You don’t need any validation from industry people, rather, remain focused on building relationships with your fans. This one is the most important one I think because most artists care about being accepted by promoters, club owners, other musicians, A&Rs at labels etc… But the only thing that matters is your supporters at the end of the day. They are the ones that will help you succeed as a business by streaming your music and supporting you at shows.
As a part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing the Massachusetts based DJ/Producer/Remixer, Art Beatz. Known for his multi-genre blending and mysterious signature face image, Art Beatz has been banging beats along side international DJs Alesso, Jauz, Seven Lions, R3hab, Showtek, 3lau, Otto Knows, Arty and others. His creativity and passion for music keeps him working around the clock. “I wake up in the middle of the night to compose a beat,” he says. His addictive club banger “Cobra Dance” ft. Fatman Scoop has been supported by djs around the world. He has also produced for major artists Jason Derulo, David Guetta, Nicki Minaj, Lil Jon, Willy William and Egyption Pop Star Tamer Hosny.
Thank you so much for doing this with us Art! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Thank you for having me! I grew up in Baghdad, Iraq and moved to the US at the age of 13. I always had an ear for music and the love for art. I grew up listening to my older brother playing the church organ and learned to play the piano from him when I was 7 years old. We then moved to the US and I started producing music on a Korg Triton Keyboard.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path not only as a musician, but as an entrepreneur, launching your brand?
I came across an image online in 2011 with a big mouth painting, which inspired me to create my own mouth image on my neck. It soon became my signature brand as an Artist/DJ. Later, tattoo/facepaint artists started reaching out to me about recreating the image. In 2014 the movie, “The Purge 2 Anarchy” had a character in the movie with an identical mouth face paint on their neck. After that moment, I started taking my brand and career further.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your launched your career as a music artist?
I would have to say that the most interesting thing that is people are always walking up to me at my shows and even on social media, asking if what is on my neck is a Tattoo or Facepaint???
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I am currently working on a couple projects for major artists over at Warner Music Group… so you’ll have to stay tuned to find out who! I am also working on incorporating my brand into merchandise for my supporters.
I’m very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in the music industry? How can that potentially affect our culture? How does your brand (clothing line) represent this?
I think diversity is very important and always stands out in the music and entertainment industry. I myself as an Iraqi born, I have always been struggling to be accepted since I moved to the US. I am working very hard to show and represent my culture by incorporating middle eastern sounds and elements in my music.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story, or an example for each.
1) Don’t trust anyone.
2) There is no overnight success.
3) Treat your music as a business.
4) You will make 100 songs and only one gets released.
5) You don’t need any validation from industry people, rather, remain focused on building relationships with your fans. This one is the most important one I think because most artists care about being accepted by promoters, club owners, other musicians, A&Rs at labels etc… but the only thing that matters is your supporters at the end of the day. They are the ones that will help you succeed as a business by streaming your music and supporting you at shows.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Be honest with your intentions and true to others; no fake smiles and back stabbing to get a dollar. Use your passion and your talent wisely to build your brand to create a community for your business.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I would like to inspire a DJ movement in the Middle East by helping upcoming talented DJs pursue a career worldwide.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There are many people who have helped me along the way and I still remain close to many of them. It is not one person, it is a combination of people and steps that I took to keep my passion for music and inspiration ongoing in the industry.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Be Stronger Than Your Excuses”- Bryant McGill. No matter how real your excuses are, they are still excuses, it will never make up for the real deal.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Connect with Art Beatz:
This was very meaningful, thank you so much!