As a child, ATO always felt different.
With Ghanian and Danish heritage to draw on, even as a child he knew he sat outside his North of England upbringing.
At times feeling isolated, his experience as a young Black British male in a town where that wasn't exactly common marked him, pushing his feelings inward.
Eventually, they had to be released. A potent rap force, his artful, left-field take on word play caught the ear of Vic Mensa, boosting ATO's profile in the process.
New EP 'Side A' is out shortly - grab it HERE - and it's a potent display of ATO's outsider imagination.
Discussing some incredibly personal topics, his bars are interwoven around glacial production, creating a truly exploratory feel.
EP standout 'ziamonds !!' moves in its own lane, with the electronic beats continually being chopped up, aligning themselves to ATO's revelations.
A song that discusses metal health and the power of laying claim to your own identity, 'ziamonds !!' places ATO's word play next to inspired production from close friend and collaborator EDEN.
Indeed, the hinge between lyrics and electronics is what makes the track tick; with ATO and EDEN pushing each other into a fresh space, a partnership complimented by stevexcooper and singular balance who also worked on production.
“I have found the power of the imagination to be vital to rediscovering myself. You can learn a lot from things that are not real. When I wrote 'ziamonds !!', I was in a dark and confused state. The song blurs the line between reality and fantasy. It makes light of living with mental health issues and finds a silver lining to begin painting something brighter and forward-facing.”
The full video builds on the theme of the song, its chopped up imagery somehow both startling and arresting - tune in now.
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