Artemas Breaks Down New ‘yustyna’ Mixtape

Enigmatic producer discusses their work...

Artemas is part of a new wave of UK production talent breaking records while maintaining their secrecy. An enigmatic figure, a flurry of singles and projects have set DSPs alight, racking up more than 1.5 billion streams in the process.

New mixtape ‘yustyna’ follows some epic singles, and it continues to build his story. Continually introducing unexpected aspects, the project veers from Cure-esque goth pop through to fragmented techno via left-field hip-hop.

Speaking to CLASH, Artemas breaks down the new project…

1. i like the way you kiss me

I mumbled the melody over this psyche trap we made in the studio. I’m doing this like faux Robert smith impression. I genuinely thought it was so dumb in the studio and then we blasted it in my friends car on the way home. I recorded the intro in a rush and distinctly remember getting goosebumps when the first chorus comes in. The song (in the most pretentious way) is satire. I tried to embody the worst dude ever. 

2. i always kinda knew you’d be the death of me 

I love this song and have not touched it since me and Toby made it in Manchester while we were on tour. I love a long title and I love being melodramatic with my lyrics. The reality is my life isn’t that final episode of a HBO show but I want the music to feel like it. I was wronged by someone and this came while I was really going through it. The layered vocals in the chorus feels kind of ‘the wall’ to me and it’s got a similar arrangement dna to ‘kiss me’ hence it being the follow up. 

3. you’ve been a bad girl

Here we start the really bait titles. I love a bait lyric. I’m convinced if u can say something super crass and make people wanna sing it then you’ve struck gold. It’s the same line up that are on ‘kiss me’. Toby Daintree, Kevin White and Jesse Fink. I’ve always wanted triplet feel of a ‘black skinhead’ or ‘howlin for u’ so I was beyond excited when this started taking shape.

Cannot wait to play this one live. 

4. stupidhead

I’ve had the chorus for this for about 2 years. And it used to be a very sweet song before I really started finding my sound. I’m so proud of the instrumental on this. I’m a massive fan of the dark rnb that came out in the early 2010s. I wanted the music to sound like a ‘beach house’ or ‘siouxsie and the banshees’ sample so we made a nothing song that we flipped into the beat you hear on the record. The studio I was working out of in LA sounds like a bathroom so we spent forever mixing it. 

5. caroline

After an eventful night playing a tiny festival in Rotterdam we set forth to Hamburg for the first date of my tour and we had an sm7b and an interface. The melody suddenly came to me and Toby (my main collaborator) just flat out was ignoring me. I genuinely was so mad in the moment and he says it was to rial me up. Anyway he then layed down the bass line and we recorded the whole song on the motorway. If you isolate the vocals you can hear it in the background. We’re both massive Kanye fans and I dunno it kind of sounds graduation to me. The verses in this one are vulgar but some of my favourite work to date 

6. dirty little secret 

We made this the day after we made ‘kiss me’. We were all convinced this would be ‘the one’. Lyrically it comes from a completely different place than the other tracks. Much more heart… I’m in my feels and being messed around. True story. I think the lead synth line is gonna go off main stage Glastonbury 2027

7. wet dreams 

I worked with ‘Dylan’ around a year ago on her album and at the end of the session she riffed over a different beat. I then chopped up that ‘keep me high’ line and made the beat of this song and sat on it for like a year. Me and my friend Kev then knocked it out in London about a month ago. I didn’t want to do too much on it because I’m in love with Dylan’s top line. The beat is the star of the show in this one. 

8. ride me darling 

Easily the funniest title on the album. ‘Ride me darling’ isn’t that hilarious? Another favourite line from this is ‘f*ck away the pain in your heart’. It works cause I’m singing it in this spooky falsetto over this dark minimal 2016 soundcloud-rap-es que beat. I remember playing it to my mother and being very embarrassed. 

9. slow dance

My musical journey really started in 2016 after watching the montage of heck documentary and thus becoming a Kurt Cobain wannabe. My friend Kurffew who makes this really sticky shoegaze songs that are all over my feed came over and we just got drunk and had fun. ‘F*ckin in a taxi that’s an Uber nut’ might be the best and worst line on the album. Actually probably the worst line.

10. you’re simply wonderful

This is actually my favourite song on the project. We wanted another grungier number so ‘slow dance’ wouldn’t feel so lonely and Toby and I post ‘kiss me’ success started getting into these tequila-soda drinks at the pub above our studio. We thought it was quite Hollywood. So to be honest it feels like a blur now. I just think it’s got a little bit of everything I love in it. I’m doing the horny falsetto shit in the verses and then it’s got this like nirvana-beatlesy melody in the chorus and the outro is a little Johnny greenwood. ‘Girl, you’re simply wonderful’ just feels so simple and so sweet. 

11. good girl

I made this on my own in my flat with a very barebones set up. I really think the lyric and story of this one is great and I expect it to grow on people with time.

12. my babydoll

This is one of the ones I’ve leaked that I’ve been non stop harassed by fans to complete and just never got round to it. We made a million versions and then decided the original is perfect. There was a grand piano in the room that was the one used on ‘runaway’ (mbdtf) which we turned into one of the lead synth sounds. 

13. mess of me, sexually

This was a freak occurrence where I write the lyrics before having any idea what the song or melody will sound like. I’ve just started playing live and therefore I’m thinking about the show a lot. And I can just see the 1500 Germans coming to my Berlin show later this year losing their minds to this one.

14. i love you regardless 

I wanted the final song to end on an emotional beat. I think for the next project it’s time for the Artemas character to have an arc. I don’t know what it is yet but this song feels like a cliffhanger.

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