An incredible new talent within the UK music scene, spreading the important message of men’s mental health through his unique brand of melodic rap; rising artist ARTAN has delivered an impressive series of releases this year, with the latest being his EP Scattered Thoughts. With candid and relatable lyrism, Scattered Thoughts sees ARTAN further develop his sound and artistry, delivering a compilation of addictive hip-hop and rap led soundscapes. Following the release, we sat down with ARTAN to chat about his music and journey so far. An absolute pleasure to delve further into his captivating artistry; ARTAN give us a bit more depth and insight to Scattered Thoughts and the rest of his vibrant discography.
BM: How are you? How have you been managing over this crazy year!
ARTAN: Right now, I’m in a much better headspace but towards the start of the year things were really hectic. There was so much uncertainty in terms of my life, my family’s life and my plans that, I was just all over the place. But now I have a bit of a structure I’m doing better.
BM: For those that haven’t heard of you yet; how would you best describe your sound, and who have been your biggest influences so far?
ARTAN: So I would describe my sound as melodic rap. I like to touch on subjects that are close to my heart and I like to treat my music like it’s a diary. All I can tell you are the thoughts going on in my head. I’m just trying to be 100% honest with people and then hopefully people can relate.
BM: Tell me a bit about your typical creative and song writing process? How has this changed for you over the past year?
ARTAN: It’s actually weird, I started off writing before going to the studio. I’d have it all written down and then go to the studio and put it over a beat. Then about a year ago then I started focusing on melodies and freestyling in the studio. But what I realised is because I focused on the melodic aspect I was neglecting the lyricism, and now I’m going back to working on lyricism as well as the melody.
BM: Releasing a series of fantastic singles over the past year, you recently released a new track Old Me. Tell me a bit about the single and the inspiration behind it!
ARTAN: Yeah, so my life has been changing quite a lot for the good and bad over the last few years. I kind of wanted to show my progress. A lot of my songs are quite deep and explore the negative side of my mindset. I like to write music when I’m feeling emotion because it’s an escape.
For “Old Me” I really wanted to show that I’m trying to overcome things in the past. I’ll always be going through things but this is the mentality I’m trying to elevate. Whether that’s in relationships or with myself mentally. I just wanted to show growth and switch up the vibe and show that you can become whatever you want to be.
BM: You’ve also most recently released a brand new EP, Scattered Thoughts, on which Old Me features. How would you describe this collection of songs, and what do you hope your listeners will take from them?
ARTAN: So “Scattered Thoughts” is just another word for anxiety, and I wanted to show every single side of me. For example “Live Yours” and “Cycles” are two songs which are really deep for me and are about the cycle of life and I talk about the topics that really go on in my life. Then you’ve got “Weirdos”, which is very self critical. I’ve moved around a lot of schools in my childhood and felt like a bit of an outcast, which is reflected in the song.
Then you’ve got a track like “Old Me” which shows the other side to me and shows you can be depressed and a bit of a weirdo while also being a sick guy and have fun. I literally wanted to show my scattered thoughts over the quarantine period and try and encapsulate that into one project. No one is just one thing. You contain every human emotion so I wanted to touch on that.
BM: Tell me more about the overarching themes you explore on the record.
ARTAN: The overall theme is honesty, I just want to be as honest as I can with myself and I want other people to be as honest as they can with themselves, whether that’s with having problems with mental health or being unfit or anything like that. Sometimes you have to accept these things to grow. If I can be open then hopefully that can help other people.
BM: Is there one track on Scattered Thoughts that stands out in particular for you?
ARTAN: I would probably say, “Cycles” because I really talk about the cycles of life, of my life anyway, and when I’m in that depressive state and get out of it I expect I’ll never go back through that. Given my life circumstances it’s bound to come back around. That’s me being so transparent and honest on the negative sides of my life about my bad habits and my day to day.
BM: Across your extensive discography, what is the song that you would say best describes your overall sound and artistic style?
ARTAN: I have to say “WhymIHigh”, it has the perfect balance of lyricism and melody for people to really dive in. When people listen they can understand my headspace but can also chill out and vibe and not think too much while listening. It has that catchy feeling to it that makes it also a feel good song even though it’s deep. I think it’s got that balance.
BM: What are you most looking forward to when we’re back to some semblance of normality?
ARTAN: For me – live shows. I’m still waiting to do my headline show, which got cancelled in April. I’d ideally like to have another headline show as soon as we can get back to normality really. I don’t want a show where only half the people can attend, I want one where I can pack it out! But till then I’m waiting for that. That’s definitely what I’m most excited about.
BM: What’s next for you, artistically, and over the forthcoming year?
ARTAN: I just want to grow and get better at what I’m doing and find more ways to express myself musically. I want to get to a stage where I can put on other artists. I really want to help artists who don’t have the exposure, I know how hard it is to be an independent artist in a scene where you don’t immediately fit into. I want to use my platform to educate and help other artists grow and make a career out of this industry.
With more to come from the talented artist, keep up with ARTAN on all his socials @artanldn