Tell us about yourself. 

I was born in a small secret military town on the Shore of Balkhash Lake in Kazakhstan to a Russian mother and a Korean father. The winter was at its peak and the cold was biting to the bones. Despite the tough weather outside, inside our family, the diverse and joyful upbringing was nothing less than a happy youth. At 24 I moved to the city of angels on the Pacific coast to pursue my passion for arts. That new chapter in my life has raised a big question of “what’s home?” that I’m figuring out to this day.

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Tell us about yourself as an artist.

The moment when I witnessed a musical act and had a clear idea that I want to be part of that magic happened to me when I was 11 years old. Of course, I was aware of music as art before that but on the night when I saw my friend playing piano; I thought “this is it!’. Later, when I was around 20, I was introduced to theater and acting. Now I’m combining my two passions into one art-form: theatrical storytelling, music, and performance.

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Tell us about the genre of your music. 

I would describe my genre as a street wall in the center of a big city that was tagged over and over again by different artists. First artist came and left his tag, second one came and tagged it again but you can still see the trace from the previous one. The cassette on my Walkman had Russian hip-hop, American rock, European rap, British trip-hop. It was all over the place. As a result, I have this broken compass that one day gravitates toward one style, but then changes the direction toward another.

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Tell us about the story behind your song. 

“Mystique” (Теплые Строки) was written as part of the contest for the pianist Chilly Gonzales and his Gonzervatory. One of the things that contestants had to do was to film a video about our musical life. I thought that the best way to show my musical life is to write a song about it and to kill two birds with one stone. All the more so, rapping allows you to put storytelling across sixteen bars, this is something other genres aren’t capable of.

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Tell us about the recording and production of the song. 

I used the piano as my main instrument for this song. With my voice being in the center I play heavy chords in the lower register as my base and two chords in the higher register that bring some mystery to the song and also balance it. For me it’s really easy to get lost in the sample libraries of one-shots looking for a new sound and then layer it on top of the beat. With this song, I knew I wanted to drop a beat on the chorus but I didn’t want to overload it, so I left just a simple beat and a bass.

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Tell us more about your music career, experience, and future goal. 

I’m currently working on an album. So far I’ve worked as a featured artist and/or music producer but I feel ready to show the world some of the work of my own creation. If previously I was a guest at someone else’s party, this time I’ll be the host. Also, I have written a musical monodrama for One Man. Essentially, it’s a solo performance with songs and musical textures. The story follows my grandfather during WWII with my personal interjections and opinion from the 21st century. That’s what’s on the map for me for the next year.

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Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing. 

It’s that itch that bugs me if I don’t compose. The only way to kill the thirst is to drink. Sometimes you drink some crap like soda which means you’ll be thirsty in 5 minutes. Other times you drink water which means you’ll need your next fix in an hour. I’m all for water though.

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Tell us the secret behind making a hit song. 

The only way to make a hit song is to try and make a non-hit song. But seriously, borrow concepts from other genres. There’s always something new.

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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist. 

Stop doubting yourself.

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio. 

It’s a very intimate process. Usually, I can’t be around people when I write or compose. Especially at the beginning stage. I lock the door of my own world and then create. But I believe in opening that door at some point to share what I’ve made and have an open mind about tweaking things. Also, the process of collaboration is awesome but should come later in the stage of creation I think.

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Name five biggest artists that you like. 

Nils Frahm, Chilly Gonzales, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jamiroquai, Баста.

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Name the artists you have collaborated with before in your songs or artists you are willing to collaborate with in the future if you have the chance to do so. 

Tricky, Chilly Gonzales, Glass Animals.

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State the links to your social networks and stores for the purchase of your music.

Instagram

anatoliyo

YouTube

anatoliyo

SoundCloud

Jingo Brass Music

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