Living for The City: An Interview With whenitsmytime
Never encountering the ins and outs of city dwelling, never even travelling abroad from his homeland of Russia, whenitsmytime, aka Andrew Krivtsov, netted a once in a lifetime opportunity in 2012 to start big, start how he meant to go on, in the great and mighty New York City. 'It was quite a challenge for me being from a small town in the north of Russia but overall very exciting.' Eight years of connecting, learning and mingling with cultures from across the globe in one place meld together with his upbringing, burst through in his art practices.
Inspiring things are literally at every corner if you know where to look. New York has multiple great local scenes and countless communities of creative people. When it comes to my life in Russia, I have to say most of the people from my generation grew up with western music, so sonically there's not much uniqueness. Although, there's definitely an influence of classic literature - Turgenev, Dostoevsky, etc. - and poetry.
Generally, Russian art stands out with the bravery to look deeper into the darker spots of the human soul and complex life conflicts we try to avoid thinking about normally. That is one of the leitmotifs in my writing for whenitsmytime.
Meditation and the wrath of benefits it carries of you persevere altered everything Andrew knew to be true. To him, art encompasses reflection on the experience of existence and then sharing your findings to open up new points of view or comforting people, safe in the knowledge that they are not alone. Rousing those ideas in his head led to the formation of whenitsmytime, attempting to find that elusive answer on how one can obtain happiness and what happiness is.
Starting with Void, every song reflects on an aspect that holds us from happiness. For example, my newest one, Home, is about nostalgia, pain from an inability to be in the past. It is caused by the fact that the universe is constantly changing, and it needs to be accepted that there's no coming back to move forward and not attaching yourself too much or trying to control things.
I currently experiment with genres, instruments and sounds to paint a picture sonically, as I'm working on my production. I'm mostly self-taught, been playing the guitar since I was 14. I would love to learn how to play the piano better; it's a very cool instrument for an emotional performance.
Summing up his music in three words: 'Dreamy, Spacey, Retrospective', he is very much a 'live in the present moment' kind of fella and is open to bold changes as he braves his musical trek. Who knows, there may be the old faithful Thrash Metal stage or a Folktronica phase; never rule anything out!
I'm inspired by people who produce and arrange their songs themselves, so I'm a big fan of Twenty One Pilots, Bleachers, The Night Game. I also really like Portugal. The Man, The Neighborhood, The 1975 and others.
Track Void is christened as the original work where professional production was paramount, and the Pop-Punk experimentations that pleased before were kicked to the curb for a fresh sound. Krivtsov experiences gratification from the qualities he found, a first baby of sorts that will forever hold special significance.
Void was the first idea that came to me after I read David Byrne's book about music. It struck me that an artwork could be a whole separate world with individual characters and environments. I wanted to try something new and "paint the scene" around the idea to kick off the project. And as a first retrospective suffering cause, I picked the fear of death. The lyrics contain references to my own life and Dante's Divine Comedy; this is the first single that starts the series.
When I planned the video production, I was betting on vibing mostly rather than a specific plot, though it has references to the Divine Comedy in the visuals - I challenge you to find them. As of now, it's the most complicated project I ever put together, and I'm super excited for you guys to watch it.
whenitsmytime originated during the pandemic with an inevitable gig drought. As of now, he is considering small solo shows as part of the bigger scheme of complex performances with a live band and that extra something special. Remembering when Bowie passed away, the tribute exhibition in Brooklyn Museum that blew his mind instilled the thought of combining visual and sonic art when the opportunity strikes.
I currently have a batch of new songs I'm working on, and I also decided to take a trip across America to see the country. I bet this will be a life-changing experience for me personally and for this project. New music, new videos, impressions from my trip are coming up; I'll keep everyone posted on my social media.'
Article by Beverley Knight