Making Friends With is our series that sees us get to know DJs in some of their favourite hangouts
We managed to collar trance and big room magic man Arty right before his first headline set in London this year. Fresh from releasing his first album, Glorious, the 26 year old met us at Erebuni, a Russian restaurant in central London. Naturally, shots were had, hastily followed by snacks that helped soak up the alcohol that funnily enough, tasted nothing like alcohol.
So you’re back in London. When was the last time you were here?
It was Creamfields, last summer, such a sick show. English festivals stay pretty English, it’s quite unique. There’s something specific about it that you can’t see in other festivals, although they may be a bit harsh in terms of organisation! But the vibe is so UK. English people are known throughout Europe. If you go to Ibiza, it’s 60% English people.
How do you like Ibiza?
I guess Ushuaia is one of my favourite places to play because the whole show starts at 5 or 6 and the vibe only gets better and better. People get more into the music every hour; you can feel it. It’s sick production, nicely laid out, it’s a good place to go. I played there with Avicii and Armin Van Buuren last year and loved it.
Martin Garrix had a residency there this summer. Would you be up for that?
When I’m as big as Martin Garrix I’d like to be able to do that! It’s a good goal.
You guys seem to work together a lot.
Yeah, I was just visiting him in Amsterdam actually. He has a new place there, I’ve had quite a week there…
Are you mainly friends, or work associates?
Mainly friends. We’re working on music, but it’s still in the development stage. I can’t really say anything about it, there’s a few ideas being thrown back and forth. He’s working on his album so he’s super busy, but we’ll see.
Will it be one track? Full EP? Jack Ü situation?
Maybe, maybe not.
What do you think of the idea of two really big DJs pairing up to make a project like that?
I think Jack Ü is an amazing example of a good experiment. They put out that track featuring Justin Bieber, at a time when his profile to a dance music fan was way different to how it is now. His new album is an amazing piece of music, it’s so well produced. There’s so many great catchy tracks- it’s really good music.
Skrillex is probably the most talented musician within the dance music industry. I’m pretty sure about that. He’s super diverse; from dubstep to trap to some cool chill out stuff, to one of the biggest albums of last year. It says it all. There’s nothing he can’t do.
p>Being Skrillex must be a massive responsibility.
For sure. He’s embracing himself, and embracing the boundaries of the music industry. Not that many people do that. You get one style that pops up, and then people are all over it, copying it again and again. The whole genre gets stagnated, to the point where people can’t get out. Skrillex has never been stuck in a musical direction for a long period of time, because he’s always trying to do something else.
Let’s drink to Skrillex. We’ve got food now, it looks great, what is it?
This is cucumbers, these are amazing.
Don’t hate me, but it’s like the pickles in McDonalds burgers that people take out.
Yeah, but better. It’s a Russian thing!
How do you say this cabbage in Russian?
It’s super different. I always get shy when people ask me to say stuff in Russian. It’s a super different language, people have to ask you to repeat it again and again.
Do you try and cook Russian food?
No, but what I like to do is order from this good Russian restaurant in LA. It’s in West Hollywood and there’s a delivery service that’ll drop it round, though it takes an hour and a half to arrive.
So this is what we do, take a shot and eat some snacks. That’s the old school Russian way to get wasted.
Do you drink much before a show?
Not really. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s not, though the show’s not really about drinking. The show is about a good crowd, and the people reacting to the music.
What’ve you been playing in your shows recently?
I’ve been playing tracks that I’ve recently finished. With the album I was taken in a different direction with the music. It’s a bit different from the music I used to do in around 2011. As soon as I started work on the album, I was trying to make it super diverse: there’s different styles, but there’s still the artist’s touch to it. That was an important moment for me.
Since I’ve finished the album, I thought man, I really miss making that kind of music. I’ve got a bunch of tracks that I finished recently.
You have to try this food, by the way.
It’s spicy! How do they make this?
You have to remember that Russian winters are pretty cold. For people back in the USSR, you couldn’t just go to the shop and buy stuff. People would keep their agriculture into the winter by preserving it. They would grow it in summertime and keep it in a freezer.
Do you miss living in Russia?
I miss it. My family’s there, and my best friends are there too. LA is a difficult place to find open people. People are there because of the business, so it changes the relationships you have with different people. It’s hard to find people you have a bond with.
I’m lucky, I have those sorts of friends, though I’m out of town and they’re out of town. It’s hard to find time to hang out. Nothing will replace your best friends or parents. My mum gets super emotional if she doesn’t see me on Skype for a week!
Let Art keep you company by revisiting his set from February 12th. Stream it exclusively via Live From The Club.
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Photos by Chris Bethell