ARTAN is an artist who puts all his insecurities on show. “I try to give people an insight into my mind frame,” he tells Clash. Flowing effortlessly between singing and rapping in his songs, he staples himself as a Melodic Rapper. He’s open about the pain and anxiety that informs his music, something that others shy away from in the UK scene. “Music for me was always therapeutic and it was always a sense of release for me,” he explains.
Speaking more on the music that shaped his sound, he says: “It was the best feeling when I connected with someone on a song that I heard and could relate to. It’s something that’s special in life, like speaking to a therapist. I’ve tried to emulate that and basically talk about what I am feeling through my melodies Just being true to myself at all times and expressing it in the best way possible”.
Charismatic and brimming with excitement, words tumble down the phone-line during our call. It was an insight into his free-flowing nature – little wonder he holds deep, personal friendships with many of his fans. As someone who talks about real life struggles, he’s able to connect to people on a deeper level, explaining: “I think people really appreciate that and resonate with it”.
ARTAN wants to set an example to his fans. “I’m not saying I’m a saint who’s changing lives,” he comments, “but my music is about people going through the pain while still trying to achieve goals in life”. Always an optimist, he’s not afraid to show life’s more negative side. The rapper continues: “Even though what I’m talking about might sound quite negative, what I’m doing in my actions is showing you that you can push through and get to that light.”
At the start of this year he released his mixtape ‘Chasing Dragons’, and the reaction blew him away. “I always think that anything I can do, can be done better. But the response for this was incredible!” he exclaims. Indeed, ARTAN is already working on his next EP, a project that zones in on his experiences with anxiety. “I want to show people every aspect of my personality,” he says, “including my insecurities. I want to show people my cocky side, and also when I’m real low as well”.
WHAT: Conscious UK rap
WHERE: Wood Green, London
3 Songs: ‘Cycles’, ‘Falling’, ‘Whym I High?’
FACT: ARTAN has a pet peeve – people messaging saying there’s something important to discuss and then not picking up their phone!
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Words: Joe Hale
Photography: Joel Smedley
Styling: Zarina Shukri