If you’re not following him now you need to ASAP!
I had the pleasure of interviewing Aire Atlantica, who is a producer, songwriter, and artist from NYC. His latest release was his 4 track EP, ‘Etiquette,’ which dropped in October 2018 and reflected his time living in Los Angeles throughout the year. He is gearing up to support Wingtip on his Ghosts Of Youth Tour, while preparing to release his new music for 2019, as well as songwriting collaborations with other artists. He also provides production for TV shows like Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and has remixed the likes of Billie Eilish, K. Flay, Ashe, and more.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Thanks for having me! Music has been in my life since I was born — I’ve been playing drums since I was 3 years old. My dad is a drummer — so he used to put me on his lap as a toddler while he played and that’s how it all started. I remember playing drums as a kid on the holidays when all of the extended family was over, but I was shy so I made everyone listen from the other room, ha! My parents say that as a kid I would be in preschool and only want to play with the old record player that was in the classroom. Music has always been a foundation for what I do- I started producing and writing my own songs around 9 years ago when the band I was in at the time split up. And that pretty much brings me to where I am today
Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your music career?
I think the most interesting thing has been creating music for TV shows, most notably Keeping Up With The Kardashians. A pretty surreal moment was when I was in my old NYC apartment last year- it was this tiny apartment and I had no windows in my bedroom (NYC people know what I’m talking about) but I was writing and submitting songs for the show- and then I’d be able to turn on the TV in the same room and the songs I made were playing throughout the show for however many people.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Right now I’m working on all of my songs for 2019. I work pretty fast so I’m consistently in the studio with different songwriters and artists just building up the catalog. I also just got back from a week at a friends remote house – a group of us challenged ourselves to write a complete album start to finish in 5 days and we did it successfully (with very little sleep of course). I love challenging myself with songwriting, which is why my releases are varied in terms of genre and style. Making ‘safe’ records just isn’t fun for me so it’s important to always be trying new things and collaborating – so that’s been pretty exciting.
Check out Aire Atlantica’s latest Single “Cut You Off (feat. KOLE)” below:
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
I’m lucky enough to work often with varied songwriters, instrumentalists, singers, producers, engineers, and beyond from all over the world and from so many different backgrounds. In songwriting sessions, the first 30 mins — 1 hour (or more!) is just talking, getting to know each other, because you’re usually total strangers. But it’s easier to connect with other artists than it seems- we already have so much in common right away! So hearing everyone’s stories, their paths, and what it took them to get to LA, NYC, or wherever the session is, is definitely cool.
If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?
I’m inspired by so many people, but if I had to pick to collaborate with anyone it would probably be artists such as Frank Ocean, Anderson, Paak, Bon Iver, Paul McCartney, Jon Bellion. Also I’d love to collaborate with Virgil Abloh on an event or something music related, he’s doing some amazing things beyond fashion.
Who or what inspired you to become a recording artist?
Music has always been primary in my life- I love the idea of curating a sound, and then preparing it to perform for others (and myself). Music plays a huge part in everyone’s lives, every day. It can immediately shift the mood of a person, the vibe of a room, and plays a part of every culture in the world. It’s really amazing and still inspires me every day.
How would you describe your personal style?
I believe my personal style changes and adapts based on the season and where I am in life (geographically and personally), but I do feel that always being presentable is one of the most important things for me and always has been. I think that style is a direct reflection on your values, etiquette, strengths — and it goes past clothing as well, but I think it starts there. I believe that how you style yourself and your life has a direct correlation to the success you find with career goals and beyond.
Name one thing you never leave the house without, either fashion related or otherwise?
Recently it’s been a gold ring that was worn by my grandfather. I never met him since he unfortunately passed right before I was born, but my dad gave it to me and I love it. I feel it carries a certain ‘energy’ that my grandfather had — I was told he was quite the party animal so maybe I’m carrying on his legacy. Aside from that, the essentials such as my phone (even though I hate how much I have to use it), sunglasses, headphones, some other jewelry, you know.
What future fashion trends are you most excited about?
I believe style is most accessible now than ever with social media and is constantly changing, so I’m happy that life in general gives people the freedom to try new things and be constantly inspired. I think the power of a ‘brand’ is now equally matched with personal style and the ability to wear the right pieces at the right time. Someone wearing a boring but expensive label outfit can be easily outshined by someone wearing a really inspired outfit that is all thrift or on a budget and presented the right way. This also reflects in music as well, there are so many great forward thinking producers gathering inspiration from so many places, which keeps things interesting and challenging.
How does your fashion sense influence your music or performance?
I think both my music and fashion sense are related because they both take traditional concepts and inspirations and push them a step further. I create mostly structured pop music with an electronic/hip hop feel, but I push my production with techniques and the way I mix my records, and that makes them stand out and be unique and distinctive. With fashion, I may decide to wear a clean, color muted look (I’m guilty of mostly black and grey in the current NYC winter), but always focusing on details is always important to me.
What are you top 3 favorite pieces in your closet right now?
I recently grabbed my first piece by Stone Island, and I love it. It’s this olive colored long sleeve polo, the attention to detail is amazing and the packaging was really cool as well. Would love to pick up one of their jackets soon (need to save my pennies a bit for that, haha)- I also have these pinstriped black dress-casual pants which are cool, because they’re very clean but up close the stripes pop. And lastly this leopard print corduroy jacket- it’s totally out there, love it though.
Is there any designer(s) who have influenced your style? Musicians?
I mentioned him earlier, but Virgil Abloh is a great example of how style and music can coexist together. I’m also a fan of wearing really simple things the right way, such as a plain t shirt and pants, and I think one of my favorite skateboarders Dylan Rieder (RIP) did this really well and inspired me for a long time. As far as designers / brands go, I love The Kooples, their textures and pieces are really cool. I’m also a big fan of the current Gucci output of course, and I love the YSL days when Hedi Slimane was there since that was pretty 70’s rocker inspired, and that’s one of my favorite eras of fashion and culture. When I’m looking for something affordable that works well, I’ll run to Topman or shop on ASOS. Plenty of good stuff there.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
There’s so much more I want to do- but recently I’ve found my love in helping fellow musicians and creatives build confidence in their work and drive, especially at the early stages. I think creativity is such a powerful and positive thing, and when someone has it and finds love in it, it should be grown and nurtured.
In the early stages it’s hard to be confident in your work. Every artist struggles with ups and downs in their career and craft, but I think being consistent and curious, pushing through the lows, and mastering how to deal with creative roadblocks is something I love to present to fellow creatives. My number one motto is ‘make something every day.’ If you’re a musician, start with a simple 4 bar loop or a mumbling iPhone voice memo vocal melody. If you’re a writer or poet, just jot down notes or feelings about your day and the things you enjoyed about it. And then if you’re feeling good, you’ll keep going. If not, you have something to add to your catalog and can be revisited later. Starting with small goals is the way to be consistent.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I think having more freedom of choice early in life is so important. I love how some schools allow young adults to begin exploring early, vs being forced to waste valuable time studying things that will never interest them. Social media can be looked at as the new ‘school,’ for good or bad reasons, but at least kids nowadays are learning earlier and starting their journey into what they love outside of class. I wasn’t much of a student, but I showed up and did what I had to do. Imagine all of those hours I ‘wasted’ in a traditional math class that I could’ve been taking just 1 hour per day in something I wanted to do or explore early on. Of course someone who loves math would rather focus on that instead. The possibilities are endless, and with the internet there is a teacher for everything.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Staying inspired is number one. Even if its in a different area of art, you can translate that love into what you’re making. Also collaborating and being surrounded by creative people is so important, getting in the room with others and discussing ideas, concepts, and helping each other will always result in a better product.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Songwriting is more important than equipment. Don’t worry about intense sound design early on. Being able to master creating emotion, tension, and release will take your songs further than worrying about what audio programs work best, recording techniques, and all of that. I do think knowing how to make your songs sound great and having the knowledge to try different production routes is a must- but it all goes back to writing a great song.
- Always plan long term, but live in the moment. Taking the short road to success, copying others, and jumping on trends never seems to work — but being real and discovering what truly inspires you is what bring the most reward. I’m still working on this one for myself in terms of slowing down, I’m constantly thinking about ten steps ahead, and then I miss out on what’s happening right in front of me. Life moves fast so it’s good to slow things down.
- Master and live with the things you love and are good at. This goes for music but also personal inspiration. Everyone has a passion for something, and if you really lock in with that and master it- it will lead you to more things that you didn’t even know about. Then you can compliment it with your potential weaknesses and bring those up.
- It’s never too late to start something new. I just started teaching myself guitar like 8 months ago via YouTube and I wish I started earlier.. People turn themselves off to exploring new skills and passions because it’s ‘too late’ — but this is totally not true! As long as you put the time in and practice you can learn anything.
- Be respectful to everyone and don’t have an ego. Collaborating is so important and building long term relationships ONLY helps. The idea of “I can do this all myself” and hating trends just makes you short sighted and limited. Always be open to new things!
I have been blessed with the opportunity to interview and be in touch with some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she just might see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
Paul McCartney — he’s really a legend and has seen, lived, and experienced everything a musician would want to experience. Next Drake, I think he’s a master of calculating, working his surroundings and striking at the right time. Lastly, Donald Glover, his career shows you can tackle so many things simultaneously and rules are meant to be broken. It’s amazing the things he’s accomplished across so many industries.