Twenty-one year-old self-taught musician Nathan Grisdale made a name for himself recording videos of him singing in his mum’s bathroom and more recently has sold out venues across the UK and Ireland with his Back To Basics tour. He tells Big Issue North he’s figuring out the industry, and his place in it, along the way. This summer he performs on Lytham Festival’s Stage Too on Friday 5 August.
Tell us a bit about your sound and your influences.
At the moment my sound is slowly changing. I am finding out where I want it to be and doing music I love to write and sing. My biggest influence vocally would be Ben Howard. I really love his voice and its uniqueness. Working on your sound doesn’t happen straight away but takes time, and if you keep working on it you will find the vibe and sound that suits you best and then just go with it.
How have you evolved as a musician over the years?
I’m always just listening to new sounds, trying things out and figuring out new writing styles. Working with great producers and writers along the way helps too and just constantly working very hard at it. I always try to do what I think I right for me, as I believe you should always go with your gut and what you feel is going to work for you. As far as evolving goes I’d say I’m getting there.
What are you up to at the moment artistically?
At the moment I’m writing and recording loads of demos and working on getting my music and sound to the next level so I can keep progressing with my career. Music is what drives me and what I really want to do. I find that it helps me in situations in my life too. For example, if I’m feeling down then I will turn to music and write about how I am feeling.
How do you stand out from the crowd in a saturated industry?
I try to stand out by doing songs that mean a lot and kind of tell a story. I’m not into cheesy songs or doing cover versions. I just want people to feel my music. Obviously standing out is great, but I’d rather people like my music – that is what is most important for me.
What’s on your rider?
My usual rider is basically just your average water, and a good egg mayo butty can’t go amiss. Not very glamorous, I know! A rider isn’t really important. For me it’s all about giving a great performance for the audience. I’m not going to lie – I didn’t know what a rider was until recently. Even now that I know I guess I don’t really take advantage.
Tell us about your worst live show.
I’ve never really had a terrible one but funny things have happened like dropping the mic and stand – whoops, embarrassing. You learn from mistakes on stage though and it only makes you bigger and better. No one gets it right every time but it always gives you something to learn from.