……BY BILLY SUTER……
AFTER 26 years in the South African music industry, time in which he has shared stages or recording sessions with Joseph Clark (his international Queen tribute show tour), Laurika Rauch, Ronan Keating, Richard Clayderman and many others, singer-guitarist and songwriter Nathan Smith has now released his third album.
Titled Here’s to the Now, it is a 12-song collection of original material that has created quite a buzz – and good news is that SoSuterBill is giving away two CD copies. For more information on how to win one, see the competition details at the end of this story.
Featuring two already-popular, radio-playlisted singles – Decisions (about love and relationships not always working out the way we think they should) and the gospel track Closer – the album has been well received.
“Finally, a change of scenery in the music industry. I can listen to this all day long. Get out those headphones, you need to hear this,” is how recording star and TV personality Bobby van Jaarsveld reacted to the album.
Recording artist Riana Nel agrees: “Here’s to the Now is one of those albums you can listen to every day of the week. So melodic, with killer lines. Skilfully done!”
Smith has also received praise from Francois van Coke, who describes the artist not only as a great guitarist, but also an amazing human: “His solo effort shows off his power as a songwriter too, with great blues-influenced pop songs.”
He has an extensive musical background and varied session experiences, so Smith found it something of a challenge to create an album with a coherent sound and to not let every song run in a different direction, he explains.
“I did pre-production for about 18 songs while I was on tour in the Netherlands. From there I got feedback from colleagues on which ones seemed best and 12 tracks made the final cut,” he says.
A special track for him, he points out, is Aidan, a heartfelt tribute to his nephew of that name, who contracted an auto-immune disease which, in just eight months, took his life. He was just 22 years old.
“I wasn’t planning on writing a song, but the day before his funeral my mind suddenly filled with images of Aidan’s life. He had such personality and a great outlook on life, even in his last days,” says Smith.
“Aidan is a tribute to a life well lived and comes from a very deep place in my heart. It is also a dedication to parents who have lost a child; it is a terrible thing to endure.”
Smith grew up in a musical family: “Both my parents were music teachers and playing music has always been quite a natural thing for me. I started playing guitar at the age of 11, and soon found myself performing live in venues and on national television. I discovered my love for writing music at the age of 13.”
A career highlight, he says, was playing at various Soccer World Cup events in 2010 and while widely renowned for his session work, hisoriginal work has always been at the core of Smith’s love for music, with 2006 seeing the release of his first solo album, Songs From a Diary. Then, in 2009, he released The Sum of All Things, an experimental album with Mark Heydenrych, Paddy Smith and Kyle Rutten, called The Nathan Smith Project.
When Nathan was 15, he formed the band Dead Sea Surfers with his older brother, Paddy, and Andrew Coleman. The band’s name was meant as a joke but, after winning a battle of the bands competition, they decided to keep it.
Dead Sea Surfers went on to perform at multiple venues and festivals, including OppiKoppi, TuksFM Rag and Splash, alongside South Africa’s biggest rock bands. The band members recorded two albums, Eating the Humour and Well Sprung, before going their separate ways. This prompted Smith to start his solo career.
A renowned and experienced guitarist, Nathan has performed original as well as collaborative works across South Africa and abroad. In 2012, he appeared with Joseph Clark in The Music of Queen, which toured locally and throughout Europe. The show sold out a 35000-seater stadium in Holland.
Smith’s other career highlights include involvement with South African productions such as The Voice, Noot vir Noot, Skouspel, Idols, Afrikaans is Groot, Dancing with the Stars and Strictly Come Dancing, to name a few.
He has also produced his own shows and is musical director for Guitar Legends – A Tribute to the World’s Greatest Singing Guitarists of All Time, Don’t Stop Believing – A Tribute to Rock Super Group Journey, Slow-hand Fast-Hand – A Tribute to Eric Clapton and Gary Moore, and more.
Commenting further on his latest album, he says: “I love how you can instantly connect with people you don’t know on a deeper level of emotion and understanding through music. I want people to relate to the stories behind the music while appreciating the artistry.”
WIN ONE OF TWO NATHAN SMITH CDS
Care to put yourself in line to be one of two winners of a CD copy of Here’s to the Now, latest album by South African recording artist Nathan Smith?
You simply have to be a follower of the SoSuterBill site to win. At no cost.
If you are not already a follower, simply leave your email address in the space provided towards the end of the cover page of this site, sosuterbill.com
You will then be a follower, and receive email notification whenever I file a new story.
Once you have subscribed (there is no cost), send your FULL NAME, PHYSICAL ADDRESS (WITH AREA CODE) and PHONE NUMBER via email (NOT THIS SITE’S CONTACT FORM) to firstname.lastname@example.org and place the words ‘NATHAN SMITH CD’ in the subject field.
Note that the competition closes at 6pm on Sunday, October 11, and the winners will be contacted soon after. The winners’ albums will be delivered to their home addresses. (The lucky winners were Jill Murraybrown of Pinetown and Tiaan du Preez of Uitenhage.)
NOTE: PLEASE READ ENTRY DETAILS CAREFULLY AS SOME PEOPLE ARE ENTERING COMPETITIONS INCORRECTLY.
ALSO NOTE THAT ONLY ONE ENTRY PER SUBSCRIBER WILL BE CONSIDERED.