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Vessbroz Talk Beginnings, Moving To The Netherlands, Staying Postive Through Difficulties & More

Vessbroz (Armia and Arsham) are a Persian DJ/Producer duo based in the Netherlands. With releases on Spinnin’ Records, Revealed Recordings, Smash The House, and Warner Music, Vessbroz has made a name for themselves not only in Europe but across the globe. We sat down with the DJ duo to discuss what it’s like working together as brothers, their journey from refugees to being on the US Billboard Top 40, and their legendary viral prank videos.

How did you get into DJing and producing?

[Armia]: So basically, it was all my brother’s dream. That was his dream at the beginning, and I just wanted my brother to stay with me. So that’s how everything started because I was living in Malaysia, and Arsham came to visit me, and it was a way for me to convince him to stay with me. I started because it was his childhood dream. But then when we started to dive into DJing and music production, I also fell in love with everything about it.

[Ashram]: Well, I don’t know whether you know or not, we are originally from Iran. And in Iran, music, especially dance music, is illegal. So basically, you cannot hear this type of music on radio or TV. And the only way to listen to this type of thing was through illegal TVs or illegal CDs back in the day. So, I started to watch some of those illegal TV and listen to illegal CDs, all of my friends, they had it. And I started to love dance music, and I always wanted to be a DJ. I’ve seen some of the DJs’ videos in Iran, that was like even DJ Alligator way back, I think it was around the 20s, 2001, 2002, something like that.

How did you guys go from Iran to Malaysia to the Netherlands?

[Armia]: So, it’s a long story, but the short form is that I was a book writer in my country. My first dream job was to be a writer. So, I published a bunch of books in Iran and I was starting to become popular in Iran as a book writer. And one of the books that I wrote, it got me into trouble in Iran. And, you know, in Iran, there is no freedom of speech. And the government can put you in jail or even hang you if you say something wrong. So basically, one of the books had got me into that situation that I had to leave Iran over one night. So, I had only a few choices because in Iran with Iranian passport, you don’t have a lot of choices. And one of the choices was Malaysia. And so, I just went to Malaysia.

That’s how I left Iran to Malaysia and I became refugee in Malaysia at the beginning. And yeah, basically, I just lived there until my brother came like after three years of us being in of me being in

Malaysia, my brother came. And the reason was that our mom passed away during the time that I was in Malaysia and I could not get back to Iran because of the situation.

If I go back, I could be in jail or whatever. So, my brother came there to just be emotionally there for me, to support me. And then there we started our career. Things went well. And then, yeah, just five years ago, we moved to the Netherlands. That’s how our story starts. But basically, just to tell you a bit of background, this is not really into music, but Malaysia didn’t sign the contract with United Nations to accept refugees. So, we could not stay forever in Malaysia. So, we had to go to a third country.

And Netherlands was the country that we came to. And we started again in Netherlands from like from zero. Again, we lived in the refugee camp when we came to the Netherlands with zero money in our pocket. And we created our life all the way to now. We signed to our dream record label. We are driving our dream car. So, it took us five years to from Netherlands, five years and before that, also a few years in Malaysia to reach where we are right now.

First of all, thank you so much for sharing your story with me. That’s incredible. I’m sorry to hear about your mom. And it’s amazing what you guys have accomplished in five years. What does it feel like to have this journey? What would you had thought, five, six years ago that you guys would be here today living the dream?

[Armia]: Yeah, I mean, I think we are both very ambitious guys, so always knew that we could achieve whatever we want in our in our life. It was just things that happened in our life. It was kind of delayed. But yeah, I mean, now we feel proud of each other.

[Ashram]: We always had vision boards and we always believed that we could be here at some point. And of course, from here or so moving forward, we have a lot more vision boards, a lot of other dreams. So like if I look back five years ago, I knew that someday we would have this deal that we have if we drove the car that we wanted.

But just as my brother mentioned, some of the events that happened in our life delayed that.

[Armia]: For us now, we’re trying to just inspire other people and just show them no matter where you’re from, you can achieve your dreams. That’s what drives us the most to go as far as we can in our career, basically. And like people look at our funny stuff on social media and they think these guys are just being happy and they are like just always they are happy or whatever. But there are like a lot of stories that happened in our life. And I think we find humor in a way to just escape from all those dark moments. Everyone uses something. But luckily for us, we had each other. So, we chose humor to just escape from those moments. And we are happy with the result and we are making other people happy.

[Ashram]: A happy ending.

How do you stay positive during these challenging times? I mean, what you guys went through was a lot. How do you stay positive and how do you stay focused on your goals, even in the darkest of times?

[Ashram]: I think music and ambition always drive us through even like me. And of course, the fact that both of us are fighting together for the same dream. And then if I’m down, he’s going to cheer me up or if he’s down, I can help him and I can give him motivation.

[Armia]: Having each other’s dreams. We just keep going, basically.

It’s amazing that you guys inspire each other. Is there anyone else that’s had an impact on your music or anybody else that you look to for inspiration?

[Armia]: Well, yeah, we have we have, of course, a lot of inspiration, both in content creation and in our music and to name a few, like I really love David Guetta and what he does, because like to me, he is like a real hero because staying on top of the industry for many years and breaking a lot of boundaries.

That’s something that I really like. We also don’t like to play safe, as you can see from our content, from everything in us and sometimes being the first in something, you get a lot of negative comments and a lot of people like maybe not taking you seriously and stuff. And to me, he was really brave and didn’t really care what people think, thought of him and look what he accomplished for all the dance music industry, basically.

He just took the whole dance music industry to the next level. We hope that we can do the same as well.

I think David Guetta won DJ Mag again this year and I think top 100 producers as well. And you guys were number 131 on DJ Mag, which is amazing. You’re also in the Billboard Top 40, you’re signed with Spinning Records. How do you guys feel about all of that and what’s next for you guys?

[Ashram]: We are now targeting for Grammy. That’s the biggest dream for us to win a Grammy one day. So, we are targeting that and the way that we started from beginning, like from where we started from, like all those like back in the day when the music was illegal, how far we’ve been from even music scene to us that way, took us so much energy and we saw that way, like quite difficult, rather than like from here going to Grammy is much easier.

[Armia]: Yeah. When we look back, what we have done for us now, Grammy is just piece of case. We’re going to get it one day.

This interview was originally published on the Drop Bass Not Bombs podcast and an excerpt has been transcribed for this article.

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