Insomniac’s Metronome series features mixes from some of today’s fastest-rising electronic stars, as well as championed legends. It takes listeners deep across a wide range of genres, movements, cultures, producers, artists and sounds that make up the diverse world of electronic music.
There’s no mistaking why Attom is rising to the top at meteoric speed. His style is unique: gorgeous, lush and always funky. His chilled-out tunes translate the kind of positivity that has led him to rack up millions of plays over the last year alone. It’s his attention to detail that’s really separated him from his contemporaries and makes for some of the cleanest-sounding mixes in dance music today. All of this has led to a debut performance at Bonnaroo in 2015 and a recent multi-track record deal with Ultra Music/MFN Music.
His first release on Ultra, “Better,” featuring Justin Stein, sees Attom stepping just slightly out of his comfort zone as he activates an even more danceable and widely accessible style. While maintaining the soulful vibe felt throughout all of his music, he abandons the feel-good vibes for something a bit more ambiguous yet still dancefloor-ready. On his forthcoming single—“Afterglow,” featuring Ciele—Attom pushes his own personal boundaries as he tackles an acoustic approach via dance-tinged melodies.
On his Metronome mix, Attom takes listeners on a beautiful journey through the mellower, softer soundscapes of dance music often drowned out by neon lights and raging antics.
Your latest tune, “Better,” is fantastic. It started off as a completely different tune, and you took a chance and decided not to completely abandon the project. How often do you find happy accidents like that paying off in such a great way?
Looking back, it scares me how often that happens. [Most of] the time, what ends up making a track “click” was just a little thing I didn’t necessarily mean to do. That said, a while ago, I remember reading an article about Stuart Price; he mentions the “happy accident” approach and that 95 percent of making records is mistakes. So, that makes me take a bit more comfort in it.
Was your intention always to develop that into a collaboration with Justin Stein?
It was. He was there from the very beginning of it, when it was a different track. So, while reshaping it, I always intended on him being on it.
Your sound has a crossover aesthetic that makes you appealing to a huge cross section of people. Considering the fact that you’ve said you often listen to harder-edged music, how did your sound develop?
It was largely due to my good friend introducing me to new artists like Uppermost and Oliver Nelson, who are closer to my current sound. I did and still do listen to a lot of heavier stuff, but a few years back, I decided to take a shot at trying something more in line with those new, chiller artists. I realized making that kind of music was significantly more enjoyable for me.
Did your parents’ musical tastes have an impact on you growing up?
Both my parents were pretty casual music listeners, so I can’t remember them having much of an impact on me, besides supporting me playing instruments. I think the biggest thing that impacted me growing up was when my mom’s friend played the Prodigy album The Fat of the Land for me when I was in like fourth grade. I remember that changing so much for me; “Breathe” specifically rocked my world. After that, I quit playing trombone in the elementary school band and convinced my parents to get me a drum set a few years later.
Your debut performance was at Bonnaroo. That’s a pretty high bar with which to start. How do you prepare for something like that, much less deal with the emotions of being a part of something so big?
It was overwhelming to think about at times, but I really tried to focus on me instead of the scale of it all. Having friends there—and knowing that if I went through with it, it’d probably be one of the most memorable experiences of my life—definitely helped. But I just made sure I knew my gear [and knew] what I was doing well enough to be able to get through the motions for the first couple of songs, until the nerves wore off and I got a bit more comfortable. That all sounds a bit casual, though, so just know that I was in fact freaking out all day before it.
It’s been only two years since things really started picking up for you. What has been the most important professional lesson you’ve learned so far?
I think I’ve learned a lot of important things, but for me, it’s how invaluable it is having a couple of people whose opinions you trust and will give you 100 percent honest feedback about your music. I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but I definitely struggle with being confident about my music; having friends like that is a big reason why I’ve put out a lot of the tracks I have. I also just want to squeeze this in: Regardless of how appealing an opportunity is, take your time and really weigh the outcomes and other options. It’s easy to get blinded by excitement.
Will we see live sets from you more frequently in the future? Or do you prefer to stay in the studio?
Yeah, I’m hoping to start doing more live sets! It’s obviously nice being comfortable in the studio, but it can get a bit monotonous, and too much studio time can cause me to get a bit burnt out.
- Track List:
Greg Hvnsen “What Would You Have Me Do”
Lucas Nord “Don’t Need Your Love”
Troy Sivan “Youth” (Gryffin Remix)
Joe Hertz ft. Ambersimone “Stay Lost” (Cabu Remix)Jahkoy “All of You”
Attom ft. Justin Stein “Better”
Prince ft. Aaron Krause & Liza Anne “I Would Die for You” (Montis Remix)
Alesso ft. Nico & Vinz “I Wanna Know”
Copy Club “The Sun, the Moon, the Stars” (Embody Remix)
CLMD ft. Astrid S “Dust”
3LAU ft. Yeah Boy “Is It Love”
RÜFÜS DU SOL “You Were Right”
KAASI “Who Are You”