Interview: 5 minutes with Ennja

Artyom Nikitin, aka Ennja is a young electronic producer hailing from Russia. Initially inspired to produce music in a similar fashion akin to artists and genre greats such as Burial, Vacant or Phaeleh Ennja fuses together elements of future-garage, ambient, dubstep and chillout to create something completely original and unique.  

With various singles, a debut EP titled Hollow, an LP on the way and over 2 million plays on YouTube alone, it’s clear that Ennja is a rising producer who should be on everyone’s list.

We caught up with Ennja on dream jobs, sleeping late and producing:

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

This is what I used to see on the street, in various forms. I decided to connect my life with one of them – music, and I do not regret it.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

It’s complicated, but I think idea comes first. This is something like a foundation, if you do not take it into account, then the music will sound accordingly.

What’s on your current playlist?

Lazerhawk – Somnus
The Crystal Method – Busy Child
Manu Shrine – Fortune
Sorrow – The Twelve
Wardruna – Isa
Metallica – Outlaw Torn

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

I like to make/record my own samples and operate with them. It gives me so much option to make, it’s widened my way of thinking and it’s how I get my own, original sound. Also, I try to mix different genres often, it gives some interesting results.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

Well, my studio is only my notebook, earphones and stereo system. I’m an “owl” so my “morning” starts around 1 p.m. I run my DAW and begin to preparing base sounds I want to use: drums, bass, lead instruments, make some records if I need. Then I start to play different melodies, add some sounds, textures to fill holes in mix. This whole process takes a lot of time for me, so I do mixing and mastering part next or next two days. Late evening and night, I watch series, movies or read books.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

Sure, it was summer 2013, I just finished my military service by conscription and I tried to put my mind back to normal. I started to make music again, and about three months I realized: “It’s my dream job, I want to become a real sound producer”. So now I’m trying to make my dreams become a reality.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

A cup of good tea, loneliness, movie or a good book.

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

I use many things, but I think what’s important and really worth of attention is my acoustic 6-string guitar. I record it and create different samples which I use in some of my tracks.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

Since 2013, my music and my sound have changed so much. But I will mark 2016 as a turning point in the improvement. At that moment I got acquainted with atmospheric electronic music, the moment when I began to take this craft seriously, and gradually began to improve my skills. From that moment, a certain imprint in the tracks became visible, my “thing”, if I may say so, and I’m still working on improving, but now the sound quality.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

Pretty soon there will be compilation on The Games We Play label named “Ghosts” which contains my unreleased track. Also, we (a group of Russian atmospheric music producers) are preparing to release the Second Part of compilation named “Fractured Vibes”. And I’m planning to release a my first LP album this summer.

For more information follow Ennja on Facebook