Once in a blue moon you get an opportunity to meet truly talented individuals who can make music come to life. They seem to have a way to make the music spread through your soul, telling a story that only your body knows how to interpret. Making you move to the beat and let go of your inhibitions and come alive. I had the opportunity to meet a young super producer by the name of Nat Powers when he stopped in Reno to work with singer Christine Storm. Not knowing who he was other then he worked in music, allowed me a chance to get to know this talented young man. When fate brought us together in Las Vegas for FUSIC at the Hard Rock Hotel, I took the opportunity to get a detailed look into the rise of one of England’s youngest super producers.
Joseph: When did you first get into the music business as a producer, and why?
Nat: I first started producing in 2001, but only entered into the music business around 2010. So I had around nine years of preparations and learning before I began working professionally in the business, which helped tremendously. I began producing through my writing and lyricism work, few people know I actually write and perform as an artist myself, and this is what led me to pursue a production career I needed music, but became tired of not having my own.
Joseph: You have accomplished so much in the music industry in such a short amount of time, how did you manage to do that at such a young age?
Nat: Thank you, I appreciate that. From a young age I was always very determined and enjoyed thinking ‘outside of the box’ when it came to achieving things. For example after a visit to London’s iconic department store ‘Harrods’ when I was seven, I sent a letter to the former owner Mohamad Al Fayed with my own illustrations of Teddy Bear designs. He was so impressed he wrote back personally and sent me my own Christmas bear, which cost around £150 in the store. On top of that he considered using my designs to make the next years Christmas bear for the store, for me at that age that was a huge thing, as Harrods is the world’s largest department store. Nothing ever came out of it, but it taught me that I could always reach anybody if I tried hard enough, and these were the morals that I used for my music career when I reached out to the most legendary of individuals to work with. This self-belief and experience at the young age of seven, I believe led me to achieve a majority of my biggest results in the space of only three years.
Joseph: How did you get the opportunity to meet the people you needed to that have taken you to a super producer level?
Nat: It has been a real roller coaster ride, and a big mixture of things which has led me to work with the people that I have worked with. I think it is maintaining inner belief in yourself, your dreams and visions, and not letting anything or anyone stop you from reaching your goals, which can lead you to be in a position to work alongside such important names. It is incredibly vital as well that you stay in touch with yourself, and keep a positive personality whilst you are working your way up the music industry ladder, I never approach anyone in a nervous manner, I don’t put them on a pedestal regardless of their fame and name, and I carry no ego or desperation with me at any time. I feel these ingredients have been so crucial to me in my career, because when I meet people in the business, from any level of fame or notoriety they know I’m different because I approach them and talk to them like the human beings they are.
Joseph: Who has been the one person you have worked with that left you speechless when you found out you had an opportunity to work with them?
Nat: I don’t think I’ve ever been speechless, however I was incredibly happy and humbled when I worked with DMC from Hip-Hop group Run DMC. He took the time to email me to thank me for the opportunity, and also told me the production was the “best he rocked to in years”. That was beautiful to hear and gave me a great feeling about what I was doing, and we have remained in close contact ever since, and are working on new things for the future.
Joseph: Now you are based in London, do you find it harder or easier to excel in music living over there, or would you be able to take your career to a new level being in the states?
Nat: I started my whole career from here in the UK, so it was incredibly challenging for me to develop in America being all the way over here, however it did increase my networking skills and also helped me to become more determined to have a bigger presence in the US. I absolutely love being over here in England, it’s my identity and represents my whole Nat Powers brand, with the diplomatic and elegant culture that we have over here, it’s a real unique aspect of life here and I carry that with pride to America, it always has a warm reception over there and everyone supports it. However, I do want to focus a majority of my career in America, I’ve had some of my best successes over there, and that’s a good sign for me.
Joseph: When did you meet Sam Sneed, and how did he become your mentor?
Nat: Sam and I met over Myspace, and he had been looking to develop a British musician for many years since he was on Death Row Records with Dre, and luckily I got to become that person. We spent many hours on the phone, emails and he even mailed things to my house in order to build an understanding of the ‘Nat Powers’ name, identity and brand, so that it could become not only who I am, but also an international movement.
Joseph: Did that mentorship with Sam have a significant impact on your career as a producer?
Nat: Having Sam as my mentor has been priceless, he was taught many of his abilities from Warren G and Dr. Dre, and then he passed a lot of that information down to me, so I feel very blessed to have been able to receive such knowledge, and I use it to the best extent that I can. The same Akai MPC Sam owns and taught me certain things on, was bought for him by Rza from the ‘Wu Tang Clan’, so everything about my experience being a student of Sam’s has been incredible. Not a lot of people know, but my second mentor is Leroy Burgess from Motown group ‘Black Ivory’, who was himself mentored by Stevie Wonder. So when I have these individuals to take me under their wings, I feel empowered by such knowledge and it’s a feeling I can’t explain. I feel very blessed, and I’m thankful everyday. In addition to all of that my mother is my personal business manager, so it can’t get much better than that.
Joseph: What are some current projects that you are working on that are taking your career to a whole new level?
Nat: I have been working on a lot of different projects in various locations around the world, I have been working on some material for Ghostface Killah of ‘Wu Tang Clan‘, and got the chance to hang out with them all when they came to do a show over here a few weeks back, so I’m working on some additional material for other members as well. I’m also working with the Wu Tang’s late ODB’s son, Young Dirty Bastard, so I feel I’m playing a significant role in working with the children of many legends. I’m also working with practically every child of each member of N.W.A., and trying to put some stuff together there, but it’s hard for me to go into detail about that at this stage but I can say it’s going to be game changing. I also have some interesting things coming with ‘The Pharcyde’, and I am also in talks with the ‘real’ Freeway Rick Ross about working with him on his upcoming Movie Biopic, contributing to the soundtrack.
Joseph: There has been talk that you are in the middle of relocating to the US to further your career, is this something that you are actively working on and how are you making that happen?
Nat: Yes, this is something I am currently working on. I’m keeping all my options open, and I’m working really hard to extend my presence in the US. I’ll be pursuing various lines of business to enable me to spend all of my time between London and the USA.
Joseph: What can people expect to see from you in the next upcoming year?
Nat: I’m currently working on reincarnating my entire career, brand, presence and product. I’m aiming to establish all of this through my own company, which I am forming and building. All I can say is, people should expect the unexpected, because what I’m about to bring to the world’s stage is going to be something which has never been done before, and will never be done again. Strong words I know, but I have spent the last thirteen years of my musical journey preparing for this opportunity, and the jigsaw puzzle only has a few pieces left to put into place. I’m so excited, and I can’t wait for everything to be exposed to the public. I have also been given my own Radio Show in the heart of Paris, on a station called Rider Radio. I will be broadcasting my show ‘Le Son De La Musique’ (The Sound of the music) once a month from November, but everyone can go online to www.rider-radio.com to find out more about when the first episode will go live. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
From a young artist writing his own lyrics, to a super producer working with the son’s of some of the top legends in the music industry, Nat Powers has established himself as an international brand. One that will continue to grow during the upcoming year, expect to see this young super producer all across America very shortly.