different, citing AviciiÃ¢ÂÂs True and NeroÃ¢ÂÂs Welcome Reality as his models for full-length cohesion and variety. Ã¢ÂÂThereÃ¢ÂÂs a lot of experimental tracks; a lot of cool French house without any voice Ã¢ÂÂ more tech-house and French house united together,Ã¢ÂÂ he says. Ã¢ÂÂThere are 70-80 BPM records, which sounds more like the music for movies. My intro track was a cappella singing for one minute and then it goes into future-bass thing. IÃ¢ÂÂm trying to have as much diversity as possible. ThereÃ¢ÂÂs a story that goes through every track, and every track makes sense on the album. People have been asking me since 2011 if IÃ¢ÂÂm going to release an album or not. I always have the same response: Ã¢ÂÂWeÃ¢ÂÂre not ready for that.Ã¢ÂÂ I want to surprise myself. I want to see where I can take myself. And of course I want to see the reaction of fans when they listen to something they wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt expect.Ã¢ÂÂ