Los Angeles-based rapper and recording artist Atlee has released his newest project 22 featuring six songs with infectious production and thoughtful lyricism.
In a generation of young artists that aspire to take their craft to new heights, it may be hard to make a name for yourself throughout all the faces in the game. Meet Atlee. He is a 22 year old rapper from Los Angeles, a city where artists, creators and dreamers come to further their careers and aspirations. Atlee released a 5 song EP back in 2016 titled Lost in Transition, where Atlee tested his own abilities as a lyricist and song-writer. On his latest release, 22, Atlee talks about how reflecting on the past, living in the present and preparing for the future coupled with aspects of growing up, have shaped him into who he is today.
I spoke with Atlee on a number of topics. Let’s get into it.
Max Denari: Who has been your biggest musical inspiration? Along with that, who has been your biggest personal inspiration?
Atlee: As far as personal inspiration, I gotta just credit life altogether. The ups, the downs, every experience counts for something. The humble beginnings instilled a certain type of hunger and ambition for me. My family, my friends, and exes too! They’ve all played such a pivotal role as inspirations. Musically, it’s gotta be Big Sean. Dude is extremely talented. Lyrically, he’s somebody I really look up to. His creativity and growth as an artist is something I really admire and something I hope to emulate through my music.
MD: Is there a specific production method you try to tackle with your songs?
Atlee: It really just varies. There’s songs that were first conceived as a voice notes in my phones, as just simple melodies. I’ll even be out and about and just think of a few lines that once I hear a beat, I just build upon them. Each song has its own way of coming to life, you know?
MD: When did you know you wanted to focus on music, and have it become a serious endeavor?
Atlee: For me, I think I knew music was my biggest passion around the time I had turned 16 years old. At the time, I was putting out little freestyles here and there but people were really loving ’em around school. The more records I worked on, the better I got and I just fell in love with everything about being an artist. The process of making records, writing, performing, everything. So from that moment on, I knew this is what I wanted and I was prepared to put my head down and grind until I achieved my goals.
MD: Alright, last question. What is the most powerful/meaningful song you have put out since becoming a recording artist?
Atlee: Oh man, that’s a hell of a question. I honestly have to break that question into two parts. My song “Bad Habit” off my last project was a powerful song to me, more so really because of the timing. Coming out of a lengthy relationship, I needed that record. It was therapeutic in a sense.
For the second part of that question, I’d have to say my verse on “PrayForMe” from 22 has been the most meaningful verse I’ve written to date. I have a line in there where I say, “B.I.G. died at 24, Pac died at 25, so don’t believe it when they tell you that only the strong survive.” Really what I meant by that is B.I.G. and Pac were two of the most mentally strong people Hip-Hop has ever seen, let alone the world, yet they were taken far too soon. My mindset has matured so much over these past couple years and I feel like it’s reflected well in that particular verse.
All in all, Atlee shows his potential, prowess and creativity on his newly released project. Make sure to sit down and check out 22 for yourself. You can listen to Atlee’s projects on Spotify, Apple Music and SoundCloud respectively.