Photo Credits: John Hampton Jr.
INTERVIEW: ARTARI, TaiMarie, Ramond & DJ Zenas
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Complicated”?
TaiMarie: Complicated is an (not to be biased) insane RNB vibe that myself (TaiMarie), Ramond, DJ Zenas, & Jon-John Robinson all collaborated and put a nice dash of magic into. After a good hour of incredible energy, and hitting it off for the first time at the studio, Complicated was then put into creation.
DJ Zenas: “Complicated” is the sum of our first encounter together. This was the first time meeting for some of us, and getting together in the same room was really the only goal. However, when you have that much creativity and talent at your disposal, it is hard to ignore what we all were destined to do, make music. And we did just that. It was such a collaborative effort between everyone involved. The song has character, purpose, and catchiness, which is more than we could have imagined. We are thrilled about how it turned out.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
TaiMarie: I don’t think a specific event in particular sparked the idea, but I do think that all of us had the intent of writing something that everyone and anyone could relate to, whether it’s with a friendship or relationship, stuff can get Complicated, and we just went from there.
Ramond: I always thought it would be dope to write a song about a relationship coming from both the male and females side. I came up with an idea to talk about how people make relationships too “Complex” and we all collectively transformed that into what is now Complicated.
DJ Zenas: I don’t think there was any particular event that inspired the song. However, we knew we wanted to create something that was relatable, smooth, and an instant vibe. Relationships, of all kinds, can be very complicated, and potentially for no reason whatsoever. So with that notion in mind, the juices started flowing effortlessly.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
TaiMarie: Oh absolutely! And you better believe it’s gonna be some HEAT.
Ramond: There will absolutely be a video in the near future.
DJ Zenas: There will absolutely be a music video for the single. We want the visuals to add value to the song so taking our time to get it right is our highest priority. But the “meat and potatoes” of the storyline have already been established. We plan to start shooting as soon as possible.
How was the recording and writing process?
TaiMarie: Incredible. One of the most vital parts of creating a song of course, it’s where everything comes to life. The creation of Complicated writing-wise, was one of my very first serious writing sessions, and I got the chance to really observe everyone in the room, the most memorable part was seeing how fast Ramond came up with his verse, which was so dope and crazy inspiring. As for the recording process (my favorite part of being in the studio) was just mad fun in general. We did our thang!
Ramond: The process of recording and writing was amazing. We came up with the beat and concept the first day we met. The chemistry between us all was just synergetic.
DJ Zenas: One word, organic. It is crazy how natural we all worked together and had so much fun doing so. Whether bouncing ideas off of one another, cracking jokes, or having serious debates about life, music, and more, the process has been nothing but enjoyable.
What was it like to work with Jon-John Robinson and DJ Zenas? How did those relationships develop?
TaiMarie: My dad (Jon-John) and Zenas hit it off really well when they met that first day. They’re both insanely creative and talented producers, and work so well together. The best way to describe seeing them create together is like seeing a double rainbow, they both bring sooo so much life to the party.
Ramond: Me and DJ Zenas have been working together for close to a decade so the chemistry was already there. It was both of our first times meeting Jon John and that just took our creativity to the next level. It felt like being a good player and getting introduced to a great veteran coach.
How much did they get to influence the album?
TaiMarie: With all of our different and yet similar tastes in style, we all provided quite a bit of influence!
Ramond: I think the cool think about ARTARI is that we create everything in the same room. Nothing is really premeditated so it creates a space of equal contribution to every record.
You also get contribute with other folks – how much did you get to balance most of your creative minds and inputs?
TaiMarie: One of the things I’ve always wanted to release, was a smooth RNB joint, with a groove to it. Whatever input was given by each of us, we all immediately understood each other because we all kind of carry similarities in the music we like, so it was like we were all reading each other’s minds as far as the sound we wanted.
Ramond: Being that we are all coming into it as solo artists, the approach is way different. For a solo session I usually come to the studio with everything written, ideas on how I want the songs to sound and how I want to deliver it. With ARTARI, its like cooking from scratch with a great team. There is a lot of input from all of us throughout every stage of the process. We all just want to create the best product.
DJ Zenas: Our process is very open and collaborative. Everyone has the opportunity to and is highly encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas. Therefore, the influence comes from each and every one of us.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?
TaiMarie: I think it’s super important to step outside of the box when collaborating with other people, you always learn something new, and especially with a group like ours, we’re always learning different approaches and viewpoints from each other!
DJ Zenas: When working with others, you have to be more open-minded and receptive to everyone involved. That is the only way the creative process can be enjoyable for everyone. Not one person thinks alike, so it’s really cool to see what skill and input each person brings to the table. It’s much different when working alone. There are pros and cons to everything, but I will say the more ears the merrier.
What role does Dallas play in your music?
TaiMarie: If you’ve ever been to Dallas, then you’d know it has this super fun and artsy vibe, which is the flavor we all added to the song.
DJ Zenas: Dallas is the home of a few involved but most importantly where we all met, so it does hold a special place in time for us all.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
TaiMarie: Absolutely, new material is on its way! We’re in the midst of creating something BIG! It’s coming together so wonderfully and we all can’t wait for everyone to listen to it!
Ramond: Absolutely. We actually have new material already recorded and plans for a group EP.
DJ Zenas: Definitely. There is already more material in the works so you can expect to hear much more from us in the future.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
TaiMarie: You’ll just have to keep a careful eye for the release date, and single out any sort of Distractions…or you’ll miss it!
Ramond: No release date or title yet, but stay tuned.
DJ Zenas: Not at the moment. As of now, our focus is to get “Complicated” in as many places and in as many ears as possible. It is a great song and has great potential. The rest will come with time.
Any plans to hit the road?
TaiMarie: Most definitely, sometime in the future, and it’s looking pretty good thanks to all the love we’ve been shown thus far!
Ramond: Definitely. We plan for 2020 to be a huge year for ARTARI and want to get out to as many places as possible.
DJ Zenas: Hopefully. We would like to start touring in the near future. However, we plan to create more content and polish all of the details beforehand.