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© 2018 ATAIA

MY STORY

Ataia Illiana Gabriel 

Born in Nyack NY November 13th 1994. 

Early life: I began songwriting from a very young age. I remember sitting on my NY home stoop singing my days away. At just 5 years old, I knew exactly what I was brought into this earth for. I was lucky enough to have a father, musician Wayne Text Gabriel, who also was fully embodied by the rhythm of his soul. 

My parents got divorced at the age or 6, my father unfortunately, was not the same loving kind spirit when he was intoxicated. His disease led my mom into years of abuse and  humongous amounts of stress until the year 2000 when she finally decided to take my brother and I out of that toxic situation. We moved to Germantown MD where we completely started over scraping by just to make ends meet. This is where I started to develop a very odd mix of music. Inspirations from Quincy, to Michael, to Fleetwood mac, Dr. Dre, Destiny Child...etc. I grew up on the tougher side of town. I would constantly (encouraged by my brother) engage in rap battles as well as singing ones. This is where I developed a love for freestyle.

"I wrote my first original song at the age of nine..."

From the year 2000-2006 I began developing my musical talents in any way I could. Theater, neighborhood concerts, creating and making my own CDs that I would handout to people anywhere I could. I always felt incredibly different from most people my age so my outlet was writing, singing, and honestly anything creative. I wrote my first original song at the age of nine. I remember holding neighborhood concerts singing some of my favorite albums at the time. One being Alicia Keys, The Diary album- I was obsessed. 

From the years 2006-2009 I began to really experience the hardships of life. With my mom struggling for years to keep us a float as a single mom, from my dad who was in and out of jail, my brother and I were each other’s support and best friends. I started to get into the rough side of Germantown. I was jumped a few times during this era & introduced to gangs around the area. I was also sexually abused throughout my early years, which led to more music.  A hardness developed as I was in constant fight mode. I lost a lot of friends during this time and grew up incredibly fast. Learning to rely on my divine connection to source & intuition to get me out of dangerous situations. It was the year 2009 my mom brought up Nashville to me and I didn’t hesitate to make the move. All I wanted was to go on auditions for the  chance to be discovered. Thankfully, I had many years to develop who I was as an artist and most importantly as a human being with something to share. 

"I felt the magic of hearing my song that was once just in my

head made into something tangible."

NASHVILLE 2010 - 2018: I began home schooling so I could do music full time, though, this led to server depression as I had no friends in a new city with the stress of no emotional support. I decided to take a break from music to go back into high school- my father shortly made the move after we did to come and spend as much time as possible recording and writing with each other. We wrote many songs, one being my first fully recoded and produced song called “Unlocked Doors”. This lit a fire in me that one can’t explain. I felt the magic of hearing my song that was once just in my head made into something tangible. I remember playing the burned mix in my mom’s car pretending it was on the radio. Haha. I never felt more purpose and passion than I did in that moment. 

My freshman year of high school took place in the middle of the year at Brentwood High. As soon as I got there I remember so clearly wanting to know more about their arts program. They threw me in choir (where I shortly learned after, rules were just not my thing, haha) I began singing in the schools’ assemblies until March 2010 where I received a call that my father was dying and we had only a few weeks left. After his passing, from a rare disease called CJD, I wrote my next fully produced song, Headlights. After that I remember I just wanted to  fit in, I stuck out like a sore thumb in BHS ( mean girls were definitely a  thing there) We even had sorties. Lol. I’m thankful for this time  though because it took losing myself and all I thought I knew to truly bring me into a huge spiritual journey of self-discovery and new beginnings. 

"I began working all day and writing all night, meeting anyone I

possibly could to help get my music out into the world."

As the year went on, I never anticipated for life to take such a curve ball. My senior year at BHS, my best friend, my other half, my biggest supporter in my music, my brother, committed suicide outside of my bedroom window where he shot himself in the head. I remember this day so clear like it was yesterday. TO say this knocked the shit out of me would be an understatement. When he passed, I remembered myself as that six year old kid knowing exactly who and why I was here. I got a slap in the face and took a look at my life and decided I was the person in control – I choose my truth. After the passing of my brother in May 2013, I graduated high school and we ( my mother and I ) started over. We lost everything after my brother, as the hospital bills took any and all we had left. I remember by a god send (literally) a neighbor of mine told me that I needed to be a kid and bought me a ticket to the most profound experience of my life yet. Bonnaroo. It was there I saw those people on stage where I looked up and said “I will be playing that same stage one day”. When I got back, the low from the high hit me as all of my friends were off to college and I came back to an unfamiliar room in a women’s home with just a bed where my mother and I lived for the next few years. I began working all day and writing all night, meeting anyone I possibly could to help get my music out into the world. 

The next few years I just wanted to share my light and my story and thankfully started to meet other artist and creators in the Nashville area. Long story short, I started having sessions and then always leaving with something tangible in my hand. It became my life. I soon started to come out to LA where I was invited on many writing retreats and trips. This helped me realize what I wanted in my career and what kind of team I vision for myself. I never had any hesitation in my career because it is not for me to decide- it is my calling and I know I will fulfill it. In 2019, I took the jump and moved to LA full time. This is a very short and brief bio of my life but I wanted to share so you can see my soul and why I do what I do as well as  the intention behind my Artist career. 

My vision for my music is to spread light and awareness to as many souls and show them they hold the power to create the life they desire. I hope this message encourages you in some way. If you made it this far, thank you for spending time with me. 

xoxo, 

Ataia ​