Songwriting is a skill that gets better and better with practice and experimentation. The artist that puts in the time and is willing to break free of the genre molds will catch the attention of the listener. People are always searching for something fresh and new. Our recent find The Atif has put in the work and is now ready for the world to hear his music.
We caught up with The Atif as he released his latest song “Prickly Heat”. Enjoy the interview here:
First off, what is the story of the name The Atif?
The story is my father met my mother. I was conceived. When I was born this name was conceived. Over the years I found out- it represents AT and IF. Being AT the right place IF the time permits is a knockout combination.
How would you describe your sound?
I think I would call it rock. Some call it Alt Rock, Pop Rock, Indie Rock etc. And then I have songs that can be categorized into blues, glam rock and even industrial rock. But I don’t think in terms of genre. I don’t want to hide behind heavy guitars just as I won’t behind brass. So it’s everything in between.
Which artists have had the biggest influence on your development?
I think MJ, Phil Collins, Bryan Adams, Richard Marx, Sting, George Michael, Rod Stewart and then Queen, U2, Zepplin, Deep Purple, Doors and the list goes on. But I like to be associated with 60s and 70s and 80s and early 90s. The Radio Gaga age.
Where does an Atif song come from? What is your songwriting process?
I think about naughty untouched stuff. Themes, concepts, notions, buzz words etc. Any cool, funky, sexy and fun. Then I try to come up with a riff, then groove. And on that I try to write a melody and rhyme that reciprocates the feel.
Your latest single “Prickly Heat” is so catchy. Tell us about putting that one and the cool video together?
Oh thanks very much for liking it. Well yes, it has been my best song yet but I have many more upcoming fun stuff in my pocket- that will connect with you on different levels.
So Prickly Heat is played upon words and metaphors. I like writing adult contemporary rock stuff like AC/DC does or back in the day Def Leppard did. Or I will be your Back Door Man as Led Zeppelin said in Whole Lotta Love. So I remain clean while being explicit.
How do you hope to make the listener feel with that song?
Perfect for flirtation. A good pick up song as well. Getting your partners in grove like that mythical sexy bubble gum or the prolonged love making spray. Now it’s up to your imagination.
You seem to be on the rise, what advice would you give to other artists trying to gain some momentum?
I was listening to Nick Gatfield of Sony Music. I always thought like him. A sound and music should represent something in its originality. The skills, the craft and the concept has to be there with loads of production quality and ideas. But it all has to be unique- if you sound like someone, you got no future in their online music age. You have 2-5 seconds to register your song with your listener. Gone are the days of CDs, Tapes, Radio and MTV when it all depended on chance or money. Now if you have it- share it, gear it, distribute it as far as you can- make some noise. Create your own cult, but most importantly enjoy the process. If you are in it for girls- you should be in cross fit. Not music.
BTW thanks for appreciating.
What is next for The Atif?
So I am recording vocals for “If I Was A Girl”. You must have heard Beyonce’s If I Was A Boy but in a Me Too age. Boys need to share their perspective too. So that’s that.
But I might stop that song for a later release and go ahead with the Valentine release. It is called “Valentine, Serpentine, Frankenstein” ….Be my valentine, hold my serpentine and block my Frankenstein.
Also I am working on the video of Billie Jean’s 10 year anniversary reprise. Two girls one European another Chinese sharing their love for MJ on screen with me.