From working on an old PC to working with the biggest names in the music industry, Belarusian producer Arston never expected his music to reach millions across the world.
Known for his seamless combination of piano melodies and electronic beats, Arston is one of the most promising acts coming out of Europe today. Taking inspiration from the likes of Avicii, Alesso, and Zedd, the producer first landed onto the EDM scene in 2013 with 'Zodiac', a unique, melodic electronic track that was widely supported across the scene.
Since then, Arston has worked with some of EDM's biggest producers and performed in major festivals all around Europe. In his most recent adventure, the 'Where The Lights Are' act has teamed up with Grammy-nominated pop group BTS. As part of the group's latest album BE, Arston produced the track 'Stay', performed and written by members RM, Jin, and Jungkook.
< Stay >— BigHit Entertainment (@BigHitEnt) November 29, 2020
🎧 https://t.co/Pdo8SV06Yz#BTS #방탄소년단 #BTS_BE #BTS_Stay pic.twitter.com/zN1DSpRTIp
Wanting to keep in line with BTS' vision of "fun but very emotional", Arston produced an upbeat track that listeners can both dance and chill to.
"We all now live in a world of isolation, we don’t go to concerts, clubs or festivals. Therefore, I wanted to create a track that is both energetic and danceable, but at the same time with a chill, cozy home party atmosphere. And I'm very glad that this mood suited well for the great song that the guys wrote," said Arston on 'Stay'.
In a press conference, Jungkook also shared that the track gives fans the message that "we are far apart physically but we always stay together".
Bandwagon caught up with Arston to talk about his journey through the EDM scene, his musical inspirations, and his recent experience working with BTS on 'Stay'.
How did you first get into music?
Even as a child, I loved to imagine how I write a track in my head with different layers: drums, bass, melody…and this was long before the appearance of my first computer. Naturally, after I got one, I began to try to squeeze out some sounds from it! Since my PC was very old, it was impossible to install any modern (at that time) music software, so it took quite a long time for these sounds to even be called music in some way.
Over time and to my biggest surprise, I discovered that someone might like my work! DJs started to play my tracks, I got noticed by some music labels and that's how it all started.
Can you tell us about your musical influences and how they inspire your work?
When I was a little kid, my mom used to play Queen and Depeche Mode cassettes for me before bed. Then, there were Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers, Moby. I've always loved electronic beats, but at that time I didn't understand four-to-the-floor dance music, like house or techno until I heard Eric Prydz and his alter egos. I was amazed by his mathematical approach to production so I started trying something like that.
Then 2011 happened - an EDM explosion. I was hugely inspired by the likes of Avicii, Alesso, and Zedd. The fact that a kid who makes music on a computer in his bedroom can become an international superstar very much encouraged me then.
How would you describe your music and what do you hope listeners get out of it?
I believe my music is about motivation. Since my beginnings were rather humble, I always tried to motivate and push myself beyond the limits. I really hope that this energy can be channelled to my listeners and inspire them, or maybe even help someone through some hard times, like how other artists helped me a lot throughout my life.
What does your creative process look like? Does it differ now due to the pandemic?
I'm really enjoying being at the studio with other writers and vocalists, I love the whole big studio atmosphere but 95% of the time I work alone at my home so I don't think it changed much this year.
Due to COVID-19, we haven’t been able to go to live shows or clubs, what do you miss most about performing in front of a live audience?
I really miss playing live gigs. It's pretty strange; in usual life, I'm an introverted and calm kind of person, but when I'm on the stage I switch to a different state of mind and just start rocking to the music with the crowd. It's an incredible feeling and I really hope that in 2021 we all get that back!
We love your work on ‘Stay’! Tell us, how did you first get into contact with BTS?
I’ve dreamed of working with BTS for a long time, but I never thought that one summer morning the guys from Big Hit Entertainment would write me an email and ask to send them some demos! I was shocked, it was like a bolt from out of the blue! I am completely unaware of how they might have heard of me, but I was extremely happy and immediately got down to work for several weeks.
How was it like working with RM, Jin, and Jungkook?
For me, taking part in the creation of such a magnificent piece as 'Stay' is an experience that I will remember for a lifetime. The guys wrote a wonderful song that heals my soul and makes me smile every time I hear it.
I’m super thankful to @bts_bighit and @BigHitEnt for the chance to produce 'Stay' from the new album ‘BE’! Being a part of such a special project is a dream come true! 🙏❤️#BTS_BE #BTSARMY #junkook #RM #JIN pic.twitter.com/GyApnbPpag— Arston (@ArstonMusic) November 20, 2020
Since BTS are currently based in Korea, did you face any challenges working remotely? If so, how did you overcome them?
Working remotely is my usual routine, so I'm used to this kind of work. But there was a moment when the Internet in our country practically disappeared for several days, and I had to sit for several nights, uploading files at a minimum speed to one of the file-sharing services that were still working here, with the upload process was constantly failing. I was very nervous at that moment, but luckily everything worked out!
Being from Belarus, how does it feel to have your work heard in Asia and all over the world?
All of this wouldn’t have happened without BTS and Big Hit Entertainment. I am incredibly grateful for them, and for everyone I work with and who supports me, [because of them] I can make music full time, even in these difficult times.
I also want to thank ARMY for their incredible support of 'Stay', you guys are awesome! The fact that I hear the song all over the world proves that music has no boundaries and no language, it's like a 7G network that connects our souls no matter where we are!
Finally, are you coming out with any exciting projects that we can look forward to?
From the beginning of 2021, I’m planning to actively release my own music, but I would also be extremely happy to work with BTS and Big Hit Entertainment again in the future!
Listen to Arston's discography here: