Born and bred in Sin City, Vattima spent his youth honing his craft in the local Vegas music scene, while spending summers serenading the South Jersey Shore, raking in crowds with his unique acoustic arrangements of various popular songs that would catch the attention of listeners. Once he captured their eyes and ears, he would then test the waters playing a few songs of his own.
Over the next few years, Vattima started building a band of his own, releasing his first EP, Thank You, followed by singles such as “Paralyzed,” “Outta My Mind,” and “Fade”. With each single came more listeners on Spotify, accumulating to over 125K respective streams.
Vattima wrote and recorded his brand new track, “Reality,” to serve as the latest and final single from his approaching album, fears, due later this year. So says Vattima: “’Reality’ slowly grew on me. It was mostly written to address the crippling idea of not being able to come to terms with rapid changing environments. Lyrically, the song was meant to embody a lot of what runs through my mind on a daily basis.”
We had the chance to learn more about this unique up and coming Nashville artist and what drives him, so without further adieu…
You’ve been putting out music and performing for about three years now. What has the journey been like for you so far? The highs? The lows?
Every moment has been eye-opening. I thought my journey started when I started writing, but it wasn’t until I worked on my first EP that things really felt like they were set in motion. With every song, or project, it’s been my goal to continue to develop a sound that feels right for the songs I want to put out. Sure, there have been times I’ve experienced “lows,” but they never felt like anything was wrong musically, because I’ve been able to take something from the experience and grow. The highs have been incredible, because it inspires me to keep pushing forward and work on better music for a growing fan base.
The journey has been great, and I’m excited to see what this next year brings. I’ve loved every moment: from staying up ’til 3 AM working on an idea, to playing a show for 5, 10 or 50 people that just want to hear music.
How do you believe your artistry has changed/improved over time?
For one, I’ve learned that influences change over time, and that they’re not set in stone. I used to want to be an R&B/Soul artist, then I thought maybe Alternative, and eventually started experimenting with Hip Hop. Now, I just wake up and work on what’s on my mind and whatever it turns out to be, I leave to others to stamp a label on it.
Over the years, I feel like I’ve started to learn how to better produce the ideas in my head, while lyrically trying new things and exploring new concepts from project to project. I used to write solely off of melodies I’d hear in my head, and just put whatever lyrics I could make fit. As time progressed, I started to work on telling better stories to convey a message, even if the message is just to tell a good story.
I think through putting music out and performing, I’ve gained more confidence in the things that I create, which makes me strive further to grow and to try new ideas, and in return, put more music out. I’m excited to see what the next year brings as I try new things out, both live and in a studio.
Who would you say are your greatest influences when it comes to your sound?
If we’re going on songwriting, I’d have to say artists like John Mayer, Rob Thomas, and Jason Mraz. They’re the three reasons that I ever picked up a pad and pen in the first place. The greatest influences to my sound, however, have come from two places, because I have two different sides to what I make. In the realm of R&B/Pop/Alternative, I’ve pulled my sounds from Maroon 5 (early years), Matchbox Twenty, John Mayer, COIN, and Young The Giant. In the realm of Hip Hop, I’ve pulled my influence from artists like Mac Miller, Joey Bada$$, Logic, and J. Cole. Even then, all of these artists blend to help me create every song, from guitars to sample choice, to vocal production, to live instrument arrangement.
What are some primary goals you’d like to accomplish this year?
Create. I want to push myself to have a lot of material by the end of the year and be able to pick and choose more on what’s the best to put out to my audience. Speaking of that, I want to continue making a name for myself in Nashville, and get back into going out and watching people perform, as it gets safe again to do that. I have a few projects in mind that I want to get finished up, and I’ll keep dropping music periodically throughout the year.
If live shows make a comeback by the fall, I’m also ready to get back out to performing, both locally and in other surrounding cities. I miss playing with my band, and we’re all ready to get back out on the road and start having fun at shows again for those who have missed live music.
In your upcoming single, “Reality,” it’s very clear that you have a message you want to convey. What is a common topic or message you look to get across when writing?
Most of what I write is self-reflective, and it’s usually to work through problems I have going on. It’s my therapy. I use a pad and pen to convey messages that I hope will resonate with others, as they go through similar situations. It all kind of comes down to one universal idea.
Life is hard, life is terrifying, but also life is great. There are always going to be lows, but even the darkest days will come to an end, and with a new day comes a new chance for a better one.
Speaking of “Reality,” can you talk about the inspiration and influence behind the track?
This song was co-written with my good friend, Matt Wagner. I was stuck without a chorus on some of these lyrics, and so we just started talking about life last summer, and how things were different, and how it can just get really hard to face the “reality” of situations out of your own control.
Last year was low, for everyone, for multiple different reasons. Everyone lost something, or someone, or a combination of it all. Things aren’t better yet, but it seems like things are slowly moving in the right direction again.
The inspiration came from the things that Matt and I were going through, and we wanted to convey it in a way where people could relate to the idea that sometimes things don’t make sense, and that hopefully someday they will.
What would you hope would be a listener’s main takeaway from your music in general?
Life isn’t always going to make sense, but just keep working through it, and things will eventually get better. Take comfort in the people you surround yourself with, and when you feel like you can’t find answers, fake it ’til you make it.
Like I mentioned, I love telling stories. Sometimes they have deeper messages, and other times the message that someone takes from the song is different than the message I had originally written. And that’s really cool, because it shows a new perspective, usually a new point that someone could relate to. I want people to be able to relate to these songs, and it’s all I could ever hope for as an artist.
And “Reality” will be part of a larger project for you?
There is an EP that will be coming out very very soon. “Reality” is one piece of the idea. And it’s arguably the biggest concept behind the EP, I just didn’t know it when Matt and I were writing the song.
What does success as a musical artist mean to you?
As for success, I think that if one is happy, and doing what they love while sustaining a living doing it, then they’re successful. Artists can get caught up in this idea that they have to be rich, famous, loved by everyone, a figure, and I don’t see the point in it. I mean, I used to, but now I don’t. That’s not to knock any of those accomplishments, because if that’s the end goal for someone else, then that’s their version of “success”. All that I care about, all that I want, all that I strive for at this point, is to get my music as far as it will go over my life, to as many people as possible. If I can one day support my living solely on putting out music to an audience, putting out content, and going on the road to play shows for a solid group of people that support the message, that relate to it, and then come back to a home, and one day a life that I get to exist in offstage, I’d say that I’m successful.
And finally, possibly the most pressing question, what’s your go-to food spot in Nashville? (you can name a few…)
Go-to barbecue is Martin’s, especially because of their pulled pork and their ribs. My go-to burger joint is Pharmacy Burger in East Nashville, because I love everything from the sweet potato fries and the tater tots, the farmhouse burger, to the amazing draft beer selection they’ve got to wash it all down. My Go-to Sandwich shop is Mitchell Deli off of McGavock Pike, because their Italian is incredible. There’s a great brunch place on 21st avenue called Ruby Sunshine that I like heading into or grabbing takeout from on weekdays.
Last, but not least, there’s a great restaurant off of 8th Ave. called Sinema, and while I might not dine-in often, I’ve been lucky to work there for the past two years and call it a home. Great cocktails, great food, amazing chefs and staff, and overall great atmosphere.