In Greece, the hip-hop scene is alive, kicking – and multicultural. Formed in 2015 by rapper Kareem Kalokoh and creative director Valentin Rivera, ATH Kids are a diverse, Athens-based collective whose unique, infectious sounds are on the verge of taking over the world. Named after ATL (as in Atlanta) and the seminal Harmony Korine-scripted movie Kids, the continually evolving team of young artists also includes DJ Joseph Mouzakitis, another MC in Complex Shadow, and two producers, Taj Jamal and Dazedboi.
In terms of their breakthrough, though, ATH Kids first caused a stir with Kalokoh’s 2015 EP ATH2090s and its accompanying single “New Flame”. Since then, the rap group’s eclectic output has continued to illustrate the depths of their talents beyond attention-grabbing lyrics (they tend to rap in English, but sometimes have Greek verses, too) and headphone-worthy beats. There are also the evocative music videos (check out Kalokoh’s “Heaven” or Complex Shadow’s “Jungle”), the vibrant live shows, and the individual side projects (Mouzakitis DJing in museums and theatres; Rivera’s music video production company, Vanilla Films).
With so many distinct but complementary voices within ATH Kids, the odds are very much in their favour. For 2021, Kalokoh and Complex Shadow both have albums in the works; Taj Jamal and Dazedboi recently launched a beat store, A Town Beats; Rivera has filmmaking plans; and Mouzakitis is expanding his Escapade show on Movement Radio. How big could they get? When Kalokoh visited New York, Def Jam at Universal were insistent they have a meeting.
Text Nick Chen