ATO Explores Masculinity On Coming-Of-Age EP 'Side B'

ATO Explores Masculinity On Coming-Of-Age EP 'Side B'

August 01, 2022

Following on from last year's Side A, which was an exploration of his personal hardships on the way to self-discovery, ATO has released a brand new project titled Side B. This time he writes from a similar perspective, continuing his inward journey over refined, alternative rap beats.

Prior to the release, he graced us with "Cold" and "Courts", the latter featuring Ghanaian rapper Jay Bahd. Working alongside producers stevexcooper and Jonathon Ng, Side B reaffirms ATO's world-building capabilities as he lays his thoughts over fizzy synth melodies and persistent trap drums. Still, despite the lively nature of the production, ATO's lyrics are introspective and deliver detailed anecdotes of his worldly adventures.

Speaking on the context of the project, ATO says, "In the time of making Side B, I was feeling the fragility of the world around me and found myself more committed to pushing through different feelings and emotions. The project is so desperate to find answers that the honesty is admittedly impulsive and naive at times. I feel that as a result, the vulnerable sides collide with the more resilient moments and give a more holistic reflection on the themes of love, mental health, masculinity, coming of age and pride explored."

"Whilst Side A marks the birth of what now feels like my sound, I believe Side B is more refined than any of my previous projects. The wide range of production influences from stevexcooper, Jonathon Ng and singular balance, inspired me to take steps beyond my comfort zone and experiment more with melody and freestyle than I have done in the past."

Alongside the EP, he also released the Dominik Galleya- & Clemens Niel-directed visuals for "Nu Balance", where we follow ATO and some pals having a kickaround in the park. Tune into that below and then take in the full EP at the bottom.

Words: Blessing Borode
Photography: Alex Waespi