In the wee hours of the morning of Sunday, Oct. 11 Arty performed to a packed house at Webster Hall in New York City. It was a ceremonious occasion for the 26-year-old Russian producer/DJ, who spent the better part of the last two years working tirelessly on his debut album, Glorious, while simultaneously touring across the world. A performance in NYC to celebrate the release of your debut album is a crowning moment for most artists, and understandably so. It's one that, for Arty, marks the start of the next phase of his blooming career.
While in NYC, Arty stopped by the Complex office to discuss the process behind Glorious and what he gained from the experience. He also detailed his admiration for the Weeknd's new album and shared how he really feels about DJ Mag's Top 100 list. Glorious is available for purchase here.
Glorious is something you’ve been working on for two years. Tell me about what you learned from that experience.
I learned a lot about songwriting, because that was the first time I went to the studio to work with songwriters. The first time I got to the studio it was so awkward. I was trying to explain to them what I’m trying to get but it didn’t really work out 'cause I didn’t know the terms, how you should explain certain things certain ways.
The second time I got to the studio was way easier. You get to the point where you have this instrumental part that you bring to the studio session and you’re working with [the songwriters] and you can add way more sounds with the lyrics, with the melody, with the vocals. It’s been such an educational process. You teach yourself a different perspective of being an artist.
Did you produce the songs first and then bring the guest features in or was that something that you worked on with them from the beginning?
It really depends. I had a lot of ideas that I would bring to the studio sessions but every songwriter is so different. Some would just get the instrumental parts and work on that by themselves in a home studio, that’s like the most comfortable way for them.
Some of the songwriters like doing everything from scratch. It’s like, yeah, I have this amazing melody. They're like, "Nah, I have something better," and they might start playing the piano to try to find what kind of songs we’re gonna write, what kind of mood it’s gonna be. Some of them were down for pretty much everything. The approach of every songwriter is totally different, so you have to fit yourself in every situation to make sure that every studio session has something worth it.
How did you choose the guests that were featured on the album?
Label took care of all that. I would go to the studio and see how it works, like if you find a synergy between both of you, if you like the same kind of harmonies and the same kind of melodies, or have some personal things in common as well, you have a good time.
Sometimes it didn’t work out completely. Some of the times, because you know, felt maybe tired, they felt not in the best shape, the whole thing just didn’t work out, but it didn’t happen that much like that. We did the best we could do.
You’ve mentioned before that you recorded between 35-40 songs during the process of the whole album. Do you have any plans to release those other songs later?
No. I might find a solution to use them in some ways but I don’t think that they would fit on this album, I’m not sure they’re gonna fit on the next one. I’m pretty sure on the next album I’m gonna discover myself one more time and go on to some other different direction.
What would you say is the one thing you want fans to take away from Glorious?
I want to bring some emotions, that’s for sure, so they can feel something. Doesn’t matter what kind of feeling it’s gonna be as long as you bring some sort of feelings to the people who listen to the album. That’s all that matters. It means that something clicked when they were listening to the tracks, it doesn’t matter how many tracks they clicked with but if it’s only one track and it still worked like that, it’s definitely worth it.
[The Weeknd] would definitely be the person I would work with.
Are there any artists you’d be interested in working with?
Yeah, the Weeknd. Oh my god, his album is amazing.
What’s your favorite track off that?
"As You Are." There are so many tracks that I like, but I’d say "As You Are" and "Prisoner." "Prisoner" with Lana Del Rey is amazing. He would definitely be the person I would work with. His album is not really like hip-hop or rap, it’s definitely going towards the pop direction. I don’t care about that, I just enjoy the music by itself.
Would you ever consider doing a collab project with Mat Zo? You guys have great chemistry together.
Yeah, I mean it depends on him mostly. He’s going through some life situations, he’s a little bit distance from the people. I haven’t spoken to him in a while, but I would definitely get back to the studio and work on something because he’s a really really talented person.
I would consider him as like one of the most talented producers nowadays, especially song design, he’s just insane. He knows all the FM synthesizing and stuff like that. When you see how he works in studio, that’s like spaceship education.
You’ve been included on the DJ Mag Top 100 list five consecutive times. How much do you take that into account when measuring your own success?
I don’t care about that.
No. It’s not what actually showcases me as a producer or DJ, let’s put it like that.
I know you’re big into FIFA. What would be the bigger triumph: if your album went No. 1 or if you had a song featured on the FIFA soundtrack?
Can I get both? I always admire the soundtracks on FIFA because they have this approach of getting the tracks that are between cool dance music. On the new FIFA there’s, like, Disclosure tracks and Kygo tracks, so half of those kind of tracks and the other half are really cool indie dance. You discover so many new artists from FIFA.
Since 1998 they’ve been killing it with the soundtracks. When they had Blur "Song 2" on the soundtrack that was mind blowing, that was amazing. It was one of the best soundtracks, that was the point when it started to escalate every year.