Wednesday, November 22, 2017

10 Questions For: Nathan Trent


He was one of the youngest participants of this year's Eurovision, and his career was only giving its first steps. But he dazzled everyone in Kiev, granting his country another great result. Now, looking forward, it seems the sky is the limit for such a great singer! He is not only a huge talent, but also extremely charismatic – as we could see during our interview with him. These are our 10 questions for Nathan Trent:

Sounds European!: We like to start our interviews getting to know a bit of the artist's music background. So, who did you like to listen when you were growing up? Do you feel they influenced, in any way, the music you make nowadays?

Nathan Trent: My music background is pretty much funky, very '80s, pop and R&B, because my parents used to listen to those types of music – like Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Lionel Ritchie. So all of those big, big legends were a huge influence and had a huge impact on my life and on my music taste. But I also love to listen to a lot of pop-rock, such as Simple Plan, Panic! At The Disco and Paramore. And I had a lot of classical music growing up because I played the piano and the violin and my dad is in an orchestra, so that was a huge part of my life. I love pop, but any kind of music is cool with me as long as I can feel the emotions and the meaning of the song.

SE!: You started your career at a very young age. When did you start singing? How did you get into the world of music? And when did you realize it was becoming more than a hobby, but your profession?

NT: I started singing probably even before I talked, that's what my parents say. So I have always sung. I can't remember a time when I wasn't singing around the house! And I sang in a boys' choir when I was little, too. Besides that, as I always say, my dad influenced me a lot. I took part in musicals when I was a child, on the big stage, so I already had a few experiences. In fact, I have always known, deep inside, that I would love to do something with music, but I chose a school with Languages. The school, of course, helped me a lot, and now I am just turning my passion into my profession – which is not always easy, but I have so much passion and so much love towards what I do, that it just keeps me going.

SE!: Earlier this year, you represented your country on Eurovision Song Contest. What made you accept ORF's invitation? How was the experience for you? And how do you analyze the current moment of Austria in the festival, finally getting a sequence of qualifications for the finals?

NT: It was incredible to be able to participate in the pre-selection for this year's Eurovision – that [the pre-selection process] happened last year, actually. I took my chance and wrote as many songs as I could, and then they chose me among a few contestants that were left. I had submitted a few songs, but "Running on air" was their favorite, and it was amazing.
I loved every single part of the experience! It helped me a lot in my career, I didn't even expect something like this could even happen to me – I was just starting out, so that was amazing. I love that Austria is getting the recognition and being able to get awesome results. There is a lot of incredible talent in Austria that still has to be discovered.

SE!: You are not only a singer, but also a musician and a theater actor. What instruments do you play? And what can you tell us about your theater experiences? Do you feel acting has helped you shape your stage persona as a singer?

NT: You are absolutely right. As I said before, I played the violin and the piano. I am playing the piano still, a little bit, but I am not as good as I was when I first started out. I did a lot of theater and musicals, and I have a Musical Theater degree, so that helped me know what I am doing on stage when I am performing. I learned things which are very useful, like techniques to sing and dance. Acting showed me how to enjoy the moment and be in the present. It taught me to use everything I have into the performance and to spread that on stage. It has really helped me shape my stage persona.

SE!: You have released three singles so far. And they all comprise different genres. How would you describe your own music? Is there any genre that you feel more comfortable working with? Furthermore, what do you want the public to feel when listening to your music?

NT: This question is very interesting, thank you for asking that! I have never really thought of them as being of different genres, they always seem to be pop to me. But they have different influences. "Like it is" has more of a synth vibe, "Running on air" takes more of a singer-songwriter direction and "Good vibes" is very radio-friendly, I would say. But it is all within the space of pop songs, because that's the cool thing about pop: pop can be everything! It reaches a broad type of people, a broad type of crowd. And this is amazing!
I would describe my music as very hopeful. I just want to have positive and good moods in it. My music has a lot of personal experiences, but expressed in metaphors. I feel very lucky when people understand what I am talking about and can relate to the songs. I really like that! I hope I can generate something with my songs, like motivating people. I want the public to feel understood and to have a place where they can go and feel safe.

"Pop can be everything! It reaches a broad type of people, a broad type of crowd. And this is amazing!"
(Picture: © Martin Hauser Photography, 2016)

SE!: Many artists are very active on social media, and you are definitely one of them. Do you see this as an important aspect on an artist's career? Why?

NT: I have to say social media has been a very big part of my daily life. I try to be in touch with everyone who is following and supporting me. But that is definitely an asset which can also cause a little stress, if you don't know what to post next. There are some moments when you really have to think about how you will keep the pace up.
I love that I can share everything with everyone who likes what I do. There is a very cool group of fans called The Trentsetters – they are amazing! They support me in everything I do. We created a family, a community where everybody can be who they want to be. It allows everyone to feel safe and welcomed.

SE!: Austria is a country with a rich music history. How is it to develop a career in such a market? Also, your three singles were recorded in English, but you made versions of "Running on air" in both Italian and Spanish. How do you feel language can affect a song, and your music specifically?

NT: You are definitely right with Austria having a big and rich music history. This is more of a cultural aspect of the country. Austria is well known for its classical music, but there is also a vast recognition of Austrian artists in the German-speaking countries. They are always touring around Austria, Germany and Switzerland. This is very cool as well. It is nice to be a part of it, but as I make music in English, I want to reach a wider audience. I feel more comfortable with singing in English, I feel I can relate more to the musicality of the language. But I am a huge fan of a lot of Austrian singers. And I think you have to be inspired by music in general.
I made the Spanish and Italian versions because I wanted it to be a full circle for me. I wanted to see how people would react to me singing in Spanish and Italian. They seemed to like it, but it was just for me to conclude this incredible experience on a multilingual way. I wanted to do it for myself and for people who were waiting for it. That was the idea behind that.
I think that music is a universal language, so if it touches you, if you feel what you are supposed to feel, this is the greatest thing. Music can influence generations. As a musician, I think you want to be part of this movement.

SE!: Your 2017 was super busy, but we imagine you already have plans ahead. What are your professional projects for the near future? What can your fans expect from you?

NT: 2017 was definitely very busy. I have to say I discovered a lot about myself. I got to know myself in extreme situations, so I think I have grown a lot this year. There are so many experiences that I can put into songs, and this is what I have been doing for the past couple of months. You can expect a lot of work next year, but I can't give too much away. I am planning to release a few songs, and I am very excited for people to listen and see a different side of me.

SE!: If you could choose anyone, who would be some Austrian and international artists you would like to collaborate with?

NT: That's an awesome question! There are so many, I really couldn't choose! There is a singer called Abbey Smith, but she calls herself YEBBA, and she is amazing. Also, I am a huge fan of JP Cooper, Usher and basically everyone who does R&B-influenced pop, so I am very keen on collaborating with somebody of this genre. But there are also great DJs, like Zedd or Martin Garrix, who created a whole new trend, which is amazing. Austrian, there is Julian le Play, I would love to collaborate with him one day. Let's see what the future holds.

SE!: We would like to finish this interview with a song. What is your favorite song, and why?

NT: Oh my God, there are so many beautiful songs, it is very difficult to pick one. My very favorite song at the moment is by YEBBA, called "Evergreen". It is a beautiful song, and she is just incredible! The song is very hopeful, so I can relate a lot with the song and the melody. I am also a super fan of "Whiskey" by Maroon 5.

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