Had the pleasure to interview The Atif Band. Here is how it played out:
Hi, how are you?
Ans. I am living the dream. Having fun producing records that I always wanted to. With great team. Lot of enthusiasm- gearing momentum with the audience. Just enjoying the entire process from pre- to post-production and promotion with everything, through and through.
So, how did you get into music?
Ans. Well, the better question would be- how to music got into me. My folks say that I used to hum before I started talking. I think it came through my dad- who was a music lover. Then I did not know how interested I was until when I sang as a substitute when some singers ditched couple of parties that I went to. Or sometimes when my friend bands had cold feet- they used to ask me open. It came to a point where I started getting lead singing offers from the other bands who used to be present at these gigs.
But it was just not singing I was seriously into music as well. Until a class mate when I was in 6th standard brought a Casio PT-10 keyboard in the class hiding in the school bag. Me and few others started admiring and learning from him. We started with TV themes such as Knight Rider and Air Wolf but soon as the TV series faded away their interest too vanished. But in my case it stuck. Then I started strumming guitar too- it was always a very romantic posture to sing and play acoustic. But it was rather an inner calling than to impress girls.
How did ‘Instacrush’ come about?
Ans. The whole world is obsessed with social media and selfies in particular. A couple recently died in Grand Canyon taking a selfie that went too far- and they slipped from the mountain top. And then you see beautiful souls of Instagram and Tik Tok- and you can’t help but wonder what’s wrong with these people. And though it is easy to criticise but there is so much fun in looking and living your best. And why not share it- what’s the harm of feeling happy and making others happy too. So Instacrush is fundamentally about the influence of Instant Crush- it is very easy to fall in love with a million things and people at a time. And there is no looking back while your living fullest in every moment.
What were the challenges of making ‘Instacrush’?
Ans. Well, I had no idea what I was getting into. This is my first Latin Rock song so to say. The melody was really high. But I love challenges- I belong the school of Lee Roth, Mercury, Buckley, Plant and Rogers. So higher it is- it makes me more enthused and gives me room to display my range and pitch. It is easy to hide behind auto-tuners but the charm of good music is in its adrenaline rush. The song when rendered should be part of one’s soul. I see singers with papers in their hands in vocal booth. Well, if you read the lyrics- how will you sing? How will you emote. And good or bad- it reflects in the song. Listeners can hear it- if you’re going crazy singing the melody. Or you’re just singing for the sake of it.
Alfredo Reed Yearwood performed keyboards, bass and drums on it. Vanja Grastic played the amazing guitars on it. Jamica added her beautiful rap with the signature Brooklyn feel in it. Hannah McDaniel co-wrote the song with me. While LA based Joshua JD Walker- the legendary Producer of Cher, Enrique, Lambert, Minogue and many more mixed and mastered it.
It was the toughest song we both ever did together- it took almost four months to reach the final mix. When the ideas are ambitious- it takes double the effort. But in the end The ATif is not one man show- it is a team of warriors who stay aligned while keeping the heads together with no room of arrogance or exhaustion. It was a journey well enjoyed.
What are your hopes for 2019?
Couple of beautiful, sexy and naughty tunes coming up every month. We are finalizing Prickly Heat (pun intended) a sexy funk rock song (like Sweet Spot) will be released by the first week of December. As holidays and new year gear up we have If I Was A Girl- another naughty rock n roll tune will be released around or before Christmas. Then we have Avalanche an emotional serious song probably one of the best yet- will be released in Jan. Valentine’s day will see our song “Valentine, Serpentine, Frankenstein” a very groovy blues rock tune may be if you call it. And then in March we’ll have Silent Warrior a song about tough lives that law enforcement officers lead.
So it’s pretty busy roster but lots of fun. And I hope I will keep you all amused and amazed at the same time.
You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/user/theatifband
Apple Music/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/the-atif/324291323