Learn more about one of Atlanta’s hottest talents.
SenseiATL is the man responsible for the ambient sound that’s partially responsible for the success of Pollari, but his success doesn’t stop there. He’s become one of the most notable producers in Atlanta because of his ability to constantly push the wheel.
There really isn’t a way to describe one of his productions – they’re often as atmospheric as anything you’d hear on a video game soundtrack. He’s worked with a ton of artists over the last couple of years including Lil Yachty, JBand$2Turnt and Lil Wop; and he’s only getting started.
We got a chance to pick Sensei’s brain about his humble beginnings, his distinctive sound, the importance of producers and much more. Read our full conversation below.
Who is SenseiATL?
I’m a 20-year-old producer/artist from Atlanta. I’m one of the hardest working producers right now and stylistically staying true to the sound of my city.
How did you get into the music scene?
I’ve been making beats since 11. In the beginning I had some good beats already, so I just made tracks for my friends while I was developing my sound. Around 2015, Atlanta’s underground scene was buzzing heavy. I worked with people like Yachty, Uno, Fauni and Awful Records when they were throwing crazy house parties and shows.
What’s your relation to Larry League?
I’m 1/3 of Larry League. Larry and Randy my best friends.
Your sound is something well-off the beaten path. What would you describe it as? How did you find it?
I just try to make every beat sound and feel melodically and rhythmically different. I do what feels most natural to me and when I’m with an artist I can find something perfect to match his/her voice. I’m musically trained and I got perfect pitch.
Sometimes I compose layers of melodies in my head before I even touch the keyboard. It only takes me 5-15 minutes to make one, so I can’t see how producers get stuck on developing one loop for 5 hours.
How’d you link up with Pollari?
Me and Larry League moved to 3200 Lenox in 2015, a complex in Atlanta. At that time, Llari stayed in the building next to ours. We just started working and building each other’s sound as a team. That’s also my best friend.
Your chemistry with him is amazing. Who else do you enjoy working with?
Outside of what I got going on, Lil Wop and Peewee Longway went crazy on every beat they hopped on from me.
In your opinion, what’s been your biggest placement so far?
I got songs with Llari at 2 and 3 million but I don’t feel like I’ve gotten a huge placement yet.
Producer Sonny Digital has said that producers don’t get the credit they deserve. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
I completely agree. Sonny is one of the hardest producers out, but he slept on, and that’s why he’s an artist now. Same reason he became an artist is the same reason I’m with Larry League; it’s getting us more looks and making us more money than just producing.
The industry leeches off Atlanta’s musical style and creativity but we don’t have any label buildings in the city. It’s producers from NYC and LA with 6 figure deals, but have no talent and less than a million plays on productions overall. I have 40 million on productions on SoundCloud alone! Labels know me but none want to help me progress their businesses so that’s their loss. The artists are not the problem, the music industry is just a dirty game nowadays.
Who are your favorite producers out right now?
DJ Spinz, Cassius Jay and Zaytoven are OGs and have been going crazy for a long time. It’s a blessing I’ve had the chance to work with all 3 of them. Other than that I got to say Metro, Sonny, 808 Mafia and Danny Wolf.
SoundCloud rap music seems to have evolved from a meme to a subculture of Hip Hop that’s the most experimental. Do you believe that it will continue to expand or will it die off?
I don’t even see it that way and it’s crazy how the internet fucks with people’s perception of accepting music. It’s artists making music with genuine emotion that have a real story and it’s artists who aspire to be the same way. It’s way too many artists popping right now just for me to simply think that everyone’s good.
People are going to get tired of weak music soon enough. SoundCloud used to be cool but over the last couple of years artists pushed being viral so hard that they managed to ruin that platform for everybody. Being a viral phenomenon has nothing to do with making music and being a great artist but a lot of music fans think that it does.
What’s next for SenseiATL?
I’ve been working hard this year and I got a whole bunch of songs in the vault with artists from Atlanta and all around the world ready to go. More tapes with Larry League and Pollari for the rest of this year, we might just end up doing a tour.
What advice do you have for producers looking for their big break?
If you want to get anywhere as a producer you got to show love nowadays but you also have to know your worth ($$$). I always work with people personally because it helps when people come together to make great music.