Interview: ATB “I’m currently in the process of working on my twelfth album”

    ATB is one of the most iconic names in dance music, having produced the classic 9 PM, which has remained in our heads since its release in 1998. To talk about his latest single, Take A Moment, featuring David Frank, ATB joined us for an interview.

    Take A Moment marks your latest release, featuring singer-songwriter David Frank. Can you share insights into the creative process behind this single and the collaboration with David Frank?

    I first heard David’s voice last year and was immediately struck by its distinctiveness. Shortly after, he and his team sent me the initial version of the vocal melody for “Take a Moment,” which greatly inspired me. From there, we exchanged stems and ideas, and while refining the song, I felt a need for a change in the B part. David and his team responded brilliantly, and that’s how the final version of the song came to be. Despite never meeting in person, David and I collaborated remotely, a common practice in today’s world.

    You’ve accumulated over 1.5 billion streams on Spotify and have had a successful career for over two decades. How do you perceive the evolution of your sound and style over the years, and how does Take A Moment contribute to this evolution?

    Well, over 20 years is quite a stretch. Right at the onset of my musical journey, I harboured the concept of blending danceable beats with emotional melodies, a fusion scarcely found in the early 90s. As time progressed, I honed my unique ATB sound. It all began with the iconic guitar riff in 9 PM, which became my unmistakable signature. However, I eventually set the guitar aside, going deeper into evolving my ATB sound. To me, the ultimate compliment is when listeners encounter a new track of mine and exclaim, “That sounds unmistakably like ATB.” As a musician, you’re always striving to reinvent yourself while preserving your distinct essence. It’s a delicate balance, but I believe Take A Moment encapsulates the essence of ATB while embodying a contemporary sound that doesn’t belong to the 2010s.

    In 2022, you received a Brit Award nomination for international song of the year. How did this recognition feel, especially considering your extensive career, and how did it influence your goals and aspirations for the future?

    Naturally, I was thrilled by the nomination. German artists rarely make appearances at the BRIT Awards, so it felt like a great acknowledgement for the revamped version of 9PM. However, my primary motivation has never been about winning awards. Back in the mid-90s, my goal was simply to continue making music successfully for two decades, and I’m hopeful to keep that momentum going for the next 20 years as well.

    Electronic dance music has undergone significant transformations over the years. How do you navigate these changes, and what are the key elements that have contributed to your enduring success in the industry?

    Indeed, electronic music has undergone significant evolution over the past 30 years. In its early days, it was a niche, relatively insignificant genre, but it has since cultivated a dedicated fan base for its passionate artists. As the years went by, the music became increasingly mainstream and overground. While this expansion opened doors, it didn’t always serve the musical quality. Throughout it all, I’ve endeavoured to remain true to my style, resisting the urge to chase every trend simply because the record company or the scene deemed it necessary. Maintaining my signature sound has always been paramount to me, and I must wholeheartedly stand behind every song I create. There have been occasions where I’ve declined potentially promising collaborations because they didn’t resonate with me. Ultimately, my feelings and intuition have guided me through these shifts and changes in the industry.

    With more fan interaction than ever, Take A Moment demonstrates your commitment to producing music. How do you balance staying true to your signature style while experimenting with new sounds and genres?

    In this regard, I place great trust in my instincts. This approach ensures that I never lose touch with my musical identity. And I collaborate with other incredibly talented producers, such as Max Riehl (Barkley) in this instance. Together, we’ve crafted numerous tracks, sparking creativity in each other. This collaboration enables me to preserve my unique sound while incorporating new influences into my music. It’s a strategy embraced by many of my DJ colleagues, including Tiesto and David Guetta, who frequently engage in collaborative efforts to invigorate their music.

    As 2024 is well underway, what are your plans for the year?

    I’ve released more music this year than I have in a long time. Just recently, my remix of the upcoming summer hit MWAKI by Zerb was released. Additionally, the next single, serving as an anthem for a highly recognized series of events, is set to be released in a month. On top of that, I’m currently in the process of working on my twelfth album.

    Take a Moment is available to stream on Spotify.

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