Arterial, also known as Charlie Ashby Jr, is an American Hardstyle artist. Being a musician from his teenage years Arterial has always tried to break boundaries and find the next big thing, he eventually started to work on electronic music. In 2010 he had stumbled across Hardstyle, from that point forward he started producing it more and more. He spends every waking hour in the studio, this type of dedication isn’t something that can be ignored. He is working endlessly to take his sound to the next level. Music runs through his veins.
Hometown: Staten Island, NY
Currently living: Staten Island, NY
Origin of name:
When I came up with this name, I was thinking of hardstyle as more than just music; I was thinking of it as a feeling. You feel hardstyle in your veins—whether it’s on your phone, in your car, or on a giant system at a club or festival. So in conclusion, my name symbolizes music that runs through your veins and arteries. Music is Arterial.
Weapon of choice:
My weapon of choice, especially for everyone that knows me, has to be black coffee. As strange as it sounds, it has gotten me through the toughest nights and earliest mornings for track deadlines.
Source of power:
My biggest influence is renowned musician Jordan Rudess from the band Dream Theater. His keyboard playing and synthesis work made me go out and get my own keyboard and start noodling around on Reason back in 2009. I try to interpret a lot of his influence into my tracks. Anybody reading this should check out his work; I guarantee it will leave an impression on you.
What advice would you offer someone thinking about entering the Discovery Project competition?
Do it. You got to be in it to win it. This is the opportunity of a lifetime for a DJ/producer. If you have a chance for the masses to see and hear why you should be heard, take it.
Jeez, where do I begin. From guitars and pianos to synths and kicks, it was definitely a long road. Ever since I learned how to read music in middle school, I knew that this had to be something to carry out for a lifetime. Also, there’s just something about playing your music for people and seeing them lose their minds; it’s simply intoxicating. Music is definitely eternal for me.
Was there one particular moment in the recording or mixing process for your Discovery Project entry that made you feel like you were creating something pretty damn special?
Oh, yes. I got lost in the mix. When I was recording the contest mix, I actually got so into it that it didn’t even feel like I was in my studio anymore. I knew what I was aiming for, so I immersed myself into the feeling of being in front of thousands of people.
Are there any dots to connect between where/how you grew up and your musical output?
It all started when I saw a guitar for the first time in my life. I was four years old at my aunt’s house, and I saw my cousin’s guitar. I hounded him EVERY DAMN DAY to play that thing until it got annoying. Later, when I went to middle school, I learned to read music. I played the trumpet for three years (I was great, and I miss it like crazy sometimes) and I learned the basics that helped me get further.
What do your parents think of what you are doing?
My parents were always supportive. They’re really happy to see something come of it, too!
What’s the strangest part of your job? What makes you shake your head in wonderment about being a DJ and producer?
Staring at a computer screen for hours on end, for sure.
What’s the biggest misconception about being a DJ? Or, what would people be surprised to find out about the profession?
Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT a push-play world, especially in the 150-BPM world. This is an art, a passion, a challenge, and a hell of a good time.
Tell me about your most memorable night out as an artist or as a fan.
My most memorable night was definitely this party called Revolution 6 in NYC. It was my very first hardstyle event, and it opened up many doors for me.
How does what you do for a living affect you on a day-today basis? How, if at all, does it affect your friends and family?
I’ll start off saying that the wall-banging is real; I definitely don’t have happy neighbors. My friends know I apply a lot of my time to music, so they understand. It also helps that I have an incredible girlfriend who is supportive and always pushed me to get music done when it needed to be.
What is your ultimate career dream?
To travel the world.
Are you impulsive with your work (in the studio and/or DJing), or do you have a sketch in mind before you start?
It all depends on the day. I can go into the studio and just noodle around with synths until I have something, or I’ll be driving home and I’ll just start singing to myself a melody I came up with, and it makes me want to go right home to the studio and put it down!
How, if at all, does listening to music figure into your creative process? What’s the last song you heard that made you drop what you were doing and go into the studio?
The entire album Parallax II: Future Sequence by Between the Buried and Me. It may be metal, but it’s progressive metal. I get so many ideas from progressive bands.
What’s the most important piece of gear in your studio?
My monitors. I have a pair of Focal CMS 65 monitors in my studio, and they helped me make my final mixdowns of tracks come to their full potential.
How important is it for you to experiment and take on the risk of failure?
Experimenting is the ultimate way to express your inner artist. If you think about it, music is definitely a scientific process, and every science experiment doesn’t always win the crowd.
If we pressed shuffle on your iPod while you went to the bathroom, what would you be embarrassed to come back to us listening to?
I’d be embarrassed that I have an iPod! You’re talking to a Windows/Android fan!
What sound or noise do you love?
MRI machines—not that I’m in them all the time, but when I am, the sounds of the magnets firing off sounds so brutal and raw. It gives me so many ideas.
What should everyone just shut the fuck up about?
Subgenres. So what if something is hard, soft, techy or glitchy? It’s all music. If you don’t like it, don’t listen to it!
What gets you excited when you think about the future of electronic music and club culture?
What makes me excited is hopefully the integration of live instruments.
What are your weaknesses?
Do you have a favorite all-time mix CD or series?
My favorite compilation is The Summer of Frontliner from Frontliner. Every time I hear any song from that album, I immediately think of summer, the festival season, DJing, etc. I still, to this day, get such chills from “TBA 2” and “Feels Good Right Here.”