Many young Filipino-Americans know very little about their heritage and history, but singer/songwriter/producer Tim Atlas knows the importance of getting in touch with one’s roots.
“I think it’s easy, as an American, to forget about your heritage and your roots,” Atlas told the Asian Journal. “It’s just not naturally embedded into our everyday lives, but it’s important because a lot of people don’t understand where they come from or where their parents and grandparents came from. These things play a big part in our self-identities.”
The 27-year-old Bay Area native is one of the many artists set to perform for the Filipino American History Month Celebration on Sunday, October 23 at the Greek Theater. For Atlas, it’s a great opportunity to express his Filipino pride with other Filipino American artists.
Of this “artist support system,” Atlas said that the artists collective is important to him because “we’re just subconsciously celebrating our Filipino culture through collaboration.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever played at a venue this huge in America,” the season 9 contestant of NBC’s “The Voice” said. “We’re all just excited to be on a stage that big to do it for a good cause and also to play my original music. It’s a big opportunity and I’m so blessed to be able to do it.”
His passion for music came at a young age and his love for it never left him. He was heavily involved in band in high school, participating in the drumline and jazz band. After graduating college with a degree in photography and briefly working as a professional photographer, he told his mom that he decided he wanted to pursue music professionally.
Atlas said that his mother gave him the drive to pursue music as a career. His mother came from the Philippines with “barely anything” to establish a better life for her family and “put us in a position where we can succeed.”
“I probably wouldn’t have been able to pursue music as heavily as I do right now, so I kind of owe my mom to that,” Atlas said.
He then “took a leap of faith” and began working as a music producer, wrote his own songs and began touring. He is currently based in Los Angeles.
“It’s not glamourous, but it is very fulfilling. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been,” he said of his decision to become a career musician.
In 2015, Atlas was on Pharrell Williams’s team on the ninth season of NBC’s “The Voice” where he got to collaborate with a lot of musicians and producers. Although he was eliminated, Atlas considers it a rewarding experience and learned a great deal about the music industry.
“It was really fun. And just to have some recognition and meet with really respectable people was really worth it. No regrets. I had a really great time,” Atlas said.
After the Filipino American History Month Celebration, Atlas will be going on tour around North America starting November 2. For tour dates and tickets, visit www.timatlasmusic.com/tour/.