Originally from Toronto, Gold Certified Music Producer Atom is currently working on creating his own collective with artists Dallas, 5Star and Bluxz. Together, he and Bluxz released the single “Love Never Dies” that features none other than Dallas and 5Star.
I got the chance to talk with him about how he first got into making music, how his partnership with Bluxz came about, how Dallas and 5Star were brought on to “Love Never Dies”, his advice for young people wanting to become music producers and so much more. Keep reading to see what he had to say!
Tell me a little bit about how you first got into making music.
When I was a year old, my parents bought me a drum set; I grew obsessed. I was always around music and I looked up to The Beatles and pop music. At the age of 14, I was gifted my first guitar. I continued to practice and master my craft. At 16, I bought my first basic recording set up. I was recording bands from my basement. It got busy so I had to move out of the house and later evolved to electronic music production. I have continued to evolve since then.
Was there a specific moment or person that made you realize that music is what you wanted to pursue professionally?
My cousin Angela showed me Kurt Kobain and Trent Reznor. It was so loud and angry. I loved the rebellion in the music and I always felt connected. I felt like I had to leave my mark in music history because I knew I could do it.
What other producers, songwriters and/or artists inspire you?
Blink 182, Radiohead, Skrillex, Doctor Dre, Jimmy Iovine, Jerry Finn, George Martin.
Let’s talk about “Love Never Dies”, which you created with Bluxz. I know that this song wasn’t meant to be a single, that it was the result of just playing around in the studio. So was there a moment where you were like, “Oh, this could really be something. This could be a hit song”?
When Dallas wrote the hook I said, “This is so catchy. This is it! We should release this because the melody is infectious.”
Kind of going off of that, how did your partnership with Bluxz come about?
Wondagurl came by the studio and brought this blonde long haired dude with her. He looked so familiar. Turns out we went to high school together but never connected as kids. As I watched Bluxz cook up with FL, I was hooked and knew this was someone I wanted on my team. Why? Because he broke every rule and I didn’t understand his style. It made no sense to me and that’s what I loved the most. There have been many people that have come in and out of my life, but Bluxz came into this very genuinely. He didn’t want anything. He just wanted to make great music. That’s the truth that I was attracted to. Now its been two years and things still feel new.
How did Dallas and 5Star get brought on to the song?
5Star wrote the first verse, then Dallas came in and wrote the hook and it made sense to my ears.
I know Dallas wrote the lyrics for the song, but was there an idea of what the song would be about before she was brought on? Or did she just hear the beat and automatically know what the song should be about?
Dallas writes songs in minutes. It’s a serious skill. It comes from her writing songs since she was 7. It’s a feeling and she doesn’t overthink. She just goes and she knocks it out of the park every time.
Were there any major changes made to “Love Never Dies” once you got into the recording studio, whether it be in the lyrics or something sonically?
My ear is picky. I’m not into the auto-tune glitching and artists sounding flat and sharp. The vocal is what stands out the most. I understand we live in an era where ‘sounding bad’ is kind of cool. I’m already bored of that ‘style’. I’m into vocal performances that can stand the test of time. Why is “Bohemian Rhapsody” one of the biggest songs of all time? You hear the perfection in not just the vocal but you hear it in the percussion, piano, guitar, bass, and harmonies. That is what I am after. No half-assed performances.
Do you have advice for young people who want to become music producers?
Master your craft. LISTEN. Trust your instincts. Learn how to read the room and vibe.
What are some goals you’re hoping to reach with your career in the next couple of years?
I want to continue to make great records. Getting some platinum plaques would be cool because you know… people only think you’re ‘good’ if you blind them with a plaque. It’s actually quite ridiculous. I’m going to make the artists I am working with pop and get everything they’ve ever dreamed of, myself included. New Toronto Grunge will be a staple in the music industry. Many people are mad at the name because Kurt Kobain isn’t here to be the face of New Toronto Grunge. The name has a much deeper meaning than loud guitars and what happened in the 90s. It’s an attitude, it’s a vision to rebel and make music you want to make without limitations. Growing up, every record label in Canada said, “You can’t mix guitars with electronic music because it doesn’t sound good”. Tell that to Post Malone. I want to show every major label from Canada that they have their business completely backward. Nobody can tell you what a hit is. We’re going to build a large fan base and tour the world. Once you have the fans, you’re ‘lit’.
Last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd so what is something that you’re currently nerding out about?
I’m nerding out about living in the present moment. The present moment is all we have. Our lives won’t get better because of some future moment. Be happy now because if you’re not happy now, how can you be happy in the future?