Arty – Houston

Featured Artist: Arty

Date: Apr 21, 2017

Time: 9:00 pm - 2:00 am

Age: 18 +

Venue: Stereo Live Houston
6400 Richmond Avenue Houston, TX 77057

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Nightculture Presents

  • Arty

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Stock Symbol: NGHT


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. He’™s issued three-dozen tracks, not counting remixes (there’™s three-dozen more of those, including Zedd’™s ‘œSpectrum’ and OneRepublic’™s ‘œI Lived’) 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. He’™s grabbed the ears of his producing heroes Above & Beyond (who released Arty’™s 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 Rotella’™s new Insomniac Records ‘” a partnership with Interscope Records. Insomniac is Rotella’™s 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 pop’™s top songwriters, Toby Gad (Beyoncé, Fergie), on Arty’™s singles ‘œUp All Night’ (featuring Angel Taylor) and ‘œStronger’ (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. ‘œI saw the transition,’ he says. ‘œThe beginning of the ‘™90s 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.’

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 he’™d become a professional concert pianist. Besides, he was hooked on video games and American TV. ‘œGames helped me learn English,’ he recalls. ‘œI’™d been playing them in English, and it’™s necessary to listen to the voices to understand the story of the game.’ 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 weren’™t for music, he’™d probably have been a video game designer and developer.

Arty picked up on electronic music the way many people did in the ‘™90s ‘” during the late-decade ‘œelectronica’ surge. ‘œIt was the Prodigy album, the Chemical Brothers album, the Crystal Method ‘” that was my first dance music,’ 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 Arty’™s embryonic tracks, however new-fashioned, had their hearts in older forms. ‘œIf you ask other DJs where they start a track from, it’™d be kick and bass, but for me it’™s always piano melody,’ he says. ‘œMost of my ideas are not dance. You can convert it to dance music, or you can just keep it as a piano composition. There’™s not a big difference.’

Along with making music, Arty decided to spin it as well. At 18, he started spinning at a DJ café, an experience that taught him how to work a crowd and gauge their reaction. ‘œI’™d been thinking of myself as a producer first,’ 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 didn’™t 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 Trance’™s 500th-episode tour, put together by the radio show/podcast’™s host, trance kingpin Armin Van Buuren. ‘œI was really nervous,’ he admits. ‘œIt was streaming in video and audio and the whole trance world was watching. But it was a really good experience.’

The crowd was prepared: 2011 was the year Arty landed. ‘œI finally realized what kind of music I wanted to release, and where I wanted to release it,’ he says. Two labels in particular beckoned: ‘œI’™m 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.’ Ajunjabeats, run by Above & Beyond ‘” who played the same A State of Trance 500 bill as Arty ‘” scooped up ‘œRush’ in 2010, the first of several anthems he’™d issue on the label, while Axtone, run by Axwell, grabbed ‘œTrio,’ with Matisse & Sadko, in 2011.

Both Above & Beyond and Axwell rank as Arty’™s key production and DJ inspirations. The third of the Russian’™s 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. ‘œI’™ve been a huge fan of his music since 2003, when he released ‘˜Call on Me,’™ the record he hates the most,’ says Arty. ‘œIt’™s the record I love the most. That has been the hymn for me for the last ten years.’ That bonhomie extended backstage as well. ‘œEverybody was doing new collaborations and giving each other tracks for their new labels,’ says Arty. ‘œIt was a really creative space. I made a bunch of friends: Eric Prydz, the Showtek guys, Porter Robinson, Madeon, and Wolfgang Gartner.’

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. He’™s done email collaborations in the past, and prefers these face-to-face situations: ‘œIt’™s way easier to be in a studio,’ he says. It’™s a collaborative, creative process when you’™re doing something together.’

As for working with Toby Gad on both ‘œUp All Night’ and this year’™s hit ‘œStronger,’ Arty says he was not deliberately trying to do a pop record. ‘œI was just trying to do good songs. Getting together with a songwriter, you’™re just trying to get a good soulful feeling.’ He’™s worked with other songwriters, but Arty is sworn to secrecy about them for now.

He will say that the album sounds really different, citing Avicii’™s True and Nero’™s Welcome Reality as his models for full-length cohesion and variety. ‘œThere’™s a lot of experimental tracks; a lot of cool French house without any voice ‘” more tech-house and French house united together,’ he says. ‘œThere 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. I’™m trying to have as much diversity as possible. There’™s a story that goes through every track, and every track makes sense on the album. People have been asking me since 2011 if I’™m going to release an album or not. I always have the same response: ‘˜We’™re not ready for that.’™ 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 wouldn’™t expect.’

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