AteloMidas, an anonymous black artist, creates music and poetry that encourages the acceptance of one’s flaws.
AteloMidas means imperfect gold, and is also the name of his brand, which features the phrase “wear your flaws like a crown.”
“The biggest inspiration for the project was a therapy. I guess I was creating a therapy for myself at first,” AteloMidas said.
According to AteloMidas, the name is rooted in the concept of atelophobia, the fear of imperfection, and the story of King Midas, which centers on everything he touches turning to gold.
In high school, one of AteloMidas’ friends came across the word and it resonated with the artist. The phrase “Midas” was a joke between his friends who recognized AteloMidas’ hardworking nature—telling him he had the “Midas touch.”
The imagery associated with the brand are the initials A and M pressed together to make a crown with one side perfect and one side scribbled out. AteloMidas sells crown hats that feature this logo.
AteloMidas’ writing process is emotionally driven as outside events often inspire his work.
“A lot of the poems that I make happen as soon as the instant happens,” AteloMidas said.
Some of these poems end up developing into songs such as the track “WindowSeat.”
AteloMidas’ works are noticeably influenced by current events, and “WindowSeat” is a prime example of this as it was written while watching the story of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile unfold on the news.
“I remember watching it, and then I went back to my room and I wrote it down, then I went back and watched it. It was kind of like that back and forth,” AteloMidas said.
His poems and lyrics often express the black male experience, such as his poem “Black Mail,” which focuses on police brutality against black men.
This poem also heavily features wordplay which is a stylistic choice AteloMidas frequently uses to convey his emotions and opinions.
“I feel like homophones and wordplay are definitely one of my biggest assets,” AteloMidas said.
This ability stems from the disciplined, religious home in which he grew up where he learned about morality and saw the duality of things.
“I wanna have duality throughout the piece because I want there to be another meaning. I want it to be perceived in a different way,” AteloMidas said.
He recalls contemplating whether or not to leave an artist showcase before he got onstage because he was unsure of the reaction he would receive from the predominately white audience about “WindowSeat.”
“It was the first time I was like ‘This is kind of uncomfortable,’ and I remember thinking ‘Should I just dip out?’” AteloMidas said.
However, he stayed to share “WindowSeat” because he recognized the platform he had.
“They may not get this perspective all the time,” AteloMidas said. “So, it makes me adapt and work harder to make sure you hear—I want you to hear what I’m saying cause it’s a very important message.”
He said that the serious, firm manner in which he performed “WindowSeat” for the audience made it difficult for anyone to look away from him.
Afterwards, some members of the audience approached him to express their appreciation for the message he shared.
This performance was the second time he had presented that piece, with the first time being in front of a predominately black audience. However, he said he still received the same reactions and appraisals of his message.
For AteloMidas, one of his focuses is on working, often collaboratively, to spread hip-hop music. He said the Athens music scene has fueled his passion for collaborative efforts.
“There is a diverse scene, but it’s tailored toward a different crowd. We’re just trying to find ways to spotlight each other,” AteloMidas said.
He says the hip-hop scene has made progress in the last few years. For instance, a mixtape is being released by the DJ Loddidoddi called “Classic City Mixtape” which spotlights local hip-hop music.
“I believe that the hip-hop scene is gonna eventually get its spotlight,” AteloMidas said.
AteloMidas’ hats are available for sale on his website, and he says a pink hat will be added to the product list in October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.