Hi Arash, great to have you with us for the first time. Happy New Year!
It’s a pleasure. Thanks very much for having me.
Despite everything that’s going on in the world right now, how are you doing?
Always good. While we can easily enroll ourselves and others into the real negatives of life, I do my best to see the light in everything.
So, let’s get down to it…You’ve just launched your new artist project, The Archer. Can you talk to us about that?
Music has always been an essential part of my existence. The Archer is an expression of my love affair with music and now sharing that intimate relationship with the world.
Who would you say are your biggest musical influences?
I am influenced by good music in any genre. Like many I am sure, I may not even register or memorize who the artist or band is as the song simply resides on my playlist as something I vibe with and listen to. But, to give you some names I do register: Chus & Ceballos, Frank Ocean, Everything but the Girl, Duran Duran, the Smiths, Disclosure, Matt Sassari, and Drunken Kong.
And you’ve just launched a brand new label to boot? Very exciting! Can you tell us why you decided to set up a label and talk to us about the name and the concept behind it?
I am sure many can relate to being the one who is always “DJing” for friends, through curating and introducing new music and genres to anyone listening. I love the process of watching someone fall in love with new (or old) music. I also want to help rising artists release their music so that they can live their dream and share their love with the rest of the world. There is a Light Records will facilitate that shared journey between artist and listener.
You have a very successful career as a lawyer. What made you decide to dip your toes into the deep end of the music industry in the middle of a global pandemic?
One positive out of the many negatives of the pandemic was the forced down time that gave people an opportunity to reflect and reassess. I made a list of what was important to me and music was at the very top. Inspiring and helping others was equally important and on that list. I realized that a record label was the perfect synergy that would allow me to pursue my passion, help artists, and inspire others. I am inherently a huge risk taker (as a lawyer I take on the largest corporations) and there was no real down side to starting a label. If I entertain or inspire just one listener to experience joy or to imprint amazing memories, then mission accomplished.
The first EP is a release from yourself, with remixes from Drunken Kong and Matt Sassari. What can our readers can expect from the release?
Good music that will take your mind and your hips on an alluring journey to the outer edges of a desert oasis on an unknown planet, guided by the voice of an angel. With the Matt Sassari remix, that journey goes even darker to an after hours club in a hidden alley deep in the galaxy. And Drunken Kong takes us to a space station meant for travellers to let go and have fun.
What’s your vision for the label over the next 5 years?
To be a label where artists know their best work will be heard and where music lovers know they can hear something they will love.
And more short term – what’s next for There Is A Light in 2021?
Releasing more music from The Archer and other artists (always in the listening tower searching for new music to showcase).
With large parts of the world still suffering the effects of COVID-19, and with large-scale events cancelled across the board, what do you think about the future of the music industry?
Music and human connection are integral parts of our existence. I know we are now more keenly aware of how important it is to actually be in the presence of other humans, especially enjoying and dancing to music together. Independent of the “music industry”, I am certain that music saved a lot of us during the pandemic. Either as a listener or as a music creator, music was the companion or the muse during a time of darkness. For many, we developed an even deeper connection to and appreciation for the power of music. When they can do so safely, I am confident that clubs and large-scale events will come back with a vengeance and will grow exponentially.
Are you optimistic that things will return to some state of normality this year?
By practice, I am always optimistic. “Normality” is an interesting word. I think many of us don’t want things to return to normal – where we illogically spend time doing activities that don’t serve us and waste time commuting and polluting our environment. In the context of so many horrible losses, there have been a number of silver linings. For instance, our new normal may look noticeably different, yet better than before the pandemic. So yes, humans are a resilient species. We always survive and thrive.
Do you plan to tour your new artist project once things do get back to normal?
Yes, I do. I love playing live and typically play a mix of techno, tech house, melodic techno, afro house, deep house, and disco. To be frank, my sets are better suited for techno crowds at clubs than the trial lawyer crowd. Plus, it will save me from having to tell some random (“No, I cannot play that Bon Jovi track for you.”) ?
Thank you Arash. We really appreciate your time and we wish you all the best for 2021.