Artyom Stolyarov, otherwise known as 24-year-old Russian DJ/producer Arty, has been in the limelight more than usual in recent weeks due to his signing to Insomniac Records. The Interscope imprint is an offshoot of the electronic music scene’s #1 “experience creators,” Insomniac Events, and promises to bring along with it a slew of up-and-coming talent via its EDC artists, the Discovery Project platform, and Interscope’s far-reaching influence in the music industry.
Being the first artist signed to the label, Arty has become somewhat of a test case for Insomniac’s newest arm, but the young prodigy seems to have no qualms about his decision. We spoke with him at EDMbiz about his experiences with Insomniac Records thus far–take a peek below at what he had to say.
How did you first link up with Insomniac Records?
There was no Interscope/Insomniac deal when I started to make the album. I was just making an album for myself to see what sort of steps I could take in my career. In September, I moved to LA and started collecting ideas, and I began recording in Interscope’s studio in October. There were 50-60 writing sessions in total. By the time my album was almost done, the Insomniac deal popped up, and we were all very excited about it. I can’t think of a better place for me to be.
When the Insomniac deal first came to the table, was it an obvious move for you?
It wasn’t immediately obvious. It was my first album and I wanted to make sure I found the right place for it. It’s not about the money–it’s about working with people who take your music seriously. That’s really what I was looking for. I’ve known Pasquale for a while, and I know how passionate he is, and this made me pretty comfortable with the decision. What he did with EDC this year is incredible. If he takes the record label with the same level of seriousness, we are going to do very well.
Did you work with a lot of session musicians during your time in the studio?
We did a lot of sessions with very diverse musicians who had many different ideas about what kind of music they could create with me. It’s important to have synergy with the people you’re working with, even if you come from two different worlds or genres. The result is not predictable, so it can go badly, but most of the time the outcome was fantastic. These experiences made me 100% certain of the direction of the album now.
Tell us about one of your favorite studio sessions that was involved in creation of your album.
The very last studio session, I had an idea and some beats, and this songwriter and singer heard it and the songwriter took the guitar and started playing random melodies and suggesting harmonies. In the next few hours we had finished the majority of the track. It’s one of those songs that I think 99% of the world can relate to.
What was the direction you wanted to go with this album sonically?
It’s not straightforward–I definitely had a vision for the album, though. The ideas I had before had very specific melodies and harmonies, which gave some direction. It just matters what kind of sense you bring to the lyrics and what kind of flavor the singer has. I was really enjoying working with soul artists–I’ve liked soul music since I was young. I didn’t want to make that the whole album, though. I did some indie-flavored tracks as well with guitars. The album still sounds like one piece, though, and still sounds like a story.
How has living in LA influenced your creative process?
In the beginning, I wasn’t a huge fan of LA because I didn’t know anything about the city and it was hard to find the right place to fit in. I love it now, though. Still, I want to get back to Russia at some point soon, because when you’re in LA it’s hard to put a lot work in on the production side. I have to be focused for 12 or more hours in a day to be able to finish all the production on a track. I’m really picky about details. Four years ago it would take me one day to finish a track. Now it takes one to two weeks. I’m much less distracted if I’m at home in Russia.
Arty’s single Up All Night is out now on Insomniac Records. Pick it up here.