We had the good fortune of connecting with Natey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natey, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I owe almost the entirety of what I’ve become and inherited to risk taking. In my younger years, the risks that I took may have come from a very naive mindset, but I’m almost envious of how shamelessly brave I was because it set me up with all of the opportunities that I have now. For example, right out of High School I moved from Silver Spring, MD to Los Angeles, CA to pursue entertainment. The idea of that leap came so naturally to me because even if I wasn’t sure exactly how I wanted it to pan out, I knew that LA was the place for me to do it. Looking back at it now, it has become difficult to see the logic in that decision with how competitive and relentless this city can be, but I am just so grateful that the younger me aspired enough to lead without any doubt. Now, anytime I hit a creative plateau or road bump I try to convince myself to take a new risk; to feel uncomfortable again, because I am now certain that those moments are what brew our greatest qualities.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
To put it simply, I’m a musician. I wasn’t one of the kids who was a child prodigy with playing an instrument or one of the kids that inherited the skills seamlessly, music came late to me and it was not at all simple. I was practically tone deaf with a huge dream of being a singer. Without money for music school or traditional lessons, I utilized my own resources to learn in a unique way and I owe any originality that I have gained to my unorthodox learning process. In that regard I am proud of how far I’ve come, and I’m confident that the lack of ease in learning music has benefitted me with qualities in persistence and patience.
Professionally, I’ve only scratched the surface of what I hope to achieve. But even getting to this point has consisted of intensely lovely “highs” and unbearably painful “lows”. With something as fragile as artistic self-expression, it has been an ongoing battle in my career trying to balance my art with what I need to do to stay alive. If there’s anything you take away from this, I think it’s that this lifestyle will require just the right amount of “get off your ass” and “it’s okay to take your time”, so long as you are careful about which to say and when.
As far as my story, I don’t want to be spoken of as someone who had the “it” factor from the beginning. I want to be the kid that was just like anyone else, that worked hard to show that it doesn’t take having all the fancy prerequisites to succeed. All it really takes is genuine passion for what you do, and a work ethic to match it. If that’s all I’m known for, then that’s fine by me.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Since I’m approaching my 10 year anniversary in Los Angeles, I finally feel qualified to answer this question. Anytime I have friends or family visit the city, I try to avoid the major tourist traps and do things that the locals do.
The topic of discussion is always going to start with where to eat, and we have that all figured out. Koreatown is perhaps my favorite place to get it done, for kbbq lovers this is the mecca. There a ton of spots in Koreatown that specialize in KBBQ but my personal favorite is probably Quarters BBQ, on 6th & Alexandria. If you like having a drink (or 12) with your dinner most of these places serve all of the soju and beer your stomach/heart desire.
Next, I would surely recommend visiting any of the lower foot traffic beaches, where you can kind of get the private beach experience without having to spend an arm and a leg. I go to a particular one called “staircase beach” in Malibu that doesn’t catch the eye of people that aren’t already frequenting the area. It’s a beautiful place to relax, bring your pup, have a picnic, and even dolphin watch if you get there early enough, plus with all of the nearby seafood joints, you won’t be shorted on any ideas of where to grab a bite to enjoy while watching the waves.
Being in the midst of a pandemic, those are the experiences I would suggest the most, but alternatively the tourist highlights aren’t all so bad and I absolutely recommend experiencing it at least one of the few days that you’re here, like the hollywood walk of fame, disneyland, etc.
p.s. don’t forget about the foodtrucks
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
It took nothing short of a village to get me to where I am. I have found pride in being independent in many of my endeavors, but I know the gravity of having a strong team as a foundation. With that being said, I can’t begin to express the extent of support that I’ve gotten from my girlfriend Subi over the years. Sharing this journey with someone who has such similar morals and motives is what can make or break a success story. Her; being an incredibly talented digital/traditional artist, has shared the victories and losses with me that all freelancers/aspiring artists can relate to. With the unique problems and difficulties I face, she is more understanding and empathetic than anyone I know. In other words, without her there would be no me, so shout out Subi for being a one-of-a-kind champion in my corner.
Nolan Feldpausch, Rachel Slott