Duluth, USA



Behind the Music

My biggest inspiration when crafting my song was the story of David Mndolwa in the chapter, ‘Jails Without Bars.’ The general hopelessness of the situation really struck a chord with me — that there are those in this world whose best opportunity at a better life is to entrust their fate in the hands of strangers and live the harrowing life of a stowaway for a period of time. I want to convey this sense of desperation and isolation that I imagine Mndolwa and the other stowaways likely felt over the course of their journey. At the same time, I try to bring a tone of hopefulness in the later half of the song — a tribute to Mndolwa’s steadfast optimism, even in the face of bleak and horrible circumstances.

About Attom

Attom is an Iowa City native, Kyle Stern, who quietly sharpened his production skills while obtaining a degree in informatics from the University of Iowa. In the midst of his relocation to Duluth, Minnesota in the summer of 2014, Attom won subsequent remix competitions for Parade of Lights’s “Golden” and Chromeo’s “Jealous.” His reputation grew in the fall of 2014 as Attom’s first single “Glow” was uploaded on the YouTube channel MrSuicideSheep and officially released on the Big Beat Ignition Miami 2015 playlist. Since then he's seen success, releasing numerous singles, remixes, an EP and, most recently, his debut album "That One Summer."

Winner of the 2021 Scripps Howard Award for Excellence in Innovation in Journalism

The Journalism behind the Music

All music in this project is based on The Outlaw Ocean, a New York Times Best-Selling book by Ian Urbina that chronicles lawlessness at sea around the world. This reporting touches on a diversity of abuses ranging from illegal and overfishing, arms trafficking at sea, human slavery, gun running, intentional dumping, murder of stowaways, thievery of ships and other topics.

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