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In Conversation: Kieran Atticus

Kieran Atticus, a talented alternative hip-hop artist and producer hailing from Helsinki, Finland, now finds his creative base in Birmingham. Kieran strives to infuse his music with a conscious and introspective quality, offering listeners a deeper and more meaningful experience. With his distinctive approach to songwriting, Kieran's songs draw inspiration from a range of genres. Influenced by the soulful essence of Kirk Franklin and D'Angelo, as well as the thought-provoking lyricism and psychedelic elements found in the works of Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and Travis Scott, his music presents a harmonious fusion. Kieran recently unveiled his latest single 'Off That' a captivating track that showcases his evolution as an artist. His latest single demonstrates Kieran's ability to create a unique sonic landscape and offers a glimpse into what to expect with future music

Where did your vision start and how did it progress?

I feel like when it comes to what a vision is for most creatives, it’s a little bit of a journey. Each year, a glimpse of what it could be appears but, as life is an ever changing process of events and choices, a creative’s vision shifts as well.

I think it started in church and listening to artists who embody the Soul, if I can call it that. I tend to find myself being led to artistries that embody the beauty in the struggles and hardships of life and the overcoming them. Not in flamboyance but more in sombre and sober undertones. I’ve grown from appreciating the other sorts of expressions, but I always come back to these undertones. I haven’t been trained musically so that had been my prerogative in the first part of my journey

But, in these last two years, I took time out to internally find my voice and vision. I took time with my artistry and the music I wanted to express. I took a lot of time to recognise myself; the vices that hold me and the virtues that uplift me and everything in between. I had to re organise myself through a lot of internal and external work and as an ongoing process now, I cleared up my vision, pun intended. I’m getting glimpses of what I want out of myself and I’m placing that into the environment and people around me.

Describe your sound in 3 words?

Currently, I’m in a space of transition and I’m sticking onto the darker angles of my music; Conscious, Moody and, Sombre.

Can you tell us about your latest release "Off That" and what inspired the lyrics and music video?

First, I want to thank everyone who was involved with that single. From Riverstreet Records to the video production crew (Ra’ees, Luke, and Thierry) and the actors and actresses, they were amazing and I’m forever grateful for their time and patience with me. 'Off That' was a song I wrote coming off a breakup. I hadn’t written a breakup song before, but I decided that I needed to, I needed catharsis. It’s got a story to it and some moments are personal too but overall, I did my best to overlay a story about unrequited love and the subsequent feelings. Since the song itself was pretty cut and dry, I wanted the music video to have a double meaning to it. I don’t want to give it away too much but I’m singing to myself. That’s all I can say for now. I gave a lot of time to the cinematic techniques and story-telling elements, but this is just the start. I’m going to try to get bolder and more pronounced with the next productions, hopefully.

What do you like to do for fun outside of working on music?

Currently, I’ve been getting into photography and books. Photography as it kind of gets me into a space where I can analyse other aspects of my creativity and with books, well, I find my centre with them. Growing in both sectors helps a lot when I go back into my musical headspace.

Who or what has been your biggest inspiration in your career so far and why?

As strange as it may sound, I have to say that the largest inspirations in my music have always been my friends around me. They make music that I understand further than the superficial lyrical and musical level because I know them personally and understand where the music comes from. They’re amazing and they know who they are.

Is there a certain place where you feel the most creative?

I always try to place myself within a creative space no matter where and what I’m doing but recently, I’ve been finding myself while in transit. Walking or on any kind of transport, I find myself freestyling and coming up with lines and concepts. It’s strange and I think it could be because it’s the only time when I’m not pressuring myself to be creative.

We’re all about new music discovery– who is an artist that you think everybody should

be listening to right now?

I’ve been on an eclectic stage where I’m listening to a variety of music, I got to recommend three if it’s alright. Deki Alem. A duo from Sweden who I recently started following. They’re kind of like if a hip-hop group clashed with some British Punk, don’t quote me there though. ELIZA, Pure D’angelo soul-inspired stuff, again, the sombre and sober undertones here. Especially her new album, A Sky Without Stars. Finally, I must recommend an album called Salsa Caliente by Bobby Shew. It’s nothing but exquisite Latin music. The recordings are so beautifully done, especially on the percussions.

How do you approach writing lyrics and what themes do you like to explore?

I have always tried to edge toward the side of writing conscious and revealing lyrics. With every song, my writing process changes. Recently, I’ve been trying to stay with simplifying and getting more into storytelling. It’s a working process. In this upcoming project that I’m working on, I’ve been exploring themes of pain, dishonesty, hurt, and the process of moving on. It’s not too different from the themes I’ve been writing about which are usually about finding the beauty in the simpler things of life but instead of being hopeful like I usually am, I’m going toward a more hopeless distraught angle.

What do you hope listeners take away from your music?

I just hope that my lyrics and production have an impact on you in some sort of way. I’m still trying to find the right chords, the right words.

What can we expect from you next?

I have collaborations coming up with my friends and a couple of singles lined up for this year. I’ll be keeping myself locked up this summer to finalise some projects.


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