Mission Makers Podcast | London | UK
EP 004 / 02.02.2022
In this week’s episode of Mission Makers, we are joined by trailblazing DJ, label owner, and music producer, Viken Arman. We take a journey through how he found his unique sound whilst in the Armenian mountains, the dangers of being trapped by a trend of a certain nomadic sound he is widely known for, and misconceptions of the underground scene.
Born and raised in Paris, he tells us how his Armenian roots and culture play a huge part in the shaping of the man he is today. Viken draws on inspiration from all kinds of cultures and sounds and fuses them in such a way that can only be described as a transcending musical journey.
His piano knowledge coupled with his experience of classical, jazz, hip-hop, and electronic have garnered him an unlimited fountain of opportunity for musical creativity and exploration. Viken talks about his experience of fusing classical and electronic music stating that ‘there are no borders anymore; between classical, electronic, white, black; we are all together.’
Viken’s versatile timbre demonstrates how he never confines himself to a specific musical register; he merges different sounds taking inspiration from his feelings and emotions.
Next, we go deeper into Viken’s projects such as his record label, Denature Records, and the immensely innovative talent it boasts, as well as the success of SOUQ festival where highly acclaimed artists such as Kerala Dust, Stavroz, and Oceanvs Orientalis have transcended dancefloors. It is clear that visualizing the artistic direction in these projects is what inspires him to amplify the sonic freedom he yearns for - as he states, he always ‘feels free when playing.’
Going behind the scenes of the underground industry with Viken, he laments his frustration with the scene and how commercial it has become - stating that ‘following a trend is the worst. It pushed me out of the scene.’ Even though he might feel distanced from the underground community, it has never stopped his quest for freedom through musical expression in the music studio with a plethora of releases on heavy-hitting labels such as All Day I dream constantly in the pipeline.
We also discuss the importance of diversity in the scene and providing minorities - especially women - the right platforms and opportunities as Viken himself states that ‘we need this feminine energy on stage’. With just 2% of music producers being female, it’s clear the music industry has a long way to go for equal representation. However, ambassadors like Viken Arman are certainly necessary for helping equalize the playing field.
Viken’s episode can be found on the video below and on iTunes and Spotify.
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Lessons To Fuel Your Mission
Set the trend, don't follow or get trapped by it
The greatest inspiration can come from cross exploration
Unlock your superpowers by going deep into your ancestral calling