Interview: Romania’s Arapu on the Bucharest scene, visual collaborations & Inner Space

June 9th 2016


Romanian house DJ Arapu is heading to Australia for the first time this weekend for Inner Space at Vivid Sydney. The combined effort of local heroes Mantra Collective and S.A.S.H, Inner Space is an audiovisual experience held at the impressive ArtHouse Hotel.

Fresh from Sunwaves, Romania’s massive music festival on the beach, Arapu is bringing visual artist Cote over for the party. Working with CGI and spatial context, Cote is known for mapping visuals onto the architecture and structural beauty of the venues he works in.

Mantra Collective had a chat with Arapu about what exactly these two Romanians have planned for us.



What is it about Inner Space that made you want to get involved?

It’s the first time coming to Australia for me. This is a key factor. Besides the location, somehow exotic for an East-European DJ, we chose this party also for the concept itself: music combined with the visual experience. Other than that, it’s a great opportunity for me because I want to explore all the music scenes in order to interact with more and more people around the world.


The work will see you collaborating closely with Coté. Is that kind of collaboration something that has always interested in you?

Cote has so much visual impact on the Bucharest electronic scene. From my point of view the collaboration with a visual artist should be so natural. Music and image are complementary elements. However, I never thought about a collaboration of this size, and this is one thing that attracted me to this concept.


When you are performing with others, how do you communicate with them? Is it always non-verbal?

Communication is nonverbal, based on effects on the energy that is created between us during the sets and perhaps most importantly, the energy transmitted by the audience. The press release promises the work will be about ‘sensory overload’ and changing perceptions.


What do you think music’s power is?

In a few words, music has the power to bring people together, to create a common language that is understood by different people, with different interests and personal histories. Also I do believe that music has the power to heal the mind and spirit of a person and has an impact on the moral behaviour of the soul.


The work is very much about the connection between images and audio. How are those two things connected in your mind?

Since decades ago musicians teamed up with artist like dancers or others to create a special performance. We have a million examples where music and image go hand in hand in order to create a unique experience. From my point of view these collaborations set the stages for this new modern era.

Indeed, the visuals offer a complementary support for music. The effect that arises in this connection is transcendental to the public. Music is such a big part of our lives, I think it’s very interesting and useful to have a look at some of the ways we react to it without even realising.


Is music always what you have wanted to do with your life?

YES. Since I was a child I have always wanted to do this for my entire life. I cannot picture my life without music and I am so grateful that my career is my passion and I love what I do.


When you are performing live, how do you interact with the audience? Do you have an immediate sense of whether or not they are enjoying the show?

Yes, clearly, the interaction with the public is very important in all my shows. I think there always a kind of symbiosis between public and DJ, an exchange of energy to ensure the success of a performance. I really like to have eye contact with people, to understand whether they feel good or not. Communicating and sharing the energy with the crowd and not just doing what you want to do this definitely the most important thing. And also is very important for me.


What is your favourite gig that you have ever played?

I’ve had many gigs that impressed me. But one of my favourite is Sunwaves Festival, of course.


Do you think audiences around the world are different? Is there different gig protocol around the world?

Until now I did not experience any different gig protocol. And I also don’t think there is one. In the end people come to parties for the same reason – enjoying music.



WHAT: S.A.S.H. & Mantra Collective presents Inner Space
WHO: Arapu, Cote, Gabby, Jac Frier, Jake Hough, Le Brond, Datura, Mantra Collective + more
WHERE: Arthouse Hotel, 375 Pitt St, Sydney
WHEN: Saturday 11th June, 9pm – 4am
HOW MUCH: Pre-release sold out! $45 on the door



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