Bio

Atiim Chenzira is a musician, songwriter, spoken word poet, community activist and family therapist. Born in Oakland, California, he began writing songs at the age of 12 and started performing at 14-years-old after receiving strong encouragement from family members. Cultivated in the rich musical soil the Eastbay, his music is an eclectic mix of New Age Hip Hop, Old School Soul and Jazz Poetry.

“My cousins and I used to lip-sync Michael Jackson, ‘The Girl is Mine,’ and all of that. We’d perform our lip-synching & acting for our elders. One day, Menudo was on TV, and somebody said, ‘You all should form a group.’ And a light bulb came on. I was excited! I ran next door to my friend and said, ‘Let’s be group.’  And I was ready to perform more,” he recalls. “I was activated to performing arts because it was so appreciated by my elders. I loved that feeling.”

Atiim’s early musical inspirations included Whodini and San Francisco Bay Area rappers such as Too Short, Ant-Banks, Seagram, Dangerous Dame, and others. At the same time, he was drawn to the East Coast style of music and looked to incorporate poetic lyricism into his approach. Expanding his horizons both musically and politically, and inspired by the challenge of fusing East and West Coast sound styles, Atiim began writing lyrics that openly addressed social and political concerns. He sought to write lyrics unbound by local lingo, words that would be accepted by a larger listening crowd. All the while, he incorporated sounds he heard around the house.

“My father introduced me to the Last Poets and he always played his records for us,” Atiim says. “I came out of the age of eight-tracks, riding around in my uncles’ Cadillacs, their house parties when they were in their late-20s and early-30s.”

When he was in junior high school, Atiim joined a Berkeley group called Gangstas By Heart (GBH) and began writing to turntable instrumentals. This group formed out of a need to express peaceful and creative alternatives to street violence.  At Berkeley High School in the early-1990s, he trained and performed with the Live Lyricist Society, an elite club of lyricists and performers who focused their energies on freestyle writings, performance, and public speaking. Firmly rooted in Hip Hop, he then started a group called Fourth Kind, which featured dance, East-meets-West-Coast-style rap and lyricism, and performance. At the same time, he joined ranks with his brother, best friend, and cousins to form a family rap group called 5N’Dime, for whom he wrote lyrics, choruses and song concepts. They performed at showcases in Los Angeles and recorded at Skyline Studios and Pajama Studios in Oakland.

In 1997, Atiim recorded numerous poetry/spoken word sessions and laid down hip-hop tracks with God-brother Kobane (member of 5N’Dime) at Roof Top Studios in San Leandro, California. A year earlier, Atiim began working with producer D-Jones. Their chemistry was phenomenal. The new fire fueled their music. By 2001,  D-Jones and Atiim decided to produce and release their music independently. Atiim founded Ridah Ridah Recordz & Publishing and began work on his debut album. Entitled “In Pursuit of Happiness,” this musical debut displays the good range of Atiim’s rapping, writing, and lyrical skills. Mixed at Skyline Studios and Mastered at Pajama Studios in Oakland, In Pursuit of Happiness is a passionate work that’s funky, fun and formidable. In May of 2003, Atiim finally released his debut album “In Pursuit of Happiness,”  which was done in collaboration with David Jones (Tunemaster) at Backyard Entertainment Studios in Indianapolis, Indiana (current studio location is Pittsburgh, California).

Ridah Ridah Recordz and Publishing (R3NP) collaborated with 5N’Dime to produce a group album with the debut title “The Classic.” It was released in February of 2005 and can be found on CDbaby. During that same year Atiim met Bekka Fink and was given an opportunity to join her band Bekka’s Frogland Orchestra as a vocalist.  She invited him to collaborate with writing lyrics, expressing his spoken word and pushed him to express himself through yet another medium, song.

“When Atiim joined me and Frogland Orchestra, we found a mutual passion to educate through art, in service to community, and brought that alive onstage. We both were (Eastbay) born and raised, brought up in diversity and also with a deep awareness of injustice and inequality. We sparked a kind of activism through this musical and spiritual connection” Ms. Fink says. “Atiim brought out my soulful nature. I brought out his environmental peacemaker. His stage presence, channeled spoken word story-telling, and deep back-up vocals added great depth and intensity to our collaboration.”

In 2004 Atiim joined a band named Izum, which later became known in the Bay Area as Shotwell 25, a Bay Area Funk/Jazz/Hip-Hop/Afro-Cuban band. With a full horn and rhythm section at his disposal, he worked on his live performance playing in many of the Bay Area’s local venues. And in 2005, Atiim formed his own band BOMANI Musik (formerly known as SupaFRENDZ), a funky mix of hip hop, R&B; and Funk. Also in 2005, he began collaborating – as a co-writer, support vocalist and roadie — with Divasonic, an electronica, singer-song writer, multi-intrumentalist and producer who mixed her production with live piano and flute playing. They toured the West Coast and released three projects between 2007 and 2009. In 2007, Atiim also re-released ‘In Pursuit of Happiness’ through Tunecore, and Bandcamp, which makes his music digitally available worldwide on iTunes and other electronic distributors.

In 2008, Atiim met Xandra Corpora, and Con Brio (A Bay Area Neo-Soul and Funk band) on a roof-top in San Francisco, and was invited to free-style sing and rap one evening at a house party. “When I heard Atiim sing and rap, I said to myself, we have to do more and more of this.” Con Brio continued to invite Atiim back show after show to perform live with them as they began to build their name and brand in the San Francisco Bay Area. They again invited him to do both support vocals and co-write and feature his singing on a song named Ghostrider for their live album, ‘The Bay Is Burning’, recorded in front of a sold out audience at the Great American Music Hall in 2011, which was released in 2012.

In 2013, Atiim secured the services of Miami-based Virtuoso Music & Distribution, which now oversees and coordinates distribution of his recording projects. Atiim’s latest musical compilation, “Aspectz of Me,” is a (CD) project which features a wide range of songs such as “Try Again,” “Just Another Day,” “1 pen, One pad, A Minute to Think,” “Rage N Anger,” and “Seasonz.” Of the work, which was released in late 2014 (http://r3np.bandcamp.com), he says, “It speaks to my musical interests. It speaks to genre-less, to an extent, music that doesn’t just box me into one direction. It’s a platform that I would hope would express the different musical inspirations that I have…It’s supposed to be a broad brushstroke of things that I’m inspired by and create, and a compass to the different directions I plan to venture in the coming years.”

Currently, you can find Atiim Chenzira leading his new band project FatheR BrotheR Sun, along with three other very talented vocalists and writers. FatheR BrotheR Sun, also known as FRBRS, is an 11 piece band with four main vocalists, and a horn & rhythm section. They are a wonderful fusion of funk, hip hop, r & b, rock, and soul music. The band was forged together by band leader Atiim Chenzira to highlight the vocals and song writing of Chloe Jean, Freedom Bean, Ali Hammad, and himself.
For more information about FRBRS, please follow this link: http://www.fatherbrothersun.com/bio/