I’ve been keeping an eyeball on Atira ever since they dropped their single ‘Flow‘ back in 2010. Played their track over and over again when I was on the radio back then. People just kept requesting it every single time!
Now I knew Atira was in the UK, recording their next album, and I was patiently waiting till they announced the release date. But instead of giving the release date, they dropped the news on us, they will be performing live from Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in the UK! Streaming in HD to your computer, tablet or smartphone next Thursday, May 30th.
I’ll be there for their ultimate online backstage show, question is, will you? ‘Cause you can still get your FREE VIP backstage access at atiralive.com. And while the online live show is still a couple of days away, find out why I got hooked with their flow:
Melissa of Atira: Yeah… Only if I can borrow 50 bucks? Haha.
TDG: Can you describe the sound of Atira in one sentence?
Atira: The new album has sounds reminiscent of classic retro funk blended with some good old RnB combined with a modern twist. I would say the music is super sassy with an unmistakable pop edge.
TDG: What are your roots?
Atira: I have always loved music, song writing and performing. From a young age I was bopping around and writing lyrics inspired by my experiences. My Grandmother was a huge influence in introducing me to music and use to take me to watch her sing in the choir! I loved that. I studied music at university and started gigging in bars from about 16.
TDG: Something a lot of people don’t know, and even I didn’t know when I discovered you back in 2010 when you dropped your single ‘Flow‘, Atira not a solo project but you’re a team together with Chris. How did you guys meet?
Atira: Ultimately ‘Atira’ is my alter ego but yes ‘Atira’ is a team project. Myself and Chris met about four years ago through a mutual friends and clicked instantly through music. We both had similar music influences and shared the same vision for what we wanted to create. We both wanted to write timeless and honest songs that stand the test of time and never go out of fashion.
TDG: What’s involved in your songwriting process? Who does what?
Atira: It’s really a collective and we work on everything together. Sometimes I may have a melody/lyric idea and we’ll work shop and expand that idea or Chris will have a groove that he’s looped and we will write and jam out to that. It’s always different but we always start a track very simply and try to make the main focus the melody and lyric without getting too complicated with all the music production at the start. Some of our early demos are so skeletal, it always makes us laugh when we listen back!
TDG: How long have you been working on your new album? And what can people expect?
Atira: The new album definitely has more of a pop edge whilst still remaining true to our soulful roots. The album has been a solid year in the making and we started recording the new material for the album in London at the end of February with the amazing Mike Pela (Producer) at Real World Studios. I think people will be pleasantly surprised by our new sound. We have had the opportunity to work with some of the best musicians in the UK and bring our music vision to life. We’re really proud of the body of work we have created. We hope you like it!
TDG: How did you end up recording with Mike at Real World Studios in the UK?
Atira: Late last year we were shopping for a producer to produce the new album. We have always been a huge fan of Mike and his work (Sade and Maxwell in particular) and sent his management some of our early demos. To our surprise, he really liked them and wanted to be a part of the project. We then hatched a plan to record at Real World Studios.
TDG: Which aspect did you enjoy the most while working on the new album?
Atira: I think one of the best aspects of recording this album was the actual recording process at Real World. It is such an amazing place and environment to be in. Especially as we were there recording with the whole band and got to hang out with all of them whilst being creative as well.
Working with Mike has also been such a dream! He is an amazing man and has taught us so much about the industry and has now become such a huge mentor.
TDG: Who and/or what inspires you the most?
Atira: I’m inspired by my experiences everyday! Meeting new people, experiencing new things… There’s always something to be inspired by. In terms of music, my biggest influence have been artists such as Stevie Nicks, Aretha Franklin, Sting, India Arie, Erykah Badu, John Mayer, Musiq Soulchild, Sade, Prince, Stevie Wonder and many more.
TDG: How important is connecting with fans for you? What kind of connection do you have or do you like to have with them?
Atira: Connecting with fans is one of the most important things to me. They are the reason we can continue to do what we do. I love to reach out to fans through Facebook and Twitter. It has been some what of a focus since we’ve started the project to keep all our fans involved.
TDG: Would you say social media is a huge asset these days for artists like yourself?
Atira: Absolutely! It’s huge! With one click of a button, you can send a message and update about anything and everything. Not only is it a great marketing tool but it’s awesome to be able to engage with fans on a daily basis.
TDG: Although you haven’t announced a release date for the album yet, you are about to play new tracks of the album on your world wide live concert online on May 30th. How did you come up with the idea to host such an awesome event?
Atira: Initially we were looking at traditional methods in showcasing the new album (e.g venue performance), however we started thinking outside of the box and wanted to combine modern technology to cover a wider audience and bring our music to a worldwide stage. Due to the great experience we had a Real World, it seemed like the perfect way to incorporate the venue with this new technology and give the world a birds eye view into this amazing studio.
TDG: Is this gonna be the next big step in connecting with your fans, besides social media?
Atira: We would love to do more events like this in the future and hopefully it ail be a regular part of what we do.
TDG: Besides playing some tracks of your new album, what else do you have in store for us on the 30th?
Atira: I’m really looking forward to the live stream show from Real World Studio next Thursday, as I will be playing alongside some incredible musicians and i’m really excited to give people an inside look into the new album in this unique way. There will also be special features including some behind the scenes footage as well as interviews and a live chat where I will be answering questions at the end of the show.
TDG: Being from Australia, what do you love most being in the UK and what do you hate?
Atira: Well to be be completely honest, I’m absolutely loving my time here in the UK and don’t hate anything! People warned me about the weather but i’m enjoying the cool change! Obviously I miss the beautiful warm sunshine that Australia is famous for but a little rain never hurt anyone hey? Haha.
TDG: Who’s currently on repeat on your iPod?
Atira: That’s a mega tough one!… But my all time favourite artists that I listen too pretty much everyday are John Mayer, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Fleetwood Mac, Musiq Soulchild and Maxwell. I’m also loving the new track by Mariah Carey and Miguel! That’s my new jam on repeat….
TDG: What is the biggest misconception people have about you?
Atira: Hmmm… I don’t think there are any… That i’ve heard of anyway!
TDG: What’s the best piece of advice you ever got when you started out and you think it would help other aspiring artists/bands?
Atira: I think it’s important to stay true to yourself, your style and try not to let rejection in the music industry get you down. Not everyone is always going to love your sound and that’s ok. If you are determined and work hard eventually you will reap the rewards. If you love something, don’t give up on it. Get out of your comfort zone because that’s where the magic happens!
Atira: Haha! You like ‘Flow‘? I will try. If not on the 30th, there will definitely be another time.
TDG: Any last words of wisdom?
Atira: Live, love, laugh…. as much as you can!