Simon Atlan’s 7-song debut EP is the perfect blend of pop, r&b, and electro music to smoothly transition from vacation mode to the hustle and bustle of city life, without back to work blues.
Aimlessly scrolling through Instagram, when I should have already been asleep, is literally how I stumbled upon Simon Atlan‘s account. I bet many can relate. His latest post happened to be a rather humorous teaser video for a future song entitled “Buona Sera”. A boy was dancing like nobody’s watching over fast-track images of New York City in the 80s. Genius. I was instantly hooked and wanted more. Less than a year later, the 25-year-old Parisian singer, musician, producer, and writer is releasing his very first EP “5502”. Why “5502”, you ask? Let’s question the man when we get a chance. For now, I’ll go out on a limb and say that February 1955 might be his dad’s birthday, since Simon clearly loves to fondly reference his father. Exhibit A: the digital cover of his first single ever, “Have Another Drink” was an old photograph of said-dad rocking a three-piece satin suit and the most epic “bouffant” hairdo I have ever seen. Cheeky!
“I step in / You step out”
His love for all things retro, including 80s/90s music, is obvious when listening to tracks like “Blue Dress” or “Buona Sera”. However, Simon masterfully channels his many influences and mentors – Alicia Keys, Gil Scott Heron, Marvin Gaye, Travis Scott – to produce beautifully personal and original melodies, complimented by his warm and soulful voice. He even ventures into rapping – Migos style – on a couple of songs. It’s 2019 after all.
My personal favorite track has to be “Selfish”, which he also teased on Instagram. When I finally heard the complete song, I couldn’t get enough of the beautifully crafted lyrics, the emotional melody, and Simon’s use of both his low and high register, which reminded me of another personal favorite of mine Frank Ocean. “So selfish/I want you back in my life/When you’re over me/Over me.” sounds like any millennial’s relationship history. And yes, Simon mainly sings in English, except for one song, “Chanson En Français” (‘Song In French’, ndlr). Straight to the point, voila. Love and shortcomings in relationships are an endless source of inspiration for Simon Atlan, whose first EP “5502” is little gem that I’m glad I’ve waited for.
By PK Douglas
Watch Simon Atlan’s latest music video “Amsterdam” here.