For all those who cheered him through his stint on The X Factor, Nathaniel needs no introduction. But, given the cross-over populist appeal of his debut album, Yours, the young musician is set to be exposed to a whole new set of fans. Cliches aside, the world really does seem to be his oyster, and the poppy hooks nestled within Yours are already snaking their way through the airwaves.
The success of the record – it charted at number 5 on the ARIA Charts – might have gone to the head of any other artist. But Nathaniel is not any other artist, and when we spoke to the musician he appeared calm, grounded and kind. There’s no doubting that music means the world to the young singer, and his energy and creativity was palpable.
We spoke to him about the new record, The X Factor and his hidden talents.
Joseph Earp: How are you and where in the world does our interview find you today?
Nathaniel: I’m doing so well! I’ve just released a new single and first album! I’m over the moon! Currently just finished a week of writing new music!
JE: How would you describe your new album, Yours, to someone who hasn’t heard it yet?
N: A versatile piece of art. [It] caters to so many genres that are so close to home for me. It shows depth to my artistry. It’ll get you on your feet dancing but also make you shed a tear.
JE: What is your favourite track off the album?
N: I don’t have a favourite. I just can’t chose. It’ll be liking choosing your favourite child! That’s just wrong!
JE: Who were the people who most guided you throughout the process of making the album? How long did it take to record?
N: I worked with some incredibly talented musicians but 2 guys in particular who go by the name of DNA really help bring out the magic in me. The record took over a year to create and finish!
JE: Did you have a very strong idea of how you wanted the album to sound in your head when you started out, or did the sound evolve more naturally?
N: I had a good idea sonically of how I wanted it to be. I really wanted to show my love for the music I wanted. I drew inspiration from a lot of personal experiences.
JE: How did you celebrate the release of the album? Have you listened to it since it’s been released out into the world?
N: I have! I still get a little nervous listening to it but at the same time a joyous emotion. I partied to celebrate!
JE: Was yours a very musical household growing up?
N: Sort of. I grew up in church and in choirs at a young age. My dad has a gazillion brothers who were all musicians and singers so that influenced me quite a bit also. My sisters and mother sing too. My dad however: something went wrong. He’s shocking!
JE: Who was the first musician to truly inspire you? Did you have many musical idols when you were younger?
N: My parents listened to a lot of soul music so I grew up loving artists like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Jackson 5/MJ and a bunch more.
JE: Do you feel like people have had preconceptions about you due to your affiliation with The X Factor? How did you combat those preconceptions if they did?
N: The X Factor was the best thing for me. I always speak highly of that show because it helped get me to where I am now. There can always be that burden of wearing the X Factor, Idol or The Voice tag in people’s minds but for me I’m more than happy to wear it for the rest of my life. It’s done nothing but good for me. I’m glad about that.
JE: What is the one song by another musical artist other than yourself that you wish you had written?
N: Mark Ronson feat Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk!
JE: Tell me something you’ve never told an interviewer before.
N: I can do an epic whistle solo.
Nathaniel’s brand new album Yours is out now.