In this exclusive interview, we delve into the life of the creative genius ARMAN, also known as Arman Karégar, who left a mark on the EDM scene with millions of streams on Spotify and sold-out shows.
Despite his success in music, ARMAN made a bold decision to step away from the industry and embark on a new journey in the world of tech. In this candid conversation, he opens up about his musical beginnings, the inspiration behind his music, and the pivotal reasons for his transition to entrepreneurship with “blankt,” a cutting-edge design platform.
The interview becomes more significant because many interviews often imply that there’s no life after music for artists. Instead, this conversation offers a refreshing insight for those curious about what life might be like after a successful music career.
T.H.E – How did you start making music?
Arman Karégar: I was going to show my “funny” side today, but the truth is that it all started due to my humble background. Unfortunately, for those of us who grow up in this kind of environment, negative events such as the loss of close friends and other miseries are common. Everyone tries to find their own way of escaping reality. For me, it was music.
I didn’t have a piano at home but stayed in during the breaks in elementary school to play on the classroom piano while the others were outdoors. My teacher, who also stayed in during the breaks, apparently saw some sort of talent in me. She couldn’t understand how I could both play other artists’ songs by ear but also come up with my own songs, despite knowing nothing about music theory. She encouraged me to pursue music, and being an EDM fan, music production on the computer naturally became my creative outlet.
T.H.E – What inspired you to release your music?
Arman Karégar: Let’s fast forward a few years to high school. Witnessing Avicii’s journey and receiving positive feedback from my friends made me eventually take that step. I started DJing at high school parties, mixing my own tracks into the sets with famous acapellas, and the remixes gained unexpected popularity beyond my school. It was such a surreal time when House was getting incredibly hyped. I mean, people could recommend my remixes to blogs and before I knew it, I stood there as an international remix competition winner and was invited to DJ abroad.
T.H.E – Despite early success, you disappeared from the music scene. What led to that decision?
Arman Karégar: While creating music is a passion that I didn’t stop pursuing, releasing music wasn’t a significant passion for me. I am more like the kind of person whose dream is to live on an island in the middle of nowhere, playing piano, surrounded only by the roar of the ocean and the glow of the moon. However, it’s not like I dislike releasing music, and if there were time to keep my social media alive and solidly plan releases, I would 100% do it.
But for some reason, around this time, my guiding principle in life decided on its own to be “Leave a better world behind me than before me”. I’m fully aware of how cliché that sounded, but nevertheless, it led me to start doing more altruistic things. Instead of focusing solely on music, I have simultaneously volunteered countless times, been an elected politician despite having no interest in politics itself, worked as a teacher, and engaged in many other things. So, time was limited and song releases de-prioritized.
T.H.E – What prompted your comeback?
Arman Karégar: It should first be clarified that even if I didn’t release more music, I still created music. My comeback song, now under the artist name “ARMAN,” was “Gimme Gimme.” I wrote it on a long train ride when I was going through a protracted break-up. I sang it to my friend who drove me from the train station. He stopped the car and told me never to sing again. Jokes aside, he was going through a break-up at the same time too and asked me to finish it and send it to him. This made me think that if I could help him and myself, then maybe my music could help others with their breakups too. Therefore, I released a whole bunch of different “breakup songs” and then ended my career again by releasing “Undercover” – a dystopic song about where we’re heading. In it, I say that “I’ll be in the shadows,” which was a fitting ending… ok, that sounded way more dramatic than it was.
T.H.E – Will we hear anymore music from you in the future and have you ever thought of what could have happened if you went all-in on music?
Arman Karégar: Regarding the first part, no one knows. I was actually making an album when we founded our startup that’s taking up all my time. It’s where I can make a bigger difference in the world. Maybe one day, I’ll release the album but right now, I only DJ every now and then when there’s some time over… and a fun enough gig.
Regarding the latter question, I understand that it’s of great interest to all young producers who are torn about the future. Of course, if someone were to ask me to become the 4th member of Swedish House Mafia, I’d take the opportunity immediately. But it’s all about the work you need to put in to theoretically get there, and that’s where the driving force, like passions and guiding principles, comes in. You have to ask yourself if you’re really passionate about performing, for example, or if it’s all the other things that music brings with it, like fame. For me, the passion was to create music even if no one else were to hear it, it was the artistry, the creative outlet itself. In other words, I can still be an artistic person and leverage that creativity through startup life now while following my guiding principle: to leave a better world behind me than before me.
T.H.E – You mentioned that you leverage your creativity through your startup ‘blankt.’ Your creativity is unquestionable, but has it actually helped you with your startup?
Arman Karégar: Yes, creativity has helped the company overcome many challenges along the way while building our design platform blankt. It has resulted in, among other things, us winning the award for the new business idea of the year.
Speaking of creativity and music, our design platform is great for making cover art, especially if one’s as bad as I am at designing. We haven’t opened it up to individuals yet, but add me on Insta, and you won’t miss any news about this.
T.H.E – Any last words?
Arman Karégar: Is that a threat? *laughs*. Shoutout to all the new artists emerging now. You can always send me your songs, and I’ll provide feedback. I would also like to thank everyone who has been part of the journey so far. It’s a privilege to receive as much love as you have given me. Hopefully, a few of you will stick around during these more “techy” chapters.
Arman Karégar’s journey from the EDM scene to entrepreneurship with ‘blankt’ exemplifies his determination to make a difference in the world. It also shows that you should follow your calling in life, and not be afraid to try new things. Whether he makes a comeback in music or not, ARMAN’s impact on both the music and tech realms remains an inspiring testament to his versatile talents. From his humble background, he’s now “taking them steps in turn, can’t ever return” (As sung in his song “Walking Too Far”).