The complete beauty of sights and sounds in this world go largely unseen. There is a bounty of talented artists whose work doesn’t get the shine and love it truly deserves. The digital age brings us all closer than ever before, but it also brings a lot of static and can be overwhelming. Giving artists a platform to cut through that static is part of the reason I started Transit! and is an important tool for artists and fans alike. Connecting the vibes and spreading the love.
Enter Young Atlas, a duo of young artists creating a global platform for the local culture. Based in Newark and NYC, Nate and Kai are entrenched with amazing artists and events. They saw an opportunity to create content about the hustle, energy and talent of these people and groups. They’ve kicked off with a wavy Instagram profile, have some great content from Boston on deck and will be full launch in 2018. Before their launch I caught up with the guys on a call to get to know them better and learn more about Young Atlas.
– What is Young Atlas and what does Young Atlas mean to you guys?
Nate- To me it comes down to telling stories, especially new stories. I’m constantly amazed at how many talented, hardworking artists there are at the local level. These guys put a lot of work into making music for us to enjoy but it’s also about the person behind the music. Who they are, where they’re from, what they want out of life. I’m hoping to take these stories and make them accessible to people who wouldn’t typically have access to them.
Kai- Similar to what Nate said, Young Atlas is looking to not only spotlight an artist’s music, but also who the person is in general. More specifically we want to figure out what type of person is behind the music and how they impact their community, vice versa.
– How did this platform idea come about?
Nate – I think it’s grown a lot in the past 12-18 months conceptually. It definitely wasn’t all there in the beginning but we knew we wanted to work with artists and culture creators on a local level so we’ve really just been figuring out how we can help them and most of the time people are just looking for recognition for their hard work and help sharing it with other people who can also recognize and appreciate the art.
Kai – Being born and raised in New York had a major impact on me creating Young Atlas. I was constantly seeing talented artists from many different genres and realized that this is an industry I wanted to be apart of. Before creating the company I always knew I wanted to create a platform to help talented artists showcase their work on a large scale. About a year ago, after finishing school I decided to go all in with Young Atlas. A few of my mentors told me one of their biggest mistakes was not being patient enough to actually go out on their own when they were young. Although it is scary going out on your own I am lucky to have strong partners and I am happy that 10 years from now no matter what happens, I can say I went for it. So we are going for it everyday to grow our following to have as big of an impact as we can for artists we can help market.
– Each of your backgrounds come from various ends of the creative space. How does this translate into creating content?
Nate- Because of our different experiences in the creative space, we tend to collaborate a little bit better where we may see one thing two different ways but when you combine the two visions, you get something special that has more depth than when everyone is coming from the same place creatively. As the front man in the band Sunny Gang, I’ve also had the opportunity to meet a lot of photographers, videographers, bloggers, visual and performing artists, etc. so I’ve tried to take all the lessons I’ve learned from them over the years and apply it to the content we’re creating, curating, and promoting.
Kai – Having our different backgrounds makes our team special because we have different skill sets we use to hit our bottom line. I personally was never a performer but have been promoting, putting shows and events together for almost a decade now. Over the course of my career promoting, I was able to meet a lot of different artists and understand the ins and outs of what it takes to create a successful show or event. From a business perspective these are skills and connections I have made in order to curate more content and also help put on our own shows for artists we featured or want to help succeed.
– What are the projects you’ve worked on so far and how did you choose the artists you did?
Kai – So far we have worked on three projects, which are episodes on different cities that include: Boston, Harlem and Brooklyn. These three episodes will be the first part of season 1 which will help us understand how the market reacted and how we maintain and grow our following. Going to these cities and meeting with these artists face to face was a lot of hard work but an essential way for Young Atlas to build an infrastructure for our business.
Nate – I think Kai hit the nail on the head. The only thing I’d add is that IG is a powerful tool for connecting and reaching people. Check your DMs!
– How does storytelling play a part in the arts and how does the digital age give power to the arts?
Kai – Since social media is such a major part of people’s lives the user has become much more sophisticated. Users don’t just want to see a final product but are also interested in seeing how the product is being made. Young Atlas is a tool for artists to show their fans and new ones what they are working on. It is also a simple way for the artists fans to better understand who the individuals are.
Nate – Most artists draw influence from their personal stories or the stories of people close to them. It’s hard to express something if you’ve never experienced it or been close to it so I think an artist’s story is essential to understanding their art. Sometimes artist will be mysterious on purpose like Zhu or Allan Rayman but even try have stories, they’re just mysteries instead of dramas, comedies, or love stories.
– Explain a bit about where you will be focusing your content?
Nate- We want to be anywhere there is a local “scene” for lack of a better word. Obviously you have your major cities but you also have smaller markets that are still putting out amazing content like North Florida, Sacramento, Oakland, and even places close to us like Newark and to a greater extent New Jersey as a whole.
Kai – We will be focusing our content in the tri-state area as of now. However we will be branching out to other cities that Nate mentioned to shed light on the incredible talent in these different cities.
– What do you hope to the future brings from Young Atlas?
Nate – I’m hoping to just spread dopeness around the world. I hope that every artist that we feature is able to use this platform to elevate their audience and really connect with people half-way around the world in a way that they couldn’t have before.
Kai – By staying consistent and putting out quality content we hope to build on online and offline community of creatives and simply fans. We want to grow our following to create a demand to spotlight cities all over the world.