Forbes: Meet Alpha 9: ARTY's trance-focused side project

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisakocay/2018/05/23/alpha-9-arty-trance-side-project/#3be182ec7d8f

World-renowned DJ and producer Artem Stoliarov is best known to many as his alias ARTY, but he recently played at Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas (EDC Vegas) as his trance-focused side project, ALPHA 9. Stoliarov returns to his progressive trance roots with this new project, which Billboard highlighted on their list of “Must-Hear Side Projects and Aliases in Dance Music.” ALPHA 9 already boasts six new releases this year on Armada Music record label and shows no signs of slowing down. The Russian-born DJ and producer spoke with Forbes about why he created the trance-focused moniker, his favorite EDC Vegas memory and more. 

Lisa Kocay: Can you describe your sound in three words? 

Artem Stoliarov: Uplifting, emotional and melancholic.  

Kocay: What inspired you to create ALPHA 9? 

Stoliarov: ALPHA 9 existed back in 2010 because I was about to release my song on the record label, but there weren’t exclusive rights with the name. I really wanted to release the song on that label, so I created the name really fast in like 20 minutes. I still don’t know why it’s ALPHA 9. People always associated my music with trance because that’s where it started. Over the past couple of years from 2012, I started to shift my style a little bit more towards experimenting more and doing different things like indie, dance, pop, experimental music and all kinds of things. But the fans were constantly asking me to get back to my roots, and I was taking it not in an offensive way, but I wanted to do my thing. But at some point I was ready to open the conversation with my fans and actually listen to them and what they ask me to do. When we started this project in 2017, like really launched it, I actually realized how much I miss making this music and how many listeners I still have. It’s incredible. It’s been an incredible journey the past year and a half. 

Kocay: How do you think ALPHA 9 differs from ARTY’s sound? 

Stoliarov: Well, ALPHA 9 is really trancy. From tracks to my live sets, it’s really cinematic—it’s definitely a journey. My ARTY sets are a journey, too, but it’s in a completely different way. It’s a long road, it’s a lot of long breakdowns, it’s beautiful melodies, it’s breathtaking harmonies and it’s really deep vocals. It’s music with a lot of sense behind it, if you think about it a little bit more and dig deeper. While ARTY is still progressive house music right now, it’s not shifting towards mainstream, but it’s a little bit on the opposite side of what I’m doing with ALPHA 9. 

Kocay: Is your ALPHA 9 fanbase the same as your ARTY fan group?

Stoliarov: In some ways, yes. I think my fanbase for ARTY is like 70% ALPHA 9. I just made it up—I definitely made it up. But when I’m playing the ARTY shows, it’s definitely fans are coming for ARTY music. They still know ALPHA 9. They’re like, ‘hey, can you play this record?’ I’m sorry guys, this is ARTY’s set because I don’t want to clash the music that much. Everything new I released under ARTY in the past two years I don’t play in my ALPHA 9 sets, and vise versa. But when I play ALPHA 9, it’s the same great reaction: people know what they’re coming for, people know this music and they’re aware what kind of experience they’re going to have. There’s no miscommunication or misunderstanding—it’s what ARTY does and what ALPHA 9 does. 

Kocay: How many times have you played at EDC Vegas? 

Stoliarov: Either it’s three of four. I think the last time I played EDC Vegas it was 2015. 

Kocay: What’s your favorite EDC memory? 

Stoliarov: I think it was exactly 2015 when I was playing Circuit Grounds, and Pasquale [Rotella] came over to say, ‘hi’ while I was playing. Towards the end of the set, Porter Robinson was there, and I played my remix for Porter Robinson’s ‘Lionhearted.’ We were together on the stage, and I love this guy so much. He’s been an inspiration for me for such a long time, and he still is. It was just a really incredible moment, so I do remember that really well. 

Kocay: What can fans expect to see from your performance?

Stoliarov: It’s going to be ALPHA 9. It’s going to be a lot of new tracks that I’ve been working on for the past two weeks. I think I didn’t leave the studio for a single hour—12 to 16 hour studio sessions pretty much every day non-stop. There’s so many new things that I’m so excited to release to the fans—I can’t wait. We have new visuals and we have like not a new sound but it definitely feels like a lot of things people would not expect me to play. Some of it is really cool, old-school stuff, and I’m just waiting for the moment to play some of the things and see the faces in the crowd that know music back from 2007/2008. There’s always this little smile of appreciation, so that will be interesting.