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A Sit Down with DJ Arnej

13:50 Feb/02/2018

Arnej is one of the best disciples of Markus Schulz! It is revealed in 2008 on "Coldharbour Recordings" with the hit "They Always Come Back", shaking dancefloors around the world, present in the playlists of both the best Trance DJs and the best DJs of the House scene. Specialist melodramatic atmospheres, his work is cared for and valued by Armin Van Buuren, Markus Schulz and many others! Talented also behind the turntables, he was voted 2nd best DJ in North America and "Breakthrough DJ" at the 26th edition of IDMA at the "Winter Music Conference" in Miami.


"You can master all the riches and material values ??in the world, but if you do not feel happy, then why is this all?"


Tell us a bit about how you grew up, and how that eventually led to The Producer/DJ We know today?

I grew up no differently than most kids did. I played outside a lot, got into trouble every so often and probably didn't spend enough time doing my homework! Most people may find it a surprise (or not) that my musical beginnings didn't happen till much later on. You'll often read about artists and it will say they grew up with music in the family, they've listened to so and so since early on and so forth. Such was not the case with me. I had no interest in music until my mid teens, back when Aqua were the latest and greatest group. Eventually I stumbled across some early electronica music mostly thanks to the advent of the internet.

Except Arnej, you let out tracks also under a name 8 Wonders. Is there any difference in the sound of these two projects?

In Arnej's works, I'm not limited to anything in terms of style: progressive house, trance, anything. At the same time, 8 Wonders from the very beginning was exclusively trance - aplifting, high energy, etc. I admit, at some point I wanted to be recognized under my own name. Therefore, the choice was made in favor of Arnej, with a deliberate intention to put an end to 8 Wonders. But I did not get rid of it to the end, because I still have a lot of ideas about applifting trance tracks. It is for this reason that I resurrected the Wonders project last year with the work "The Return".
Who were your biggest influences musically growing up, and how does that compare to your current influences?

As I was a late bloomer, musically I had no inspiration or people I looked up to. There are some early EDM producers who's work I grew to love and respect, some key names that stand out would be Man With No Name and Astral Projection, of the psy/goa genre fame. These days I appreciate the works of orchestral composers like Hans Zimmer and Newton Howard, that is some real music there.

In the studio, do you usually go with ready-made ideas on sounding or improvising on the go?

In most cases, the trial and error method works. But not always. It happens that the name of the track appears in my head first. This gives me a certain mood, which leads to new musical ideas.
Best gig you’ve ever played?

The best gig I've played was in Montreal in a small club called Living. It was a last minute gig, I was asked to replace Ashley Wallbridge because he couldn't make it due to volcanic ash. Easily one of the best nights for me. Intimate crowd atmosphere, amazing vibe and an surreal live performance of my track "Free Of You" with the talented Sally Saifi. She is a local Montreal girl and it was awesome to see a lot of her friends come out in support. Her performance was so flawless, that we ended up playing the song twice!

What can the crowd expect of your sets?

The crowd can expect a ‘journey’. I know that word is thrown around a lot and mostly forgotten these days in music, but that is my aim with my music and my sets, to set you on a journey. The listeners of ASOT will definitely be in for a treat as my set will be quite ‘special’. I won’t say how, but tune in and you’ll find out!
Who do you admire most in the Scene? And music in general for that matter?

I admire anyone who is doing this because I know the passion and hard work it takes, but If I have to give out a big shout out to anyone it would be to my closest friends in the scene, Sied van Riel and Blake Jarrell, love those guys!

Modern music producers are not just composers. They should have sufficient knowledge and skills in the field of new technologies, be able to work with software, hardware, etc. What is the ratio between the technical and creative component in the producer's profession you think is ideal?

I think 50 to 50. If you write the coolest track, but it will be poor in terms of production, then I'm pretty sure that it will remain unattended. Similarly, with the reverse - if your track is perfect in terms of technical performance, but there is no "soul" in it, then it will go to "milk." In my opinion, there must be a balance between the musical component and all sorts of technical know-how used in the track.

Any other special news we should know about?

I’d just like to let people know that my next single ‘Dust In The Wind’ is coming out, April 13th on the Coldharbour label. The Arnej album is also heavily in production, so keep an eye out … or ear? for that one!
Canada has quite a catch of big DJ’s and Producers including you off course, how does the Canadian scene compare to the Scene Worldwide for you?

To be honest, I don't know much about the Canadian scene. The only two relevant names I can think of in my eyes would be Joel Zimmerman (Deadmau5) and Max Graham, besides them I think the talent is pretty slim pickings. The music as a whole is still growing here, as well as globally, so only good things can come as a result. Most people imagine Canada as this huge country and it is physically, but our population is less that of New York and Los Angeles combined, to put it in perspective. Only the people in the major cities of the country have any sort of exposure to the music, which leaves you at about 6 cities or so that you can play in Canada.


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