How did you come by your stage name?
I was in English class in 11th Grade and we were reading the Scarlet Letter, decent book if you ever get the chance to read it. After class, I had a discussion with my teacher over how I felt the letter represented the oppression men cast on women over freely expressing their sexuality. He called my assessment one of a “universal soul”, similar to Atman. I looked up what the word meant, where it comes from, and never looked back.
When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?
I’ve enjoyed hip hop and rap music since I was 2, but my love really comes from the culture and representation it affords my community. This aspect I didn’t appreciate until I listened closer.
All of its elements from production, writing, to performance, they all represent a component of the culture we had to build through deep adversity.
I have a sincere appreciation for that level of dedication, especially when it involves art. There is a massive foundation to work with and I am indebted to its creators. I knew I wanted to do this professionally when I realized my passion for the craft never weakens.
To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
I look like an international assassin who received an opportunity to work in Corporate America and make money legally.
On your current project, how did you come up with the concept?
My latest project is titled “God of New England” off my recent 2 album series. It’s the story of a man graciously realizing his own greatness and all of the battles he had to overcome along the way.
I’ve been building up to this project for a few years, and as you can tell by the title, the humble is completely gone. I like to celebrate my accomplishments, either publicly or privately, and one of the best ways to do that is through music. The album embodies a sound that is truly representative of who I am and where I plan to take my art in the future.
What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
My greatest challenge is giving myself enough time to market and promote my music to the right people. Honestly, it’s starting to become the only challenge.
I’ve always disliked the idea of “selling” my music, but it is a necessary burden. These last few records have been my most successful because I’ve gone out of my way to place it in front of people.
My greatest attribute is the amount of valuable time I put toward mastery of my craft. There is always room to self-assess, refine, and produce an even better product that people will love to hear.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shout outs?
Where do I start? My father, mother, and brother for putting me on to music early and allowing me to be creative at such a young age. My teachers for believing in my ability both inside and outside the classroom. The wonderful friends I’ve met along this journey who have provided both honest insight and feedback to my creativity.
How can fans find you?
I will be in my city, Providence, Rhode Island, pretty regularly. You can also find me on www.iamatman.com. I’m on Twitter @atmvn and on Instagram @atmvnz. All of my projects are on there. I’m grateful to own all of my masters so there will always be direct access to my music. I also like to travel a lot and experience local music scenes.
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