Interview: Five Minutes with Tim Aminov

Moscow-local Tim Aminov has been going from strength to strength with his unique electronic compositions which blend electronica, R&B and neo-soul with definitive trip-hop and chill tones. Racking up accolades since even before the start of his solo career in 2015, Tim Aminov (with his AANBREKEN project) was awarded the prestigious Zolotaya Gorgulia award in 2014, a Russian prize which recognises the best electronic project of a year. With his solo music, Tim has also been enjoying great success, including his 2016 track ‘One Live Survivor’ winning prizes at the Berlin Music Video Awards, Short Shorts Film Festival in Tokyo, Japan, UK Music Awards and Cannes.

Yesterday, Tim Aminov shared the premiere of his brand new single on CLASH, ‘Veneno’, a sultry R&B-infused electronic track preaching the destruction of racial boundaries. ‘Veneno’ will be available on all platforms on October 24th, released independently.

Preorder the track here and listen to it below.

We caught up with Tim Aminov and chatted about his producing process, collaborations and getting back on the stage.

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

Because I’m a human. For me a human means art.

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

It’s different all the time. For me, the idea is the main thing, but sometimes your unconscious mind knows better what the world needs from you now and what you need from the world. At that time I try as much as possible not to think about anything and be present in the moment. But I can say for sure that sound and idea should go alongside and it doesn’t matter what is primal.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

Of course, and moreover at different stages. But it always depends on the track or release. It is very interesting to notice how the music that you create starts revealing itself when somebody else introduces their personal life experience into it. But there are very personal tracks and it is very important to maintain their initial message.

What’s on your current playlist?

Oftentimes it is a new project by Justin Vernon called Big Red Machine. Not long ago I visited Young Fathers’ live performance. I enjoyed them so much that now they play often in my headphones. Come to think of it, I listen to so many musicians. Listing all of them would take many pages.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

Most of all I love looking into people’s eyes, there is everything you need in order to understand what you should do now.

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

I try not to limit myself. I have a lot of analog equipment, modular synthesizers, etc., but I
frequently use virtual instruments. There is always sound in my head and I try to get closer to it.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

Now the process of studio work got very different for me, as I started working with my voice. Often I make a couple of work pieces, a couple of sequences and start experimenting. I sing gibberish upon these chords to make the mood and dynamics appear. Sometimes it takes 3-4 hours with one and the same loop for the idea to shoot off. When such a breakthrough happens, the fully-fledged work piece appears in the next 2-3 hours. Having this sketch, I start thinking what kind of musician do I need in order to record the instruments or whether I can manage it all with what I have. I used to mix myself, but now I work with a sound engineer.

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

Two years ago I decided to challenge myself and learn to do something I never did, so I began to practise vocals. At first, listening to my own voice which was off-key made me sick. I thought that it couldn’t be treated. Slowly everything started coming together. The challenge continues up until now and gives its results.

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

I do not like to be attached to things because it narrows you down.

Any emerging artists on your radar?

I have already mentioned Big Red Machine. Not long ago I also discovered a singer called Oyinda, very cool.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Being alone helps me best. When nothing distracts me, when I do not think about anything and turn inside myself, my creativity pays off with new tracks and ideas.

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

I have a couple of synthesizers, that I use from track to track. Juno6 is a classic that never gets old. Korg MS20 from the first series – I call it Grandpa. I discovered Maschine for myself recently – a very convenient controller. I’m also a big fan of the Russian miс Souz. I also have SU-017, a tube mic, it’s all-purpose and looks cool in mixes.

Any side projects you’re working on?

I do not have any off-site projects at the moment as it takes time.

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

In the first place, everything changes in the head. If you compare how I worked 10 years ago and now, the only difference is that I started to give much more thinking to the content.

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

This year I finally resumed stage performance. There will definitely be a couple of live videos and may be one more single. And the next year I plan to create a new album and a couple of new clips

Watch the award-winning music video for Tim Aminov‘s ‘One Lone Survivor feat. Pete Josef’ below.

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