Music, especially creating it, is well known to act as therapy. An artist is able to pour their emotions into song and look at their own situation from another angle. Our recent find ATHNS is a hip-hop influenced artist that is taking this to new levels with his songwriting story.
We had a chance to chat with him and get an even deeper look. Enjoy the interview:
First off, how did the moniker ATHNS come about?
As a kid, I was really fascinated with Greek mythology, and a huge fan of the Percy Jackson books and their respective spin-offs. I come from a religious family as well. Athens is the capital of Greece and it was also in the city of Athens that Apostle Paul essentially called out the citizens there for worshipping false gods (Acts 14:15-17). I wanted to bring together pieces from my religious background and fascination with mythology to create the ATHNS name.
How would you describe your sound?
I generally describe my sound as a blend of Pop/Hip-Hop with elements of Rap. That’s not to say I am strictly one sound. I like to sing, I like to rap, I like to get creative and try different sounds. We’re in an age of music where artists are constantly and consistently blending genres into their own, which I think is really cool.
Which artists have had the biggest influence on ATHNS?
Twenty One Pilots are the #1 influence, they’re my favorite band and are a big part of why I started making my own music. AJR, Cavetown, and Bastille are some others that influence my melodic songs while NF, Pouya, and Token influence my rap based songs. There’s honestly so many people I’ve listened throughout my life that inspire me to create.
What drives you to create music?
Kind of a cliche answer, but music is my therapy. I try to create even when I’m feeling really low. Music helps everyone, no matter your taste, and I create in hopes of not only healing myself, but others too. I was a theatre kid most of my life. I love being on stage and being a part of these worlds artists create, and I’m slowly getting to a point where I can perform in a world of my own for fans of my music to enjoy!
Tell us about your songwriting process? How does a song come together for you?
Honestly, most of the time it starts with me finding some sample loops I really like and throwing a beat together. If I really like it, I’ll make a list of beats I’d like to use in a project or for a single, and once that’s laid out I outline everything lyrically so it all connects. There are times where I’ll get a burst of inspiration and start writing, and later incorporate that into a real song.
Your new album The Long Way Home seems to have a real message behind it. What can you tell us about it?
It’s a direct continuation of a story I started building in my first release earlier in the year called To The Moon and…, which is only on SoundCloud right now. I’ve been through a lot of emotional and physical trauma in the past two years. These first few projects I’m releasing tell a fictional story I created inspired by my process of being broken down and being built back up. TTMA was focused more on being broken, while TLWH starts that process of being built back up. It’s a long road to recovery…a Long Way Home you could say.
Share some advice for other artists building a brand with their music?
Again, kind of a cliche answer, but DON’T GIVE UP! You get out of it what you put into it. It’s so easy to start creating music today, which has made the industry really crowded. Hard work WILL pay off one day, even if it’s not right away or when you expect it to. Don’t give up on your dream, and more people care and support you than what you may think.
What does the future hold for ATHNS?
I’ve got a couple projects lined up following the release of TLWH, all of which connect to the story. I’ve got at least one more album and a potential EP with that story. I’m also in the process of doing some collab projects with my musical friends, stay tuned! Plenty more ATHNS to come!