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Tyoma – From Russia With Love

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At first glance, the launch of new project called Tyoma by prominent producer and musician Artem Kharchenko is the simple and obvious decision to make one more moniker for situational productions, but further exploration reveals a far more interesting story. Rapidly changing and expanding the frames of his own sound, Artem stays constant in making quality music. This gives him the freedom to maneuver without the baggage of past achievements weighing him down.

Seeking to showcase the sound that best represents him in 2015, we dialed up the Prime Minister of Kazantip to find out more about what he has planned for the future. Here’s how we got on. 

Let’s start from subtotal. After your single ‘Voiceless’ became very successful in the second half of 2000s, we got used to the presence of your name in media. You were writing a lot of music, had regular gigs, your project R-Tem was making waves internationally and you recorded two full-length albums as part of Kooqla. Then you disappeared. What was the reason for this pause?

Yeah, that’s the way it was! We recorded the second album with Kooqla, went on tour and realized that we need to rest a little bit from each other. Each member of the project had their own goals and ambitions by that time, which they have successfully brought to life since. Additionally it must be said that whilst we put the project on hold, we’ve retained the ability to revisit it. It had also become clear that Kooqla has considerably outstripped its time.

Then in 2010 Kazantip appeared in my life again. I plunged myself into the festival and as a result didn’t have as much time for Kooqla. I never gave up music though. I’d been writing quite a lot, including soundtracks for videos and instrumental sketches. I’d also been working on sound design.

At some point, having accumulated a lot of new material, the question ‘What to do next?’ arose and with this new music being very different to the sound of R-Tem or Kooqla, I came to an internal understanding of what the ideal electronic live show should be and how I should go about delivering it. So, gradually, I began composing something completely different. A whole layer of music crystallized from the saved-up material, with which I completely identify myself at the moment.

It seems that creativity comes quite easily to you.

No, it’s never easy. Though, everything happens. Sometimes everything goes with ease. As a rule, I don’t suffer in the studio, but if something doesn’t work for a long time, I just switch to another thing. I’m not looking for inspiration; it comes naturally from everyday life – events and people who surround me. Recently I’ve done a full upgrade of my studio in Moscow and replaced all “digital” instruments with analog ones. New instruments inspire me like nothing else, it feels like someone has added a pack of new letters to the alphabet.

Now is an interesting, active and very important time for me. First of all, because I’ve come to an understanding of what music I want to be associated with my name rather than a project name.

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Does this mean we’ve seen the end of R-Tem and Kooqla?

I don’t think that these are mutually exclusive things. Of course, today I’m more interested in working on Tyoma but I’m not inclined to close previous projects. They can get a sequel. Kooqla was collaboration. The first album was recorded with Nata Zhyzhchenko, frontwoman of Onuka, the vocalist of Tomato Jaws at that time and the second one with Nata Smirina from Pur:Pur.

Lets talk about Tyoma. After the release of ‘Unclose’ as the Kazantip ‘intro’ many had assumed that the Tyoma moniker would only be used for that EP. When did you realize that Tyoma had turned into something bigger?

I can’t deny that I had certain preferences at ‘intro’ choosing for Kazantip but I never cared about the mission of writing the ‘intro’ for the new chapter of Republic’s life to be mine every time. Regarding ‘Unclose’, the same story has happened to this track as to ‘Voiceless’. Nikita (Marshunok, the president of the Republic – auth.) had heard a demo-version of the track and at once suggested to take it for a winter teaser of Z22. As a result it spread on the web so rapidly, so that people dubbed it the new “intro”. Perhaps more surprisingly – to me at least – is just how popular acoustic piano version of ‘Unclose’ became.

You asked about awareness. I can tell that I remember exactly when it was. Understanding that Tyoma is “something bigger” came when I ordered designer a logo for the project. It was then I clearly realized exactly what I wanted and how it would look like. It was then than I got the feeling that this is the beginning of a new stage of my career.

There’s not too much information about your new project on the web but there’s a feeling that you’re preparing for something big. It’s quite difficult to hide big hit potential of your single ‘1st’ under external asceticism. It seems that the track’s just waiting in the wings?

Partly it is. Currently only two tracks are released – ‘Unclose’ and ‘1st’. It was important for me to understand the reaction audiences would have to them to make the correct conclusions and to answer the question: is this the right path? Then, of course, the debut album will be released. It will include both these tracks which will be the first two singles. ‘Unclose’ is a pilot one wheras ‘1st’ will come arrive as an EP complete with remixes. All this will happen this Autumn.

Continued on page 2

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