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A tour de force in artistic creativity, Varien’s reach infiltrates across genres and platforms, embracing gender fluid expression and cultural appreciation. Currently exploring the traditions of Japanese visual kei, Varien also penned recent KPop #1 single ‘Scientist’ for VIXX and written tracks for film and TV including ‘300: Rise Of An Empire’, ‘Bones’, ‘The Purge: Anarchy’, ‘Face Off’, ‘Monsters: Dark Continent’ and more. His 2015 album ‘The Ancient & The Arcane’, released on Monstercat, reaped a whirlwind of critical acclaim with Dancing Astronaut hailing it as a “cinematic masterpiece” and Your EDM dubbing it “an empowering and enchanting experience… a true out of this world endeavour”.

Dimitris: Can you mention your biggest music career achievements in 2018?

Varien: Writing a #1 hit single for VIXX ("Scentist) in terms of actual achievements. But most importantly, I came back from a year hiatus with no social media and was still able to release about 1-2 tracks a month and grow a following and a hype that I know will blow up and get me back to where I was, maybe further, in 2019!

Dimitris: Can you rate 2018 for you as a year with 1 being very bad until 10 that is perfect year!

Varien: 5 an OK year 8 very good year It was absolutely torment on some days, but there were victories. Overall the year can be seen as a victory. But it took so much of me. I am not who I was when it started!

1) Best 3 Tracks from other artists in 2018, please give us a short comment for each track:

Varien: 

Jacob Collier - With the Love in my Heart (Absolutely inspiring. 8 minutes, 7 genres. A full orchestra, a band, and self-produced. Jacob is always inspirational but this knocked it out of the park for me)



Annihilation - The Alien (based off "The Mark" by Moderat, this track showed me that neurofunk sounds work beautifully in film scores, and kind of changed how to approach ambient tracks)

Plini - Kind (My EP of the year for sure, but as a big progressive metal and rock fan, it's so beautiful and refreshing to hear 80s-90s and jazz fusion influences in Plini's music!)



2) Your 3 Best of 2018 personal productions, give us more background info about them: 

Varien 1. Oh, Sparrow 
- I love narrative based tracks, ones that take you on a journey in just one go, and this went there. The story behind it was neat too; on a really lonesome depressed day, I made this instead of resorting to self-harm.



2. Monarch Butterfly 
- I just feel like I really nailed the industrial sound here, not the 'rock' industrial but the more dark, empty, GRITTY, style that I feel is missing in a lot of modern midtempo/dark productions out now.



3. VIXX - Scentist 
- This was my first big pop placement, and boy what a placement. I am super proud of the song and the final product itself is wonderful! I am credited as producer and arranger. Much more kpop coming up, too.



3) Best Artist in 2018(DJ & producer) please explain why you pick him/her up:

Varien: A tie between SOPHIE and Iglooghost - both have such a beautiful, unique vision of their work that just overloads me with inspiration. They don't apologize for who they are and in the process are actually able to use that to create sonic landscapes most producers could never conceptualise. It's nuts. Absolutely nuts.





4) Best Remix in 2018, please explain why you liked it so much:

Varien: Snails and NGHTMRE feat. Akylla - Only Want You (Kill The Noise Remix) - Not a fan of riddim, but leave it up to my man Jake to create such a journey of a track. I can't imagine mixing this one down, so many layers, so many feelings!



5) Best Remix that you have produced in 2018, please tell us why you believe is your best work?

Varien: Chainsmokers - This Feeling,  Flipping the Chainsmokers from pop to darker synthwave made for a really beautiful result.



6) Best New Talent in 2018 (DJ or producer), please explain the reasons why you choose him/her :

Varien: Swarm, this guy is going to continue to define dark industrial music in 2019. He's already on his way, but Jesus. We met through a friend, and Swarm had said some of my music has influenced him in the past - now we have some tracks together. Always cool how that works!



7) Best electronic music album in 2018? Please explain your decision why you think is the best album?(b) Do you believe that albums are still relevant or you prefer singles:

Varien: Albums are always relevant. I know society is losing some attention span but I don't think it'll ever die.

My pick is a tie between SOPHIE - Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides and G Jones - The Ineffable Truth. Both albums are just wicked, wicked smart. As a longtime IDM, breakcore, etc. fan, these just hit the right spot for me in terms of electronic music.





8) Best artwork/cover for a single/ album or compilation released in 2018, please justify your opinion why this and not another one:

Varien: I really, really liked the cover for my EP "Death Asked a Question" - it was so minimal yet said so much in my eyes.



9) Best lyrics in an electronic music track in 2018 (it can be your production or from other artists) Please explain why you like these lyrics so much!

Varien: Joji's "Slow Dancing in the Dark" or Billie Eilish's "When The Party's Over". I'm still pretty fresh out of a very, very, long term relationship and these tracks bring me to my knees haha. In a good way! But also melancholy. Just. Tragically beautiful.





10) Best vocalist/singer featured on electronic music track in 2018, please tell why you appreciate this singer/vocalist and why:

Varien: Laura Brehm - Laura keeps growing and growing and growing. It's amazing to watch her. She's going to be one of the greats, if not already. I am so honoured to have worked with her and fans can appreciate another authentic Varien x Laura Brehm collab in 2019.



11) Best electronic music label for 2018, please justify why you choose this label and what was so special in 2018 about it:

Varien: Wakaan - LONG LIVE leftfield bass, especially if it has world music or dub reggae vibes in it. Been a Liquid Stranger fan since his album 'The Intergalactic Slapstick' back in 2009 and he is CRUSHING it still nearly 10 years later.



12) Best electronic music video for 2018, please explain why you like this video so much:

Varien: Virtual Self - Ghost Voices. So much aesthetics. I can't sing enough praises about what Porter has done, and is doing, but I don't think I need to. The world is pretty much with me on this one, haha!



13) Best online social media for 2018 and why you believe is the best particularly in 2018?

Varien: Twitter - easiest.
Instgarm - prettiest. ;)

14) Best Twitter/Facebook/Instagram message you may have received about your music or your DJ performance in 2018:
Varien "Hay Varien or whatever your name is, i find you and your work aka music in late 2017,and i sub'd, so i got to see this video soon. So basically this is very sad because, i know that you don't believe in God (Christian God) but, just read this comment. Your music (not in whole but large portion) is demonic influenced product. I am not joking, one example is song called "Baphomet's Casino" and for video background you uploaded picture of demonic symbol skull with a animal with horns , with eye on forehead and suspicious circle around it(do you even know what is baphomet). I don't know if you using drugs, i see earrings all over your face , tatoo's...So, to the point, your mental illness, depression, and all kind of mental disorders are from evil spirits and satan or maybe a punishment from God, all doo it is some kind of punishment. I am here to tell you, it is up to you what you will do, but if i am on your place, i would be scared, of how much you offended God.
Peace with you."

15) Best music composition software in 2018, please explain why you appreciate it so much:

Varien: FL Studio, cmon man! ;)

16) Your Best personal DJ Gig for 2018 (if you are active as DJ) and why you believe is the finest:

Varien:  MAGFest - it was the show that reminded me why I like doing this.

17) Best music related website that you visit frequently, please explain what you exactly appreciate in this web site and you may recommended to your fans as well:

Varien:  I actually listen to most of my music on YouTube surprisingly!



18) Best new sound or sample that has been introduced in any electronic music track in 2018 and you wish to have invented it or you may even have introduced it for the first time?

Varien: I'm glad that 90's Jungle sounds are back for a little bit. I've always loved em!

19) Best technical tips that you learnt in 2018 in relation to your DJing or music productions:

Varien: Samples can be flipped infinite amounts of ways. Infinite. Texture is everything.

20) Best piece of advice you got in relation to your career in 2018 and has helped you to progress even further:

Varien: Your future self will thank you for all the things your present self is doing now.

Dimitris: Can you mention briefly your plans for your future releases, tracks, albums, collaborations, DJ gigs for 2019!

Varien: So much in mind, so much to jot down and get logistics behind! I definitely am going to be putting in a lot more world music vibes, I didn't really this year and my music is known for that; really adds a lot of cinematic vibes to it!



Dimitris: Finally, what is your biggest wish for 2019 and give us your wishes for our readers?

Varien: Continued success and a steady trajectory. A house with a dog is a major, major plus too.

Thanks to Varien for answering this interview. 
Thanks to Kat at The Motherlode PR for arranging this interview. 

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