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What happens when three gifted names in dance music are given the freedom to blaze a trail of artistic creativity and form a new sound without mind to one specific genre? Velvetine, the joint project of American singer-songwriter Aruna and Hungarian DJ/production duo Myon & Shane54 is the unexpected yet extraordinary result.
Aruna explains the decision to form the group: “We wanted a musical outlet free from the confines and impositions of typical club music, a place we could really pour all our musical training into and take more risks.”
Approached in 2007 by Myon and Shane54, Aruna lent the duo her talents on “Helpless” and the three formed an irreplaceable bond that is evident through their tracks “Safe” and “The Great Divide,” both of which were produced under the Velvetine moniker.
“We had ideas that didn’t exactly fit into the Myon & Shane54 full on, clubby sound,” says Shane. “By forming Velvetine with Aruna, we’re able to release tracks that take a different direction and reach a wider audience outside of strictly trance music.”
Besides taking elements from trance and progressive music, Velvetine’s influences are all over the board, deriving from classical musicians like Chopin and Debussy, jazz-fusion artists The Yellowjackets and Pat Metheny, film scoring legend Thomas Newman, downtempo greats Late Night Alumni and Ulrich Schnauss and even pop music.
“The Velvetine sound is the place where all three of our tastes overlap,” says Shane.
Velvetine’s first official venture “Safe” was released in August 2009 on Anjunabeats Volume 7. Immediately intrigued by the familiar vocals and progressive, ethereal sound, fans were thrilled to find out that three of their favorite artists had formed an offshoot EDM group. Velvetine’s follow-up single, “The Great Divide” made its debut on Trance Around The World with Above & Beyond 400 and will be released on Anjunabeats on September 3, 2012.
“Thomas Newman is one of the main influences in the direction we’re taking Velvetine,” says Myon. “‘The Great Divide’ is a project where we mixed live instruments into the electronic sound. Since we are using guitars, pianos or strings—or doing some experimental sound designing—a track can take years to finish.”
Between their own individual music careers, touring and making time for studio sessions (not to mention being located in completely different parts of the world), Myon, Shane and Aruna have had to dig deep to find extra time to work on the Velvetine project. But through patience and persistence, Velvetine has been able to make serious strides musically. They’ve performed together at gigs in Taipei, Vancouver and Buenos Aires and most recently sold out Exchange Los Angeles.
By honing their live show, producing timeless tracks and growing a fan base eager to hear more, Velvetine has provided Aruna and Myon & Shane54 with a lasting music outlet that will only refine with time.
“We can only hope the EDM world is ready for it,” Aruna says.