Roman Avan | DJ/Producer from Los Angeles
Introducing Roman Avan
Can you introduce yourself? who are you and where are you from? What are you doing in your day-to-day life?
My name is Roman Avanesyan (artistic name is Roman Avan) and I am originally from Armenia. Right now, I am living in Los Angeles, California with my wife and my daughter since 2006.
I have multi-disciplinary background and have a major in Biotechnology and Information Technology. By day I work in IT Consulting and help clients in different industry verticals with IT solutions to improve their businesses.
I also have a musical background and outside of regular work I am a very passionate music producer! I started producing in 2018 as a self-taught producer and I transformed my musical background into a deep passion for electronic music – especially techno, melodic techno and techhouse genres.
Many people not may be familiar with me yet, perhaps not even those who prioritize electronic music above all other genres, but operating largely under the radar I have got an extensive number of great tunes under my belt. Currently, I am actively working on expanding my reach and creating music on a weekly basis.
While I was self-releasing my creations initially, at this point I have been releasing music on multiple labels and I am proud to share that one of my recent releases was charting #3 on Top100 Techno Releases Chart on Beatport. I am definitely looking forward to creating more on regular basis!
Can you take us with you on how your musical taste has developed in the past? For example, have you always been a fan of techno?
Music has always been present in my family. My late mother was the biggest inspiration and the reason I was introduced to music. She was a composer and a soprano voice singer in Yerevan Opera Theater (Republic of Armenia). I remember attending many of my mom’s premiers and plays and developing the love for music through these events. I also attended musical school for 7 years; Chello and Piano were my primary instruments.
Another influencer in my life is my uncle, who introduced me to electronic ambient genres through the creations of Jean-Michel Jarre – a French composer, performer and record producer. He is a pioneer in the electronic, ambient and new-age genres. I remember listening to his tunes on cassette decks and vinyl when I was 8 years old!
Later in my life during student years my biggest inspiration for electronic music was André Tanneberger, better known by his stage name ATB, a German DJ, musician and producer of trance music. When I first heard his tunes, his melodies and beautiful creations just really got deep in my soul! I mostly got into listening to his music in late 1990s and 2000s during my school and college years. I would even throw parties sometimes playing his tunes on Yamaha synthesizer provided by my friend back then. That was fun times
In the beginning I have been dabbling between Trance, Electronic New Age, Techno, and EDM. But my taste gradually and naturally narrowed into the Techno genre as I created more and learned more in music production process.
Also, my breakthrough moment in my producer career was in 2020 during the world-wide pandemic. Similar to many people, I was thinking about how to use that time for the positive things and I joined a great artist collective as part of the artist development program called “Cosmic Academy”. That community is comprised of many talented producers, DJs, and just great people who influence each other and help each other grow.
Latest release ‘Sirens’
Tell us something about your EP, what was the idea and workflow behind it?
OBESHIMI: “Obeshimi” (O-beshimi) which in Japanese culture represents a large clenched mouth mask worn by powerful deities. The gold eyes and red color of the skin indicate terrifying power; the clenched mouth indicates that power is kept under close control. This track was primarily inspired by my observations of my daughter’s interests in Japanese culture and Japanese cartoon characters. My observations and discussions with my daughter led me to explore the other characters of Japanese performing arts and this brought me to Obeshimi mask and explanation of the character which inspired my track.
The track starts with a deep base and strong kick, supported by percussions accompanied with effects, immediately creating the dark atmospheric feelings. The track is driven by a heavy incessant beat and basslines, before steaming off into a head-banging loop, hand-built for dancefloor rumbles. The atmospheric frantic sounds of the vocal (inspired by Obeshimi character) along with the kick, synth lead, and supporting hats rides their way through building the anticipation before exploding in energetic and upbeat dirty synth sounds and stabs in the first drop. Followed by another energy building break in the track, it again builds the anticipation which is supported by another variation of arp sound accompanied by a breath-taking deep vocal transitioning into the second explosive drop and continuing the unrelenting beat-fest, with no sign of any respite. The energy, technical precision, and banging percussion supported by euphoric vocals captivate and put the audience in the state of techno daze. This can keep the crowd pinned to the dancefloor and keep them there forever.
SIRENS: “Sirens” was primarily inspired by the state of my emotional condition at that moment. I wanted to create something euphoric, melodic and upbeat. As I was exploring and designing different sounds the main “Synth Siren” sound in the track inspired the entire track. The track is also accompanied by ambient and atmospheric vocals creating certain mysterious feelings. The track starts with a strong kick and supporting vocal chops accompanied by effects creating atmospheric feelings. Gradually bringing in the sound of the lead siren sound the track puts the audience in the state of trance which can be felt either on the dance floor at the club, while driving, or when you have the desire to listen to something upbeat. The track is driven by a heavy incessant kick, basslines, synths, and vocals before the main break of atmospheric vocals and fading sirens.
The break really puts the audience in the state of nirvana before exploding into the second drop. This drop continues the relentless energy through the second part of the track. I think I truly expressed what I was feeling at the moment of creation of the track; a mix of energy, emotions, mystery, and anticipation.
My production process is comprised of typical workflow around constructing the track while introducing new elements of creativity. Sometimes the flow is inspired by new explorations in the process of creation of the track – new sounds, new feelings, new observations around me. For example, a new top or arp sound that adds that additional secret ingredient that I was looking for in the track.
I would say I don’t have many challenges during the creation of the track but I typically try not to deviate too much from the direction of my track as I always have the desire to mix the genre and create something new as part of the process, which is my friend and my enemy in some scenarios 😊
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
Although techno and melodic techno would be considered my primary genres, my audience often gets surprised with my creations in electronic and electronic new age verticals as well. I think my releases often stretch beyond four-to-the-floor techno and I often integrate expansive cinematic interludes and exotic ambient into highly strung club beats. Each of my tracks are very different from one another yet all have that banging Techno style.
When did you start producing? How did you discover music production? And what made you decide to start producing techno?
As I mentioned, I started producing in 2018 and I turned all my life musical inspirations from my family and also inspirations later taken from artists such as Boris Brejcha, Acid Pauli, Carl Cox, and Charlotte de Witte into euphoric electronic transcendence of the techno genre. Techno music is also something that pushed me to express my feelings and my memories with my mother, while connecting with my audience on the same waves.
What’s your best advice you can give to any new producers out there?
What I would recommend the following 7 things to rising producers out there:
#1 Consistency: if you do something consistently it will happen. Put your mind to it and envision your objective every single day.
#2 Work hard, it will pay off: if you are serious about your music career you will have to put serious time in it. This does not mean you have to give up your life, but you will just need to do some sacrifices to put more time in your passion if you want it to become something bigger later on!
#3 be structured and plan ahead: every single day you have to have a plan. Try not to jump from one thing to another. Have goals and milestones in overall bigger picture.
#4 Finish fast, finish more: the more music you create the more experience you gain. Even if your track is not at the level you wanted to be, even if it is not released or signed by a label, you gained experience in the process of creating that track. This time is not wasted. I challenge myself to finish every track I start.
#5 Be yourself: don’t chase every shiny thing, shiny sound, shiny track. Create something unique, create something that represents you, while learning from the best and learning from the successes of others and incorporating what may be interesting to you!
#6 Be patient: do not be disappointed by rejections and failures, take a step-wise approach. You probably heard the saying “it’s a marathon not a sprint”: so the marathon is a test of mental toughness and willingness to push on when everyone else would most likely quit. Enjoy the process and just keep creating!
#7 Be open to feedback: getting feedback is a crucial component of your development. Be open to feedback and take the best from it. Some people are looking for someone to provide feedback. So, if you have someone that can provide you feedback you are in a good position. With this, however, music is also about the taste, so take the feedback with the grain of salt in some scenarios 😊
What do you want to achieve with your music in the future?
For the near future I envision myself continuing to create more music and influencing more people and my fans. The idea of me being able to create more techno music and inspire more people is the biggest motivation for me. I enjoy the process and will accept where this process takes me next! I work with multiple labels at this point and expanding my horizon more and challenging myself with new goals and objectives every day. While I am focusing on production I am also planning to start getting into the DJ-ing arena, which I haven’t been doing for some time. I will expand my reach through playing my music and the music of some of my favorite artists and labels! These are very exciting times!
How and where can we follow you or your work best?
Social Media Links: