S Weekly

Good karma

12 Sep 2017 | 184 View

Good karma

Atom makes another hit

It’s not easy to have a hit song, but singer-songwriter Chanakan Rattana-udom (Atom) clearly has the magic touch.

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Good karma

Khwankaew Sumatchaya

It’s not easy to have a hit song. But singer-songwriter Chanakan Rattana-udom (Atom) clearly has the magic touch. On tracks like “Please,” “Scar,” “Oh!” and “Dust,” the singer-songwriter has used an interesting range of styles and topics. All have been a little bit different. And all have been massive hits.

Atom’s latest single, “Chuang Nee (Karma),” a funky pop song, got over one million views on YouTube in its first week alone. With such high levels of popularity and his ability to generate hit after hit, the 25-year-old has been given an opportunity which few Thai artists get these days — to release an album.

S Weekly met up with Atom at his label White Music where he told us all about his new single and upcoming album.

Can you tell us about the album?

Atom: It’ll feature nine songs. It’ll include all the singles that listeners are familiar with as well as some brand new songs. It’s like a diary of my life. The stories in the new songs will be more mature and the music will be more intense. Right now, the album is around 70 percent finished.

What was it like to get the green light to release an album?

Atom: I felt really happy. To have your own album is what every artist dreams about. When I started working in the music business, everybody worked single by single. The musical direction is very different from working on an album. I’m thrilled that I’ve been given this opportunity.

Do you believe in karma?

Atom: Yes. As a Buddhist, I believe in sin, karma and making merit. However, I never really thought about it seriously until recently. I’m often driving around the country on tour and my mother warned me that I should be careful on the road. One day, I had an accident when an electric pipe under an expressway suddenly fell and hit my car. Fortunately, I didn’t get hurt and my car only got a few tiny scratches. But I thought about karma and my mother’s warning. The next day, I went to a temple to make merit.

Do you also believe in luck?

Atom: I’m not sure. I believe that what goes around comes around. So, if we do good things, good things will happen to us.

Can you tell us about the idea behind the video for “Karma”?

Atom: I wanted there to be a sense of dread. The video for my previous single was cute and upbeat. This time, I told the crew that I wanted it dark and exciting. I said that we should make it look like a horror movie.

How do you feel when people say “Karma” sounds similar to the songs of Burin from Groove Riders?

Atom: It makes me feel proud. My music tastes developed while I was touring with him and The Old School All Stars. We shared a lot of music. I didn’t intend “Karma” to sound like his stuff. I just thought that the music suited the song.

Does writing heartbreaking songs affect you in any way?

Atom: A bit. I use negative feelings like pain and disappointment to help me write songs. But I don’t dwell on those feelings. Once I share the songs with others, I feel like I can move on from my personal issues.

How would you describe your performing style?

Atom: Now, it’s wild and emotional. My songs all used to be slow and sometimes the audience seemed bored. So over time, I started to make my music and live sets more energetic. Now when I perform, people dance along.

Have you ever had an unusual experience during a performance?

Atom: Yes. A drunken guy came onstage because he wanted to take a photo with me and wouldn’t wait until the show was over. He locked his arm around my neck and took a selfie.

You were in the TV series Bangkok Rak Stories (Bangkok Love Stories). How do you feel about acting?

Atom: It’s more difficult than singing. An actor has to understand the script and create a personality. As a singer, I just tell stories through songs. I’m lucky because I write my own stuff, so it’s easy for me to interpret it.