The Advocate, one of the most renowned artists in the Ukrainian electronic music scene and one that is taking his sound to a truly new global reach with some stunning releases over the course of the past 12 months. Founder of Skybar club and label, he is an artist who is high-flying at this moment, and is really beginning to make an impact in the right realms. Likened to duo ARTBAT, his sound knows no boundaries and we got to speak to him about his meteoric rise, how he’s been developing his sound and of course, ‘Mission Apollo’, his latest single.
How has your year progressed so far?
It’s been a really successful year. Throughout this year, a few of my releases saw light. My latest, “Mission: Apollo”, just came out the other day and is now gaining momentum across the world. For me personally, though, the major development this year was the launch together with my team of a new label, Skybar Records.
What has been the best thing for you about the end to lockdowns, in fact, how was it in Ukraine?
I believe it’s been easier on us here in Ukraine, perhaps, than it was in some other parts of the world. See, we did have lockdowns and restrictions of all sorts but they still allowed nightclubs in certain periods this year, and the previous year as well, to continue operating. Even now this makes the situation better for us than it is for some countries because now we have our nightlife fully accessible and thriving. So this contributes to the development of both our artists and their music.
What did you learn about yourselves or about the dance music scene in the last 18 months?
Over the past 18 months it became clear that no kind of lockdown or restriction is able to fully prevent the artists from working and music – from being played. That’s due to the fact that all streaming platforms are still out there, fully operable, so music gets uploaded there and, even in the lack of direct contact with their audiences, artists are able to even expand these audiences through uploads and streams. For example, I would never have imagined that amid a heavy lockdown late 2020 my Ekata EP would come out, which by now had already gained almost 400,000 listens on Spotify alone.
Has your music style changed over this time, did your influences and inspiration feel different?
Not really… My music style, starting from 2015, the period when our SkyBar club changed its style, has remained unchanged. This is melodic house and techno. Have I ever considered altering it? Perhaps, this could only about some shifts within the electronic music genres toward “neighboring” styles, such as was my experiment with Afro house.
What is the scene in Ukraine like, healthy? Good club scene, record shops and stuff?
Definitely, the club scene in Ukraine is one of the best ones in Europe and beyond, across the globe. You are the founder and owner of Skybar in Ukraine. Tell us more about the venue and also some of the artists who have performed here. Skybar has been a high-profile venue for the last 12 years already. It has won acclaim both in Ukraine and beyond, recognized as one of the best clubs in Europe, and maybe even worldwide. It hosted gigs by the world’s most prominent, top tier DJs – you name them. Among the latest arrivals were Adriatique, Oliver Koletzki, Giorgia Angiuli, Mathame, WhoMadeWho, Claptone and many others. Also, Skybar is among Ukraine’s leaders in the area of electronic dance music. Besides, it’s a popular spot to visit for music lovers from all around Europe.
Your new single release, Mission: Apollo, was inspired by the moon landings. Are you a fan of space travel?
Yes, as every little boy out there, I’ve been dreaming since early childhood days about becoming an astronaut and flying into space. So, surely, the topic of space still gets me high and, given that I am still to venture to the orbit some day in the future, what I’ve been trying to do so far is to try to reach out to it not in physical reality but rather through the music. In fact, it’s able to lift you off this planet.
When you begin to make a track do you already have the process in your mind or is every production session unique?
I believe that any artist or producer comes up with certain ideas. But these ideas never reach the final stage of their implementation without being developed and transformed. So as I sit down to start working on a new piece I initially have a certain tune, which sometimes turns into a totally different, and yet unique sound when we finish our work – be it in a month, a year, or even a couple of years.
Your favorite piece of studio hardware (or software)?
In a studio setting, my favorite piece is always studio monitors. That’s because they allow us to hear a baby, a “new track”, being conceived. And it’s studio monitors that offer us an opportunity to feel, not only hear, the sound.
Who has been your biggest inspiration in the dance music scene?
I believe my biggest inspiration in the dance music scene was Tale of Us when I first heard them while in Ibiza. And that definitely pushed changes towards my attitude to electronic music in general.