There's something about Artyom - the dude who plays the cello and does it quite well, no matter where he's playing, with a band, a trio, a solo - he has your eyes glued on him. Not because he's cute, well, he kind of is, but because you feel how the music goes through his whole body and face and then comes out of his fingertips and hits your ears. I've heard him play a few times - jazz, classical and techno pieces and every time he amazes me with his unique ability to constantly better his skills and grow both as a musician and as a performer. The minute he starts playing, you realize you're in the presence of a very talented musician. His confidence and determination are obvious in every way and even if you had reservations about cello mixed with techno beats, you'll soon just let the music take over your body and enjoy every moment of the performance.
How would you describe your personality?
Artyom: I am a weird musician cat, I live more in my own world than in the real one! But I'm also always caring and loving. Trying to be honest and of course growing and learning every second!
What other interests or talents do you have?
Artyom: Not much- but recently I've realized that I can shoot perfectly- so if my music career doesn't go any further- maybe I will try to be a Sniper :)
Do your personal expectations affect your work? How do you deal when you're over critical about something you do?
Artyom: I am always overcritical with my work. I always think million times before I do something. And I judge my performances - sometimes too much. But that keeps me going and practicing more.
What keeps you motivated and inspired to perform in front of thousands of people?
Artyom: Music keeps me inspired. There’s nothing better than performing in front of thousands of people- and making them feel good. That inspires me. Cities, food, people, my daughter- everything inspires me.
Who or what has inspired you greatly?
Artyom: I grew up being inspired by my dad, Snoop Dogg, Avishai Cohen, Marcus Miller, Kendrick Lamar, J Dilla and many others.
Did you pick the cello as an instrument to study or you were guided by your parents?
Artyom: My mom took me to a music school- and there after the exam, the teachers decided that I had to play the cello- and my mom was very happy, but not me in the beginning :))
Do you have a favorite Armenian tune or song that you remember from childhood?
Artyom: I like Hov Arek Sarer by Komitas (that's my favorite Armenian tune and Bingyol).
What do you play (or listen to) when you're just by yourself, as a form of an escape?
Artyom: The music that I listen to always changes. I love jazz. I love good hiphop but recently I listen to techno music - especially techno coming from Detroit and Italy. That music makes me meditate - it’s very helpful.
Do you pay attention to some strong reaction to your work?
Artyom: Yes, I pay attention to everything about my work (sometimes unfortunately so, haha). I shouldn't probably react like this. And of course, it depends who says what. If it's a professional reaction - I am all ears :)))
What kind of impact do you hope to achieve on the audience before the concert?
Artyom: I love to make people feel joy and happiness during my shows, sometimes I can be sad and dark with my music - but it always has hope, and bright horizons!
When I go to a classical music concert I mostly sit with my eyes closed to let my imagination go wild and imagine the pictures that the music creates in my mind. Do you experience anything like that when you are playing?
Artyom: I always play with my eyes closed. Because you see the music- you see the fields that you’re running through. You can feel it, touch it, smell it. And you can decide where to go, what kind of trip you want to live and what you want to present to the audience.
Your performances are true shows that people enjoy greatly. What are some of the most unique things that your fans have told you after the concert?
Artyom: Recently, people say that I make them cry :) I mean, these are tears of joy and nostalgia. Cello sounds a little nostalgic for the people, especially for seniors.
What new composer's work do you intend to add to your repertoire in the near future?
Artyom: I am trying to come back to classical music, thats why now is the time to dig in back to classical roots and composers.
You obviously have a few favorite pieces, right? Can you name a few? How has your list changed over the years?
Artyom: Dvorak's Cello Concert - is my favorite for cello. And it's stabile :)))
Any young musicians that you follow with interest?
Artyom: So many new artists are around. In the US and in Armenia - I’m trying to hear everybody and get inspirations.
Any advice for a beginning musician?
Artyom: My advice to musicians- keep practicing, learn everything, listen to everything, be open- and creative! And don’t fear the new challenges, always explore.
Tell us about your new album. Any plans to perform in Armenia?
Artyom: My new album "Alone" is coming out on September 1st. And I will be playing CD release parties in LA and Yerevan at the end of September.
Do you have a favorite Armenian dish?
Artyom: My favorite Armenian dish? :) Good Kebab is always a good thing :)
You've lived in LA for quite some time. What keeps you there? What do you appreciate the most?
Artyom: I’ve been living in LA for the past 8 years now and I love it. This city is amazing. It has everything: different cultures, food, music, people. And also, it’s the best spot for creative people nowadays.
Do you have a favorite spot in LA? How about Yerevan?
Artyom: I love Yerevan of course, it’s my home. And every corner is very important in my life! Can’t wait to come back.