Upon first look, there may be some aesthetical comparisons to other artists who have come before him. But upon first listen, those parallels immediately begin to fall away. Atlanta-born/ Orlando-raised singer-songwriter Nate Larson is poised to take the industry by storm with a dynamic Billboard-bound vocal style. “Maybe some would put into the blue eyed soul box,” he concedes. Flaunting a musical style described as R&B with a pop edge, Nate has managed to tap into his broad range of musical influences while bringing a remarkably fresh sound all his own.
Since his beginnings in the fertile musical crescent of Atlanta, Nate has been incessantly grooming his gift of song. “Music was always all around me,” he says. “My mom tells me that from the age of two, I would memorize songs and lyrics from artists such as Billy Joel and Michael Jackson. Anything that had a good beat.” It wasn’t long before his insatiable love of music found him performing with a gospel group for a number of years.
During his tenure with the group, Nate began to explore and become enamored with the full range of American popular music. “I got more serious about music and started studying different genres,” he recalls. “I would listen to the lyrics of Johnny Cash and the smooth delivery of Frank Sinatra.” But it wasn’t long before he realized that he had more of an affinity for the vast canon of black music. “I have to say my favorite era of music was 90's R&B. Artists like Jodeci, Boyz II Men, Prince, Michael Jackson, and Luther Vandross made me really think about being a full time entertainer.”
At the age of 18, Nate made the brave decision to shift gears. He left the gospel group to spread his wings as a solo R&B artist. He concentrated on sharpening his skills as a songwriter by honing in on the great icons. “I got so much inspiration from a lot of the old Motown songwriters like Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye. Pretty soon, Nate was in the studio recording solo material.
A new signee to eOne, the largest independent music and video distributor in North America, Nate headed back to the studio this summer to record some dynamic new tunes for his upcoming 6-track EP Never Be The Same (NLM/Nia/Purpose/eOne). The album includes tracks with the Grammy-winning songwriting/production team of Shannon Sanders (India Arie, Johnny Lang, Eric Benet) and Drew Ramsey (Heather Headley, John Legend, Robert Randolph). The brilliant lead single, “Close To Love,” is a shining testament to the successful pairing of the duo’s musical Midas touch and Nate’s vocal prowess. On “Close To Love,” which Nate also co-wrote, he earnestly pleads his wish to be near the object of his affection against a rhythmic track destined for radio playlists across the country.
As a phenomenal preview of Nate’s ever-evolving talents as a performer and well-rounded artist, Never Be The Same serves as a primer for his forthcoming full-length album due out in 2012. Though his current material may be whetting the appetites of contemporary pop & urban radio, Nate plans on digging a little deeper for the LP. “With my album, I see myself exploring the history of R&B,” he explains. “From the 1950s to the present, then on to the future. Almost like a conceptual piece. A lot of people my age like R&B, but may not really know the history. I’d like to explore and share that history. Everything has its roots in gospel music, which turned into blues and jazz. That, in turn, evolved into R&B, which leads us to where we are today.”
He’s well aware of the musical landscape as it stands. However, he’s also aiming to cement himself just beyond the borders of convention. After all, this is how legends are made.