Tuesday, 1 June 2010


After taking some time out of the game, UK sensation Nathan is back with a hot new track 'Caught Me Slippin’', just in time for summer. We sat down with a jet-lagged Nathan to talk about his new single, his take on the UK music scene and just why he’d choose South London over ATL any day!

You’ve been M.I.A from the music scene for a while now – what was the reason behind that?

Basically, I went to America for a little while to expand my network. I released the first album ‘Masterpiece’ and decided that I wanted to release it in different territories so we released in Japan and it did really well, sold like 80,000. I was really happy with branching out. When I was releasing 'Come Into My Room' and 'Do Without My Love' everyone was like, you should try and go to America as well.
 I went to America and just met a lot of new people, new producers, and started working with people like the guy from Wallstreet who produced the first single, Swizz Beats, Angela Hunte, who wrote 'Empire State Of Mind', it’s just been wicked. So, people were like "what, aren’t you doing music anymore?" They just think beause I haven’t been releasing anything...but there was a lot of behind the scenes work and focusing on this new album and now it’s coming together.

Tell us about the new single

'Caught Me Slippin’' is just a fun song! It was just fun that I had in the studio. At the time when I was recording it, last year November or October, when I was in the studio with Wallstreet he played me the beat and I wasn’t even trying to make a single or anything like that, he just played me the music and I just did what I felt. I wrote it in like 10 minutes, recorded it in like an hour and it was just a fun vibe to go along with the music.

Was it your choice to feature Flo Rida on the track?

Yeah, the way the Flo Rida feature happened was probably about 3 weeks after I recorded the song. I came back over here because Flo Rida had a show in Bristol and they wanted me to support him. We did the show, and we were at the after party and I was so happy with this new song that I did I was like "let me play it in the club", to see how it went. And like everyone was feeling it, it just dropped like one of the songs that was already in. So I was talking to Flo Rida and he was saying "I’m feeling that song" and I was like "you know what would be dope, is if you could feature on it?" We hooked it up that same day. Probably about three or four days after that we came down to Brixton....We brought him to the ends! Yeah we went to the Dairy Studios, we recorded it there, had a little party, you know, had to make sure he had a good vibe, so we brought in some Patron and that, got some girls in.

The video looks amazing! It’s nice to see you dancing for once! But are you worried that you may be compared to other artists such as Chris Brown or Jason Derulo?

I don’t worry about it, I don’t really mind. All of them are good at what they do. With the dancing thing I do like to dance but, I don’t really want to be seen as like...hmm, it’s hard to explain. With music, for me each song is different. So, I don’t want to be that guy that sings and dances to every song because I can sing and just because I can dance. Some songs, it’s about dancing. Some songs make you want to dance; 'Caught Me Slippin’' is that type of song. Then there’s other songs where it’s not like that. It’s just about being in the vibe and moving a certain way so for me, it depends on the song.

 As someone that started out in the UK, how does it feel actually working with such big names in the industry like Rick Ross and Flo Rida and, like you said, Swizz Beats?

It’s a lot of fun but, for me, sometimes I need to remember to take in what I’m doing. I’m always thinking about the next move, sometimes I don’t actually enjoy what’s going on at the moment. Like right now I’m thinking about finishing off the album and making sure it’s the best! Sometimes you can tend to forget to enjoy. My Mum always says to me remember that you’re actually doing it.

What can we expect from the forthcoming album?

The forthcoming album, it’s going to be a lot of fun! People are used to seeing me doing slow jams, mid-tempos and that type of RnB. Obviously that’s me, it’s definitely a facet of my personality, but this album you'll see more. You'll see more up-tempos, you'll see me having fun more. There’s a lot of fun songs, and then when I’m doing the songs that I’m already known for, it’s deeper because I’m better at it now. I’ve grown so I’m more mature and I know how to use my voice better. I’m basically trying to make this album better than 'Masterpiece' in every way, so I’m losing sleep over it.
I feel like one thing that’s been missing from my career is getting to know me as a person through my music so that’s one of my goals through this new campaign and new album, that’s why I haven’t picked a name yet..

Are there any names you’re thinking of?

Nope, not at all..

No? No ideas?

I didn’t say I didn’t have any ideas! But, there’s nothing sure. But I’m really excited about the album because I’ve had a lot of fun recording it, right now I’m in a stage where I’m recording song after song. I’ve done seven songs in the last two weeks....

And they’re all written by yourself?

Yeah, me and Ange wrote the last seven. In fact one of the songs I actually persuaded her into featuring on, so now I’ve got a song featuring Angela Hunte and I know a lot of people don’t really know who she is but it’s a big deal for me because I respect her so much. She’s like a songwriting mentor, she knows exactly what she’s doing, she’s done it for a long time. She wrote a song with me on my first album called ‘Snatch’ so we’ve been doing it for a minute. So it’s good to get a song with her, it’s called ‘Maniac’.

Do you feel that your move to the US was vital for your career?

Yeah I think it was definitely the best thing for me to do and I’m glad to be back in the UK now! It was only temporary; people think that I just relocated. It’s not that, it’s just all about expanding your business real quick and benefitting from that. I think that now is the perfect time to come back anyway because the scene over here has grown as well while I’ve been away, so it’s just perfect because I went and just kind of worked on my career and now it’s the perfect time to release an album.

How do you feel about the UK music scene right now?

I’m proud. I’m proud that I’m a part of it. It’s wicked because there’s a lot of people doing a lot of things. I think the scene’s changed now because back in the day, like three or four years ago, you couldn’t necessarily release a good song and it get a good chart position, it was hard. Now, with the UK scene you know that you can release a good song and it get the chart position it deserves, everyone knows what they’re doing and the scene is working; all of the parts are working properly.

If you could collaborate with any UK rapper or MC to create a remix to 'Caught Me Slippin’', who would it be and why?

I was actually talking to Chipmunk about it. Skepta’s my favourite MC though, he’s definitely my favourite hands down. I was talking to him as well about it - I’m talking to a lot of people! I’m just glad to be back. I’m sitting on the internet just watching loads of freestyles from like P Money. I’ve known P Money since like ... like me and Desperado used to go to the same school so that’s my boy! And me n P, we’ve known each other since I was like 14, we used to play football and that together, so to see everyone growing, it’s a good look. I’m feeling it, so there’s going to be a lot of collaborations. Also, I’m going to work on a mixtape as well. I’ve been trying to, well, I haven’t been trying that’s the thing, people have been telling me to release a mixtape, but because I’ve been so focused on the album, you know you get sidetracked. When I have free time in the studio I might bang out a little something here and there, but I haven’t really been focusing on it, it’s a side project that I do want to put some time and effort into and get it right and collaborate with, like I said, people like P and Skepta and Chipmunk and quite a few more, and Desperado as well, those are my top four.

You keep saying you’re happy to be back but you loved the US too. So which is it for you, South London or ATL?

South!!! 100%. I can’t live in America, like I do love America, and I used to live there when I was younger but I feel like you can lose yourself, you can definitely lose what you’re about. You can forget what you’re doing it for, what your musical aspirations really are; you can forget musically. It’s always good to grow but it’s always good to remember what you’re trying to grow from. So I think it was definitely the most important move I could make for my growth but sometimes when you go and you emerse yourself in something so much you forget what you’re changing from so you’ll just turn into something different and I definitely don’t want to do that.
Plus I’m a family orientated guy, I can’t go too long without seeing my sisters, my little brothers and that so I gotta come back. And I miss English people! You see when you’re in New York or something and you run into an English person, I’d run into people like Dready, he’s over there a lot as well and we know a lot of people out there, and we’ll run into each other and we’re so happy! Like you know when you just hear an English accent, you just get so excited. You’ll talk to a random person who you would never talk to in England, but because you’re in New York and you hear an English accent you’re like "where you from?" So you can’t really stay away from that for too long.

Nathan’s new single Caught Me Slippin’ is out July 5th

Interview conducted by Casey Elisha

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