We had the pleasure of exchanging emails with world-renowned Nuevo flamenco artist, Armik, who has established a second home atop the Billboard New Age charts since 2004, taking the world by storm with his delicate balance of flamenco and classical, Latin and Jazz-influenced tunes. Captain of his own label, Bolero Records, right here in Los Angeles, Armik is excited to bring on new artists who share his same passion for music.
Kyle Warner: Armik, you truly have an incredible catalog of Spanish guitar. Bravo!
Armik: Thanks, Kyle. I appreciate it greatly. And I would like to thank you and Songtradr for this interview.
KW: Our pleasure. Being born in Iran, how did you develop an affinity for Flamenco music? Where did you learn to play?
Armik: When I was 6, I was fascinated with music I heard on the radio. Any melodic song will captivate me and I would follow the rhythm. One day, I saw a guitar in a display window at a pawn shop and fell in love with it instantly. So I traded my watch for that guitar. I hid it and started playing on my own in the basement of our home until my mom discovered it and realized that I had the talent. She had me take formal lessons and after a year my instructor had nothing more to teach me. I played for hours every day and a few years later I started to record professionally at the recording studios and played with several bands at night. I mainly played the Jazz guitar, but I often played with an acoustic nylon string as well. During the late 70’s, I traveled a lot and one of the countries I often visited was Spain. I saw the legendary Paco De Lucia at a concert and was amazed by his incredible talent and the flamenco guitar. Soon after I purchased a flamenco guitar and started studying the style more.
KW: Your music has a sense of peacefulness and relaxation, but also such elegance and precision. How do you strike this balance?
Armik: The music that you hear comes directly from my heart, which tells the stories of my life and experiences. The precision comes from the discipline in playing that I followed with that first lesson since I was 6 years old. Perhaps that’s why it comes through with elegance and peacefulness.
KW: You not only are a tremendous musician, but you also own your own record label, Bolero Records. What inspired you to start Bolero Records?
Armik: In 2002 I had the opportunity to sign with another record company because my contract had ended with the former label I was signed with. Before I even considered any offers a few great distributors and friends suggested that I form my own record label and work directly with a distributor. I think they were impressed with the organized team that I had and knew that I can take my career to the next level. That made sense to me, especially that I own all the rights to my catalog and more importantly had a great team to back me up. Thankfully, that worked out for me and I am glad I did it. It was a great opportunity and the perfect timing.
KW: What do you look for in a musician when considering them for your label?
Armik: What’s important for me is that a musician and an artist stay true to his or her art or style and have something solid to show for. They have to believe what they have is their best and to always try to improve and learn in order to accomplish more. True talent will always shine no matter what.
KW: You are a mainstay at the top of Billboard’s New Age Charts right up there with names like Enya and The Piano Guys. How does it feel to be among such esteemed company?
Armik: It feels wonderful and I am very thankful to be on that chart continuously since 2004 with other great artists like Enya and The Piano Guys.
KW: Have you seen any boosts in plays or recognition from these impressive placements on the Billboard charts?
Armik: Yes, I have noticed an increase in plays and sales not just with my latest release, ENAMOR, but also with other recent albums from my catalog.
KW: What’s next on the docket for you? Where can we find you next?
Armik: I will definitely continue writing and recording new music every day. Because that is a part of me that will never change. But, I am also considering some live shows internationally.