The KRANKk band member won the country's most prominent beatmaker competition.
At the Red Bull Elektropedia Awards 2019, the Antwerp-based garage trio KRANKk was selected as one of the year's Most Promising Artists. This Sunday, one-third of the band struck gold at the seventh edition of the Champion Sound Beat Battle. The Maasmechelen native Aram Abgaryan, who operated under his Fifty Hertz moniker, defeated worthy contestants like Audri and UNOS. His cinematic, UK-influenced electronica sure turned a lot of heads this week. Other than a quick update, we are lucky to be given an exclusive taste of one of his victorious beats, found below.
Congratulations! Were you expecting this?
"I certainly didn't expect this, because of the quality of the competition. All producers were very straightforward with the given samples (every producer had to remix the same given samples, ed.), yet they still managed to stay within their original style. For me, it was important that the given samples - no matter how distorted they might be - would be the driving force of my beats. I also focused on bringing various styles that bring a lot of energy. This has helped me to battle with full conviction".
© Champion Sound
How did you experience the evening on the whole?
"The atmosphere at OLT was immense, in no small part to the host DVTCH NORRIS. He managed to excite every beatmaker, although everyone listened respectfully to each other's beats. The semi-final between me and UNOS was an absolute highlight. The quality of our beats on par, and it got really close. The diversity of my beats might have saved me. In the final, I appreciated Audri's originality and feeling for more complex rhythmic structures".
What has been the impact of the current national situation on you and KRANKk?
"Our plans took a massive hot. The only positive thing to came out of this was the peace of retreating to my home base, Limburg. I finally had a chance to make up some lost time with my family. For KRANKk, the lockdown was a complete disaster. The campaign for our debut album was ruined. It was released on March 13, right before the first measures. Soon it became clear that the release tour and the video shoot with our first UK collabs would be cancelled. In all fairness, the financial and promotional losses were huge for us".
KRANKk is still my absolute priority. We still have a long way to go together.
© Jelle Dreesen & Annika Wallis - Fifty Hertz performing with KRANKk at the Red Bull Elektropedia Awards 2019
"That said, we didn't sit still. We will release a remix album for this fall. There will be a remix contest for our track 'Everybody's Sick'. The winner's edit will be featured on the album, alongside other some great (inter)national producers. Besides, we started working out a multi-sensory live show for our TRIX residence, in collaboration with the CAN (Creative Accessibility Network). Despite all the gig cancellations, we do not give up. It's still our intention to put together a live show by 2021 that's accessible to a broader audience, including the visually and hearing impaired. For ordinary people, the multi-sensory live shows will be extra immersive and compelling".
How do you see your balance between KRANKk and Fifty Hertz now?
"KRANKk is still my absolute priority. We still have a long way to go together, and we work very hard for that every day. I live together with Thomas (one of two other members), and I love dedicating entire days to making new music. Fortunately, I have a lot more time on my hands now. I need to connect with my audience and the music scene on a more individual level. This connection has become more important to me because, with a solo project, I can express myself in the purest form without compromises".
What are the plans for Fifty Hertz?
"I'm working on many different songs, some of them collaborations. I want to keep the right balance between niche and accessible songs and build a healthy DJ career. Also, I'm going to add film music in my Master of Piano at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp. This way, I hope to build my portfolio of music for series, films and games".