ThePalaceOfTheDogs is back with an Interview with singer/songwriter Nate Simpson and his new single ‘Better’. Taking full advantage of lockdown, the singer has been using this time to connect to his inner voice and refine his skills as an artist. The purposeful single ‘Better’ is a timeless anthem for anyone who has overcome adversity, perfectly timed as we begin to step out from the limitation of lockdown and the trauma of Covid-19. Check out the single and interview below:
Tell me about your upbringing and musical influences, as you have a unique timeless sound?
My Dad played a lot of reggae and soul music at home; My favourites were Bob Marley and Sam Cooke because they were brilliant story tellers. It wasn’t until my teens that I started taking singing seriously and I began recording. It’s was those timeless artists that clearly influenced me my sound, along with Motown and Jazz classics.
Who are you listening to now?
I listen to a good mix of old and new music; I love gospel music and jazz musicians like Lalah Hathaway. Recently I’ve been listening to H.E.R, Jacob Collier and PJ Morton. What I love about them is that they are musicians and songwriters also, I feel more authenticity from them and a less manufactured sound.
How have you been managing quarantine?
My life pre-corona was very fast paced, I was doing a lot of travelling for work and so the transition from that to being stuck in my room was quite drastic – especially as I had caught the virus. It forced me to just sit with myself and do some inner work spiritually to find out who I am and what I want, not just musically, but as a human being. I feel refreshed.
How have you been using your art as apart of this process?
I’ve been writing, singing, playing piano and recording a lot more. After a while your art can become a job, but during lockdown I have found the love of creating music again.
The new single has a message of overcoming adversity and using the trials to be ‘Better’. I think this is so relevant given the current pandemic; How would you like the world to be different once lockdown is over?
I can’t say how I want the world to be different, but for me personally it’s about living in your truth authentically. That is the message that I wanted for the new single – Striving to be the best authentic version of yourself.
You were in Motown the Musical on the West End and have had a great career in the theatre industry, how has traveling and working in the theatre helped you as a performer?
Definitely discipline. I had to learn how to look after my voice and my body to be able to perform 8 shows a week. As an artist being told what to sing for a show can be hard, but I learnt to find ways of expressing myself through the perimeters of the music, whilst achieving what had been asked of me.
You were on the X Factor, Tell me about your experience of being on the show?
Why do people not like talking about being on the show?
It was an experience in my life that I wouldn’t take back. But at the end of the day the X Factor is a TV show and its main priority is the show; They’re always going to create a reality that is enjoyable for the public that doesn’t necessarily coincide with the reality of being on the show. I think it’s a great show and can elevate peoples career if you know exactly what you’re going on for and how you’re going to use the platform.
Do you think you achieved what you needed from the show?
Yes, I was very young though and very eager to please those who were guiding me. I feel like I was easily swayed and should have trusted my instincts more; But through all of that my character never changed and I remained true to myself. I think that was important.
What advice would you give to anyone who is struggling creatively during lockdown?
Don’t force it, just be. Go for a walk and concentrate on being a human. Creativity starts with you so concentrate on being you.
Interview and Words by Daniel Bailey