Nathan Trent is a seasoned pro with an intriguing backstory. The singer-songwriter and former ESC competitor definitely has his share of DIY and big music business experience. We wanted to know how he got into music – and what his stance on current creative and music business topics is.
He’s an approachable artist, and we definitely gained some eye-openers while reading over his answers. Have fun with the interview.
You started at a very young age. How did you get hooked on writing/making/producing music?
I guess it somehow happened very organically. I started to play the piano and the violin when I was 3 years old. After that I’ve been in a boys choir for 3 years and when I turned 10, my dad gave me my first keyboard. That was the first time I started to play with different sounds, other than the typical piano-and I loved it. That was the moment I started to write songs and create beats on my e-piano and recorded them. With 14 I got my first Mac and started to play with Garageband and Logic. That was a game changer, from then on I produced songs all the time, trying to find my style and the way I wanted to write.
It was only in my early twenties when I started to work with other producers and now I’m working in a mix between producing my songs myself and also with others. As much as I like creating beats and arranging songs, I really prefer creating the toplines and writing the lyrics. My preference change daily, though.
When you look back at your first release – what has changed the most in the way you produce and release music?
Everything has changed. I released my first song 3 years ago. It seems like 15 to me. I’ve learned so much in terms of recording, producing, mixing, vocal skills etc. When I look back now, I’d probably do everything differently, but for that specific time it was the best I could do, and I’m proud of it. It’s part of the process.
Indie vs. Major – what’s your take on the debate? Any experiences?
Definitely indie for now. I’ve heard some horror stories from some of my musician friends being trapped in terrible contracts. Once I’ll have my team and I’ll be working with people I trust, a major record deal will be more appealing, but for now, I’m happy with how things are. I can decide everything and no-one can tell me what I can or can’t do.
Uptrent records. What was your decision-making process to found your own label? What was your situation before? And how did it change?
I figured, I’m not going to wait for anyone to have ‚mercy‘ and offer me a label deal. No one is interested?, OK, I’ll just do it myself then.
It changed the way that, having a label gives me the possibility to earn a lot more money, so that I can make a living out of music, which is the ultimate goal.
How valuable are data insights for your (strategic) decisions?
They are essential. As an artist/singer/producer… you need to have the insights in order to be able to understand how your fans interact with your work and what they like and dislike. It’s that one asset that helps independent artists to have information about their current sate int the music scene.
That’s why I’m such a fan of ForTunes. It gives you a very detailed insight of what your fans are enjoying and where they are listening and engaging from. Also you can see how well your music performs and you basically have an accurate portfolio of all your socials and streaming platforms, which is the best thing an artist ca have nowadays. Unfortunately what I’ve experienced lately, it’s all about numbers, followers, engagement, reach and streams. ForTunes helps a lot with that!
What made you move to London. What made you chase that vision? How has life changed?
I wanted to leave the Austrian music scene, because I was sick of it – I didn’t like how things were handled and I always wanted to live in London, so I just put 1+1 together.
I have a lot more opportunities here. Don’t get me wrong, it’s so much harder to stand out as an artist in a city like London, but it gives you motivation to better yourself and find alternative ways to reach your goals.
Life changed in that term that I’m working every day and constantly create new music and meet people.
Do you have a songwriting routine or ritual? Please elaborate, juicy details welcome!
Not really, when I’m vibing with the beat or have an idea, I usually have the whole song almost like printed in my brain. It’s like someone is whispering the words into my ear. I love the process of writing.
Looking ahead: What does 2019 have in store for Nathan Trent?
So much ahead! My new single ‚I Got Me‘ is out now and I couldn’t be prouder.
I have a big showcase in Vienna on October 11th at the b72, which I’m already preparing, and I’ll be releasing new music constantly. For more updates you can follow me on Instagram under @nathantrentmusic, this is where you can get all my info.
I think it’s important to just keep on doing what your doing, create a momentum for yourself and try to find your style, which is ever-changing anyways. Be in the moment, but plan ahead and the essential thing is: believe in yourself and your music. You’re doing it for a reason, never forget that.
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