In 2003, producer John Cuniberti (Joe Satriani, The Dead Kennedys) expressed interest in working with Florent, whom he described as “the new Joe Satriani with a style of his own.” Dreamtown, Florent’s first solo album, was recorded at The Plant Studios in Sausalito, California, and the band featured Carole Atem, drummer Jeff Campitelli (Joe Satriani) and bass players Michael Manring and Matt Bissonette (Joe Satriani, Ringo Starr, Don Henley, Brian Wilson, David Lee Roth, Christopher Cross, Elton John).
Nicknamed “Shredder Boy” by some great Hawaiian musicians, Florent became the first Tahitian to be nominated for a Grammy Award in 2006, as part of the Hawaiian Slack Key Kings guitar project, in the “Best Hawaiian Music Album” category. In 2008, Florent and the other artists involved in the same project received a second Grammy nomination and won a Hoku Award – the Hawaiian equivalent of the Grammy Awards – in 2009.
In 2008, Florent and Carole performed live in Tahiti with Michael Angelo Batio. They performed with him in Tahiti again in 2009, along with Michael Manring. The 2008 concert was also the opportunity for Florent to release Silver Flame, a collection of original material he had recorded over the past few years following Michael Angelo Batio’s advice.
That same year, Florent revealed to the guitar community a new guitar technique he calls “Slide Picking”, which he invented and had been developing for the past 15 years. Guitarists such as Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson, Jeff Beck), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Guns N’ Roses), Mattias Ia Eklundh, Alex Skolnick (Testament, Ozzy Osbourne), Michael Angelo Batio and many other world-class musicians have praised Florent’s unprecedented approach, which they consider “fantastic” and “very innovative”.
In 2012, Florent performed in Tahiti with Virgil Donati and Michael Angelo Batio. Later that year, Michael also joined Florent on stage during one of his clinics in Hawaii. Florent Atem is also featured in Michael Angelo Batio’s new studio album entitled “Intermezzo,” on which he performs a passage he composed as well as a guest guitar solo.