Simmer down, take a breath, and immerse yourself in the rolling energy of Cloude Atlas, the uplifting duo here to unwind your mind with their zealous array beats and electric-melodic sounds.
Breaking in the new year with their explosive EP ‘Forward In Time: Toki Fruit Act’, West London rap duo Cloude Atlas are setting the bar for emerging artists across the board. Collaborating with electric producer Val-Verrel, the release is the first installment in a three-part project, set to keep us vibing through the year. “It’s not to say expect the same sounds but it can definitely be viewed as an appetiser and a taste for what’s to come with the full course meal”.
Turning a trialing lockdown into a chance to create art, their fifth Studio EP comes with a selection of long-awaited tracks, ‘Forward In Time’ represents more than an EP, bringing creativity together and uniting artists in a time where we feel disconnected. “Val-Verrel is very much a brother to us you can say without Val there wouldn’t really be the Cloude Atlas sound. Even though we are able to work with many producers without losing our style, our relationship with Val is a very special one because we are very much in sync. And our process is literally like friends hanging out, it all just comes naturally, and we are able to bounce off each other’s ideas in order to create the “perfect portrayal” of our sound.” Merging the intoxicating beats of Val-Verrel with the powerful, projective lyrics of Cloude Atlas, this EP is an anthem of positivity, something we are all searching for right now.
Transitioning into a new era of Cloude Atlas music, from their first freestyle and debut project ‘Nuage’ back in 2016, the vitality of these artists is unmatched. Bursting with drive, identity instilled into each release and reverberating new age beats combined with a touch of the old school sound, listeners are left with a get-up-and-go attitude. “I feel like our music has progressed a lot as we are able to experiment with many sounds. I mean from the release of our first track, which was actually a freestyle over the neo soul sound of Jill Scott’s – A long walk, we were able to take on the inspiration”.
Alongside the perfect timing of this EP’s release, the atmosphere of each track, filled with enriching vocals and profound messages of willpower, love, resilience, peace, freedom and mentality, offers a helping hand and sense of comfort, complemented by a much-needed mood lifter of invigorating beats. “Each song was actually created separately with some of them stemming from a couple years ago and as time moved on, these songs started to make more sense to us, so it only felt right to create this project.” It’s a powerful listen and the duo have hit the nail on the head with the music people are craving right now.
The EP itself was crafted from the creators pushing themselves for its release, motivation and dedication setting them further ahead in their musical journey. “We were meant to take a break after our last project to deal with personal things but we both cut it short to make this project, so we feel we’re ahead of time in a way”.
What’s really enthralling about Cloude Atlas is their flexibility, each track is able to take us on a journey from elevated moods to tranquil sensations. “The core message I would say is that we aim to be the reminder to people to never really forget or lose who they are. We know it’s hard and easier said than done, but as people we really need to not be afraid to take a step back in the midst of it all and really grab a hold of ourselves.” Rapidly defining their alternative sound, we see a real insight into the energy behind the pairing, Starlux the Yin to MP Dilla’s Yang. “It all sort of came natural from us connecting as friends first. It really helped, allowing us to feel freedom in aligning our individual styles. With MP Dilla having this more raw, gritty but calming tone, it comes with the perfect balance of Starlux’s more uppity and softer but raw approach.”
Across this 4 track EP we witness the true range of this captivating pairing from the slow burning, melodic rap heard in ‘Amazon Lily’ to the spirited, organic delivery experienced in the duos favourite track ‘Laughing Tale’. “Not only has it got a fun vibe but we feel it portrays more of what Cloude Atlas are really about. The song was inspired by our desire to express the idea to just “simmer down”, take a second and breathe in a chaotic society.”
Both manga and anime enthusiasts, Cloude Atlas infuse sentiments of this across ‘Forward In Time: Toki Fruit Act’, drawing upon the artists personal favourite series ‘One Piece’. Encapsulated through the track names and EP artwork showcasing manga versions of themselves, velvety, energised notes, offer a soundscape to perfectly captures the nature of anime, a distinctive style that has become synonymous with the duo. “Along with our sound being very smooth, giddy with many tones of consciousness, you can almost say the portrayal of that is somewhat similar to many anime’s where all emotions are mixed together but never failing to reveal a message that may very well relate to anyone. Also we aim to paint a picture for the listeners, so you could say we are basically like an audio manga book.”
This isn’t the first big release from the duo, back in 2020, the pair released ‘Romance Dawn: The Summer In Love’ an equally enthralling set of tracks that captured the attention of Reprezent Radio and Capital Xtra, quickly becoming a Spring anthem. As we watch MP Dilla and Star Lux pave their way into the music industry, each new project offers a glimpse into where the pair is headed, every release making us crave their next installment. “It all depends on how you want to measure success and to what standards. The general thought and hope for this project is to be able to gain more core fans across the world and build up momentum from it. We really want to push ourselves as humans and as artists to learn, grow and experience.”
As for what Cloude Atlas have planned, we can look forward to the duos upcoming installments throughout the year and can expect to see more of Star Lux and MP Dilla’s charged positivity for 2021. “As a duo we aim to just keep on doing what we know best along with being able to take on new challenges. For our music, our aim is to keep on spreading across the world and reaching an almost timeless state so that generations upon generations will be able to hear our sound and find relatable messages and hope.”
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Words: Lorna May
Photography: Darnell Temenu