Following our first interview with ARTY, we had the chance to sit down with him again… six years later. Read on to hear about his favorite places in North America, the return to touring, where he’d take a vacation right now, and upcoming work.
Welcome back to Boston — you’ve been here a few times. Do you ever get to explore when you’re here or is it always in and out?
■ A lot of times; it’s always in and out.
Is there anywhere you’d love to revisit and see more?
■ Specifically in North America, I love Seattle, Portland, Honolulu. I love DC; I have a lot of friends there. New York — I love this city to death. That was my first obsession when I got here to the United States back in, like, 2011. New York was the first place I was living for the first time for two-to-three months.
What was it like arriving in New York? Did it seem totally foreign to you?
■ The first time? I’m from a really small town in Russia. I was going to school and then university and I never really left my hometown. It’s just locals and I didn’t really go to the bigger cities in my country. I thought that I had some knowledge of the English language but I did not. I was so amazed. By the time I was in the cab and we were driving through parts of Manhattan, I was like, “wow.” I fell in love with the city.
It’s an incredible place.
■ It’s very special. And now Brooklyn is one of my favorite areas.
Where are you coming from today?
■ LA — that’s where I live and that’s where I’m going back after.
How long have you been living there?
■ Since 2013. During the pandemic, I went home to see my family and spend time with them.
I don’t really want to talk about the pandemic but I do have to ask… what was your first show back? How did it feel? Was it like you’ve been out of performing for a while or did you snap right back into it?
■ My first show back was in Moscow in May last year then we did a mini tour in the US in July and that was just amazing. It was very hard for me to get back on the tour. It was way easier to get into pandemic mode than to get out of pandemic mode because I got used to being around my family so much. I didn’t want to leave; at the very last second, I was like, “I don’t wanna go,” but then I went on tour and it was a blessing in disguise because then I could test out all the music, rejoin with fans, and get an emotional response from the crowd. It’s just so important for me personally as a producer and as a DJ as well.
You’ve been dropping track after track. With everything you’re doing as ARTY and ALPHA 9, how do you manage both projects?
■ I definitely have to find separate time for both projects because I cannot work on both simultaneously. It’s impossible, there aren’t two of me, I’m the only one. But honestly it all depends on the priorities. The past couple of years, I’ve built up relationships with our record labels and we have everything on a schedule. Obviously there are some times when something doesn’t work out, but we’ve been trying to stay on point the past five years and making sure everything is consistent and at the same time music quality is as high as it can be. I jump between the two. If I get tired of one project, I go to another project. The core of both projects is the same because it’s still me but the music is quite different. It’s like the way your brain hits — is it gonna bring pleasure, is it gonna feel good, is there something that makes you a little more sad? It really depends on my mood too, and if the next week I have ARTY shows, I should prep for them. Now I have an ALPHA 9 album coming out; I cannot say when, but soon.
What can you say about it?
■ It’s coming out on Anjunabeats. I’m sprinting to the finish line. A lot of stuff is done but it’s a lot of work.
What about ARTY?
■ We have so much music done and I think at this point if I stopped working on ARTY stuff, we’d be good until January. We got so much music done in the past couple of months because I wanted to make sure I have enough time for the ALPHA 9 album. Now it’s gonna be all about ALPHA 9, but at the same time, we have a lot of touring for ARTY and that’s the priority for at least April/May, and then we have an ALPHA 9 summer tour in June/July. Then there’s a lot more touring and a lot more work and tons of plans. I just need to finish a lot then we can talk about it in detail.
Do you have time to do anything that’s not music?
■ Get some sleep. Basically every day I’m working. I didn’t have a single break in the past several months.
So if you had to take a vacation right now, where would you go?
■ In a bed. [Laughs.]