Knowing that edmsauce has an interest (ahem, obsession) with DJs with true musical ability and backgrounds meant it was only a matter of time before we interviewed new trance team Velvetine. Velvetine, a collaborative effort between Aruna and Myon and Shane 54, scored big with their second single ‘The Great Divide' – it lived in the #1 spots on Beatports Trance AND Dubstep charts for weeks. Aruna, the vocalist of the operation (and a DJ in her own right!) got back with us to let us know how it's going, what's next, and share personal insights on the production process.
TheSauce: Firstly – you're a pop influenced singer who delved into trance then EDM. We're starting to see a transition of hard style EDM artists making more beautiful and melodic tracks with hints of progressive trance embedded with dubstep. What do you think about possibly getting competition from these artists for your own sound? Have you considered experimenting with dubstep?
Aruna: Absolutely. Seven Lions did an amazing remix of “The Great Divide”, I'm a huge fan of his. He and I started something, I would love to see that get finished, he's so talented, it's great to see someone blowing up who truly deserves it.
TheSauce: Let's talk about your most recent track, Save the Day. How long did it take to make?
Aruna: Save The Day was a collaboration between myself and Myon. Part of it was done via the internet but we also had the good fortune to work on it in person here and there. I'm honestly not exactly certain how long it took, start to finish, both of us were working on quite a few other projects at the time, but I think it was somewhere around 9-10 months. We were in a relationship for two and a half years so I was going over to Hungary to visit him quite a bit and that helped the process.
TheSauce: ….looks shocked.
TheSauce: So…How long do you anticipate this arrangement of Velvetine working out? (Pendulum, as you know, recently announced it was disbanding and EDM fans were pretty crushed).
Aruna: Well, we're talking about an album at the moment, so it seems this is just the beginning. In spite of me and Myon's recent breakup, we're still very very close and getting along really well, maybe even better than we did as a couple. We kept that whole thing pretty quiet because we didn't want a lot of internet drama over it, but it did get out a bit and a lot of the fans who heard about it were worried we wouldn't be working together anymore. I can say definitively that no one has anything to worry about!
TheSauce: Let's talk about my favorite track, The Great Divide. I heard it took two years to produce and went through several iterations. True?
Aruna: I knew when the guys approached me with this idea to make a Dance track out of a Thomas Newman piece it would be great in the end. Mario is an utter genius with production so I never really questioned that part of it. It was more him doubting himself, which is why he completely redid the track from top to bottom, one of the reasons it took so long, but it was worth it in the end, huge improvement! We had some back and forth about the vocals, as I'm very particular about what I want, usually I do all my own vocal comping and a lot of the editing myself, but of course I'm coming from the perspective of a singer, thinking about things like tone and emotion, and how believable is this performance, does it embody the lyric powerfully, etc. He approaches it more like a producer/engineer looking for things like articulation, consistency of dynamics and this kinda thing.
TheSauce: During that time, did you ever have “artistic differences” or have conflicts about where you wanted to the song to end up or the vibe of it?
Aruna: Yeah, there were some taut moments for sure. Even the vocals got redone twice but all of us are so happy with it in the end, and it was a very successful track by all accounts. It's always a learning experience for all of us at the end of the day, and we've worked with each other long enough by now that there's tremendous trust.
TheSauce: As Velvetine, are you all touring together or is that the plan eventually?
Aruna: We have done and continue to do a lot of dates together as Myon & Shane and Aruna. We would definitely like to start doing Velvetine Live shows soon, and have started kicking around ideas for how that would look and sound, but we feel like we need at least one or two more original Velvetine releases to really fuel that and fill out a 60-90 minute set.
TheSauce: So, I imagine you're busy with that right now?
Aruna: I'm working on a new Velvetine single, three new Aruna solo releases and a couple big collabs which I will keep quiet about for now. 2013 is already shaping up to be quite a year!
TheSauce: Not that you have time, but what do you do when you're NOT DJing/singing? What are your non-music hobbies?
Aruna: Well between singing and writing, touring, checking promos and making radio shows every other week there's not much time for hobbies (laughs). But I do LOVE the gym, I go 4-5 times a week, it's such a great stress release. If I'm traveling or away from it for more than a few days I start having sweat withdrawals! I like wine a lot too, but I try not to indulge that too much. Too many empty calories!
TheSauce: How do you find a balance between your ‘real life' relationships and families vs being on the road, with millions of fans? Is it hard to maintain being down to earth? Hard to maintain friendships or a relationship?
Aruna: I've always been a pretty down to earth kinda girl, I'm from Jersey for chrissakes! So I don't see that changing ever, but yeah its almost impossible to have proper relationships. My head is just completely somewhere else, I'm working all day and all night, till 4 am usually, so there's not really any time or energy left over to devote to anyone. I've even had friendships fall out over it, and that's ok. Sometimes two people are just heading in two different life directions, but it can get really lonely sometimes. At least I have my cat! 😀
TheSauce: Last question. What is your favorite track, of all time, from the trance, progressive or EDM genre?
Aruna: Oh goodness, thats about impossible to answer! Let's see…The Maori mix of “Cant Sleep” is up there, as is Holden & Thompson “Nothing (93 Returning Mix)”. More recently…hmm…the Myon & Shane mix of “Keep Your Secrets” is definitely one of the tunes of the year for me. The first time I heard that it literally stopped me in my tracks. Its not every day you hear writing that fresh. Hats off to Molly for that one.
Thank you so much for interviewing with us! We look forward to hearing your upcoming tracks!