Russian DJ and producer Aviator is back to the spotlight with a new single, Harassment.
To find out more about this artist and his incredible story, we met him and discussed some interesting points, discovering, above all, that one of the main elements in Aviator’s life and music is change.
A former medical student, Aviator took a big turn after experiencing a serious car accident, deciding to devote entirely to music. From that day on, he dedicates a significant part of his working routine to learning and experimenting with new sounds and trends, putting innovation on top of his priorities: “The most important thing is to remove the boundaries in your head, especially when you start doing something,” he says about his creative process. “Exploration of the world of music never stops for me.”
At Boom Online Magazine, we were particularly curious about the bold title of his new single, developed as Aviator was training with major Russian producer Igor Matvienko. “We were forced to create a hook using the words harassment and coming out,” Aviator explains. I was watching tons of media materials when suddenly a TV-host came out with the hook. We recorded it and used it as a sample.”
The single will be accompanied by an audacious and pretty peculiar music video. “At that time the idea of women who slap a man’s butt appeared in my head,” Aviator says, explaining how the BDSM theme naturally became the main feature of the video.
“Shooting took place at one of the largest cinema halls in Moscow and lasted almost a day,” Aviator tells us about the making of the video, adding that both he and the actors really enjoyed the experience.
But what does Aviator think of BDSM in his private life? “I am not a big BDSM fan, though the light form is possible for me as for many others. There is one secret out of life I’ve learned – you should not be shy.”
The music video carries a story of its own, with an important and very contemporary message. Aviator explains that in the story “I am head of the corporation for anti-harassment, which gives victims opportunity to be listened and heard.”
Being a car accident survivor, Aviator was forced to learn how to deal with sudden changes.
“It changed my plans for life dramatically,” he recalls. “Before the accident I was on the path of becoming a medical man, to help people, but I realized it was not mine at all. I decided to dedicate my life to music, where the whole engagement is much more enjoyable.”
Experiences like this can make you strong and wise, when you manage to survive the physical and mental challenges they lead to.
Aviator didn’t surrender and saw a good opportunity to deliver an important message through his music: “Unity is the answer. There is football, which unites all people, there are concerts and festivals for gathering. I would like to see crowds of people enjoying each other and themselves.”
On top of this “come together” call, Aviator is aware of how important it can be to highlight the uniqueness of an artist. “It’s about self-expression. A musician wants to tell everyone: it’s me, listen, look, share! I really wanna make a cool product that people would appreciate. What could be sadder than an unclaimed creative person? The most difficult part of life is to prove that you are unique.”
For this reason, probably, Aviator admits that the creative process involves a lot of effort and a balance between inspiration and hard work: “You have to set up, start producing and let everything go. But there are moments when you can sit for days and if you don’t have a rush inside your head, nothing happens.”
It is important, for any artist, to have some sort of refreshing ritual when there’s a lack of ideas. As Aviator suggests, “an alternative scenery or a walk for two hours really helps to wind your brain.” He also admits that deadlines are quite powerful inspiration boosters.
As with any creative work, music production requires some solid self-discipline. We asked Aviator what his typical day looked like and here’s his answer: “I wake up, take a shower, have breakfast, check out new videos on YouTube. Then I drive to the studio, prepare a cup of coffee or tea, start producing music or listening to new tracks.” Before considering his working day over, Aviator reserves some time to experimentation: “I watch production courses from top DJ’s, try new effects and so on.”
Artists never stop learning: “You never get all the answers, so you always study and educate yourself. It’s a never ending story.”
This golden rule also applies when considering influences and older artists to get inspired by. So who does Aviator look up to?
“Deadmau5 is a geek of behavior in his industry, always inspiring. He is a person who goes into the process of his business completely, until he gets all the answers. Eric Prydz is more about music, his project Prydais especially close to my vision. I like its main sound so stylish and cool. Rick Rubin, an American record producer and co-founder of Def Jam Recordings, is also top-rated. Diplo, Dr Dre and Quincy Jones inspire me as high-level producers.”
Most of the mainstream music we listen to comes from the West, especially America and Europe. For this reason it is always quite interesting to see the point of view of artists coming from other scenes.
How is the Russian scene, according to Aviator?
“Main pop-music is traditionally copying the West. Moscow & St. Petersburg circle listen to techno, minimal, more underground. What plays on the radio is a total horror.”
There is an independent scene and “some flowers sprout”, but it seems to be increasingly difficult for artists to “do their own way” without loosing money in Russia. “There are many talented bands and DJ’s on the electronic scene, but unfortunately radio stations just don’t feel the trends to turn on. The demand for quality music is not big enough, especially outside the large cities. We are late for electronic music too. Russian men love either to dance hard or to evoke anguish. Cheerful choruses of Marshmello don’t work here.”
Before leaving, Aviator tells us what are his plans for the future: tour around the world, get into the US top charts, get more collaborations with great artists and take his label AVIAMUSIC to the next level.
He also has some advice for emerging artists: “Don’t suck. Bend your line. Constantly develop, follow top influencers. Do not stop on achieved and always try to stay one step ahead.”