Born in Minsk – the capital of Belarus- young musician Arseniy Khodin, also known as Mexikus on AudioJungle, has managed to become Elite Author this year after so many ups and downs in his journey. He’s an example of tenacity while pursuing his dreams and has a short but interesting story to share with us.
-Hello Arseniy, it’s amazing to have you in here after James, from AurusAudio and Evgeny, from JohnRosso! You too, as of them, reached the status of Elite Author one month ago but started your journey on AudioJungle back in 2012. How you discovered the Envato marketplace and why you decided to upload your first song?
ARSENIY: My introduction to Audiojungle was not accidental. Since the time I finished university, I started to look for a part-time freelance job. Without knowing anything about music stock markets, I suddenly found the most popular one on the Internet: Audiojungle. But I didn’t stick for long: I signed up, uploaded two tracks, waited a week, and… nothing happened. So I forgot about Audiojungle.
Eleven months later, in December 2012, I was at one party with a friend who works with many advertising agencies, and he asked me if I knew an online site named Audiojungle. I said: “I know, yes! But I uploaded few songs a while ago and there were no sales.” Returning after this party, curious, I had to visit the site and I saw that recently someone had purchased a track. My first sale! 🙂 And this marked the beginning of my work with Envato.
-Do you come from a professional background related to the music field?
ARSENIY: I began to get involved in music when I was a child. I had a piano at home and I always tried to compose something. One day, after watching the movie “Braveheart” and listening to the amazing sound of the Bagpipes (my favorite instrument), I promised myself to become a composer and compose the same great music that I was hearing on the film.
Later on, I decided to enroll in a musical school and I got trombone lessons. By ending this musical school I started musical college but, for some reasons, I got very offended by a few teachers and, out of spite, I decided to go against them and dropped out. But one thing I promised to myself: that I will not give up my music career.
Since that moment, I was asking myself the same question: “How can I compose music with the help of modern technology and make a living out of that?”. Nowadays it’s easy and it has become a fad, but back then there was no Youtube that could help and no one to teach me. All was based on trial and error methods… Wow, I remember those days when I would give everything I had for someone to teach me…
-Did you think you could make a living on AudioJungle from the day one or you realized this fact later on?
ARSENIY: I remember that my first goal on Audiojungle was to earn merely $100 and being able to spend it on movies or taking my girlfriend to a cafe. When I achieved this goal, next month I realized that was time to set up a new one: $1,000. I reached this figure exactly one year later.
-Tell us about the bright moments you will always remember on AudioJungle. Which was the best day?
ARSENIY: I had a lot of good days here. I remember my best month was October 2014, when my sales were up for a thousand dollars per month.
-And the worst? Did you felt discouraged at some time and think about quitting and doing anything else?
ARSENIY: Worst day of all was when I got banned for half a year in January 2015, for violating certain rules at Envato. I’m glad that I left those days behind.
-Do you live in Russia, right? Why the artistic name Mexikus?
ARSENIY: I was born and raised in the capital of Belarus – Minsk. Is not a large country and it borders with Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. I chose the nickname when playing online games: “Mexikus” 😀
-Let’s talk about the tools you use to produce. What’s your setup?
Studio Monitors: Adams a8x
Headphones: Beyerdynamic 880 Pro
Midi Keyboard: Roland A-88
Audio Interface: UAD Apollo
Preamp: UAD 4-710d
Microphone: Rode K2
And a very powerful PC station.
-What genres and styles did you intend to build your portfolio on and why?
ARSENIY: There’re two things I love: cinematic music and to make experiments with sounds. My favorite styles are epic dubstep, glitch with the music box, breakbeat and ambient music.
-What are your musical influences?
ARSENIY: Thomas Bergersen, Steve Jablonsky, Harry Gregson-Williams, Instrumental Core, Daniel James and Joshua Cryspin.
-Let’s talk a little about the “dark side” for most authors: Marketing. What percentage of your efforts have been dedicated to online marketing and why?
ARSENIY: A very gradual collection of email addresses has helped a lot to build my customer base, as well as leaving my data in some online forums.
-Do you have any more personal or professional projects apart from AJ that you want to share with us? What are your next goals in AudioJungle and in life?
ARSENIY: My next big goal is to finish building my own studio and open it at the end of this year, 2016.
-And the last one, as always, for the newbie authors on Audiojungle. Almost every one of them wants to make a living from their craft, but most of them are not sure that they can make it. Any advice for them?
ARSENIY: The most important thing is to come to Envato having already good composing skills. If you have to learn to write good music while being here, you will torture the reviewers and get discouraged soon. Listen to the world’s most respectable musicians and learn from them.
// So, as Arseniy has taught us, there’s always a way to continue purchasing your dreams: after forgetting one year about AudioJungle in 2012 and being banned for 6 months on 2015, he finally reached the status of Elite Author in August 2016. It’s always inspiring to hear stories like yours, thank you very much for your time Arseniy! 🙂 //
Read other interesting author interviews in our music blog!