Arty: The most popular thing to come out of Russia since vodka.
Arty: The most popular thing to come out of Russia since vodka.
Giuliano Bekor

Arty's Big Break Almost Never Happened Because of Russian Weather

"Story is a challenge, and maybe the most challenging club to play in Miami because of the mixture of core dance music fans and fringe fans or people just in town on vacation," Arty says. The 25-year-old DJ is the most popular thing to come out of Russia since vodka. And though Story might be a tough room to play, Arty is equipped for the task. "I have to play to the people who buy tickets. I love techno, but if I go in there and start smashing techno from the jump, I'll empty out the club."

Arty, born Artem Stolyarov in Engels, Russia, was a classically trained pianist as a kid. In his teens, he became a serious gamer and later aspired to become a videogame developer. He ended up finding a common ground between his two passions in the world of electronic music.

It was 2011, and Arty was 21 when Armin van Buuren branded him "one of Russia's most popular trance export products." Part of an all-time legendary lineup, he played alongside names like Mat Zo, Markus Schulz, Above & Beyond, van Buuren, Gareth Emery, and W&W at a State of Trance 500 in Den Bosch, Netherlands. This was his grand intro to the dance-music world.

"I was so nervous before that show that I didn't sleep 30 hours leading up to my set. There was bad snow in Moscow, and I sat on the plane for four hours while they tried to deice the plane. I missed all my connections; I didn't think I was going to make it," Arty remembers. "I was rerouted through Germany, and somehow I made it to the show with only five minutes to spare. Once I got there, Paul Oakenfold introduced himself to me. Producers I admired were everywhere. It was surreal. After the show, I had to race to get back home to Russia for exams."

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Arty’s early productions, which he crafted through the music software commonly known as FruityLoops, were big and clean. They leaned more to the “trouse” category (somewhere between trance and house). He produced tracks closer to 130 beats per minute, rather than the 136+ range that pure trance was founded on. Tracks like “Trapeze," “Kate," “Hope," and the legendary Mat Zo coproduction “Rebound” all felt like fresh sheets, all warm and new. His remixes of Kyau & Albert’s “Are You Fine?” and Dirty South’s “Walking Alone” were better than the originals and part of a new and unmistakable sound: Arty. 

His rise to fame may seem fast to you, but it doesn't feel so rapid for Arty. "I worked hard to get education first and experienced the benefits later. When I was 14 or 15, my friends were older, and I didn’t hang out with a lot of kids my age. I grew up fast.”

His new album, Glorious, drops October 9, and it's coming from his shower to your ears. He says he gets most of his ideas while he's in the tub, and this album represents two years' worth of scrubbing.

Arty says fans can expect a whole spectrum of hits during his Story set. "My set is changing a lot lately," he says. "I like garage music, big bass, emotional songs, and then going to heavy harmonies. I also like the Weeknd, so I might play a mash of 'I Can't Feel My Face.'"

He's ready for the Miami crowd, which he says is unlike any in the United States. "Overall, the Miami crowd is completely different from other places in America," he says. "They have a different vibe, and just because the dance floor isn’t raging, it doesn’t mean they’re not having a good time. You need to find the right tracks and you can go far with selections, because the people know music. It’s an educated crowd."

Arty, 11 p.m. Friday, September 18, at Story, 136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-2424; storymiami.com. Tickets cost $30 plus fees via flavorus.com.

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