RCM writer Mark McConville interviews ARXIVN to discover more about the man and his music
Your music is so meaningful and the lyrics you have instilled in your music are poetic and have substance. When did you start writing lyrics and when did you discover you had talent for the written word?
Firstly I’d like to Thank you so much for recognising my work and taking it in. Music is an extension of all beings. We hear those frequencies and begin a process of transforming the vibrations into memories, emotions, thoughts and sensations.
When I speak into that microphone and explore the caverns of my mind, this is what I bring into the music that I create and that the audience hears. A process completely spellbinding me into an autonomous mode where I am the music that I am creating.
Truth is I never discovered anything, it found me and is a direct representation of my mind and personal experience. My sound has matured a lot over time and it’s taken perseverance, isolation, sacrifice and exploration of the most fragile and powerful parts of me.
Reviewing Psalm 86 for RCM was a wholesome and inspiring experience for me. The song gave me an insight into your words and musical direction. How do you come up with the concept within your songs as they all seem story-driven?
Psalm 86 is one of my best pieces of work for sure and again, I never went looking for the song and concept. These things come to me as I exist and develop further on this journey. New encounters, conversations, people, moments in time that reveal the next stepping stone.
I live through my music. From the moment I open my eyes, I’m constantly thinking of the storyline and everything that happens as signs of where to go.
You came to the UK as a refugee in 1999 from the Kosovo war. That must have been a harrowing experience for you. How does that influence your work?
I hate the stigma the word Refugee comes with and the fact we have to have a word like ‘Refugee’ exist to define the time period and what people went through.
Definitely an experience. Those times were difficult on my family and so many others.
That is one of the defining periods of my life whereby it toughened my skin and built the foundations of what I believe in.
Psalm 86 is a true masterstroke in terms of experimentation and diverse sounds. You implement reggae, Hip-Hop, R&B, into your work. It is such a melting pot, and you should be commended for being so versatile. What genre do you feel is your favourite?
Those genres have been more influential than things I implement within my work sonically.
Some of the best periods of my life have been listening to all of those genres and more, as I said, music stimulates thoughts, emotions and memories!
Hip-Hop and Reggae can definitely take some credit for me being more ‘cool’ and ‘confident’ haha – They all have their little additions to my personality traits and could never really pick a favourite, but Reggae is unmatched.
You’re a poet who takes words to a grandeur scale. Does it come naturally to you, and do your emotions aid you in creating these incredible moments and tracks?
These words have been given to us to use and communicate our thoughts and document our existence.
I tend to create very organically without limitations. Nowadays it’s not going into the booth every day as it used to be, but more so live out my life, perform, release, have deep conversations and then when I’m back, there is a whole storyline to come to when the time is ready to have a heart-to-heart with the music and the microphone. It’s like confessing your sins in the church to the pastor, except you’re having a discussion with the music and your experiences.
You came to London as a youth. Was it a culture shock leaving Albania for such a culturally diverse city?
The whole experience was quite overwhelming. From crossing mountains where soldiers would shoot the men and beat the women and put the children to work.
London was just a numb haze by the time we got here it was more of a “Thank God” we’ve at least got to our destination.
Later on, I could remember crying on my first day of nursery due to a kid offering me a red car, confusing the word ‘car’ with an Albanian diss relating to “Dickhead” lmao – so yeah, it took some getting used to.
PLEROMA The Place Beyond The Light is such a varied and accomplished EP. Are you working on a full length now?
Thank you. Pleroma is my first ever EP and creates a Universe for most of my work to live in. If it’s external to the Pleroma Universe then it’s because I’m creating another Universe for other songs to populate and exist in.
Working on our next LP titled ‘GEHENNA’
This will be my most accomplished body of work and we plan on hosting our own show in October. I hope to see you and your friends there. The experience will be memorable and striking.
You take the stage name ARXIVN. Does it stand for anything?
Arxivn read ‘A.R.X.I.V.N’ or pronounced as ‘AR-XI-VIN’ is an abbreviation of my real name ‘ARION’. ARXIVN is a protagonist that I am creating to exist through Sonic and Visual experiences.
Your voice is relevant, and your music shouldn’t be understated. Is there a tour on the horizon? I know covid has impacted the music industry, but are you ready to go on the road?
We’ll be ready to start doing tours as soon as we finish ‘GEHENNA’.
What are your feelings on the current state of the music industry?
Not really the one to attach feelings to such subjects if I am honest. The music industry is like anything else, a megalopolis of life and a combination of numbers and metrics. We are ready to make impactful stories, leave beautiful legacies and create art and share love for one another.
Discover more from ARXIVN on RCM
Discover more from ARXIVN
Questions Mark McConville