We had the good fortune of connecting with Nathaniel James and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nathaniel, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
When we decide to do something most people are looking for a specific outcome. Once we except the fact that it’s about the journey and not the destination it becomes easier to answer this question. I believe that setting goals is very important because it gives us a compass to navigate through life with, When we fail we’re really just encountering points of resistance. If we change our perspective we can see that resistance for what it is. People go to the gym to overcome a level of resistance that our muscles were previously not able to overcome. Life is no different. We should set goals in anticipation of points of resistance so we can overcome them and become stronger and wiser for tomorrows obstacles. “Failure is the beginning of the lesson”
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started out as a touring musician sharing the stage with artists like The Weeknd, Kelela, Queen Naija and other amazing artists, Now my focus has shifted to a new form of artist development. Even before Covid, my energy was divided between live performance and my newly developed Youtube series NWJ LivingRoom Sessions. The LivingRoom sessions is a platform I hosted in my living room which I produced, Engineered and in some cases accompanied artist on. It’s soul purpose is to give the artists a safe space to perform their music however they liked. I’m excited to say that those live recordings have now evolved into a community of creatives I call “City UndrGrnd”. A hub for under ground music you won’t hear on main stream platforms. Vinyl pressed records of these unique, one of kind recordings will be available for purchase soon, and we’re are currently hosting rooms on the newest social app “Club House” and our room is growing bigger everyday. We’ve created a safe space for song writers, artists, producers, creatives of all sorts to come and share their unsung/unfinished music, free from judgement or negativity. And as our community grows we will continue towards our goal; to put the creative and monetary power back into the artists hands. This process has not been easy. It’s long nights importing emails, responding to messages, listening to music, giving feedback, preparing for recordings, mixing and mastering, editing video, communications, reading over legalities and so on. What makes it worth it for me is knowing that I’m helping an artist get that much closer to their dreams and goals, because in many ways I am that artist that thought that if I just devote my life to music, the thing I love most, then I will reap what I sow. So instead of waiting for the harvest, I’ve chosen to be the harvest for someone else. That’s what drives me.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Aright so I would start on Sunday morning with church at West Angeles Church Of God in Christ. One of the most popular gospel churches in LA. Then lunch Rosco’s chicken and waffels. I don’t like them but it’s kind of a bucket list for LA tourist. For the evening we’re going to the seventy7 Bar in Culver City to watch the Loud As Funk Band Play live. Have a couple drinks then call it. Monday afternoon we’re hitting the beach, probably Venise Beach, grab some street eats then head up to Hollywood. Hit the strip for a couple Happy hour bars then kill time until even. Then we’re going to Super Soul Mondays at “Dirty Laundry”. More live music. Tuesday We’ll start with a different beach, maybe Santa Monica, show them the peir. we’ll do lunch at Del Frisco’s Grille on the patio. For the evening we’re heading up to NoHo for a couple happy hour bars, then for the night we’ll stop by “The Federal Bar” to watch Randy Emata and his instrumental quartet play the downstairs room. Wednesday starting off with, yes you guessed, the beach. This time we’re doing Malibu. for lunch I’ll call a friend for an invite to SoHo House. An absolute must for any trip to LA. for the Evening we’re back in NoHo. Couple happy hours then back to “The Federal” this time we’re upstairs where they have their showcase/open jam night. You never know who will be there. Thursday we switch it up a but, we take a road trip to San Diego. We relax and take in the scenery. For lunch we cross the boarder into Mexico for tacos, cause you cannot be that close to Mexico and not get authentic Mexican eats. Friday we sleep in. we get up in time for lunch and we grab some sushi. Back to the hotel to relax and get ready for the night. We start the night on the strip, then make our way to the W Hotel. After some live music we’ll hit up “Sayers Club” for more live music. Definitely higher energy. After that if we feel like it hit up another club and then call it. Saturday we sleep in. For lunch we go to “HOPE” in Studio City. Head back to the hotel. For diner we’ll do sushi and play the night by ear. I think that would be an enjoyable week more or less. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are a lot of people who have contributed to my life. My Father for teaching me how to play the piano and taking me from church to church to play at the age of 3. My Mother for letting me make noise in the house without loosing her mind. Ian Lewis for teaching me production and sound engineering and never going easy on me “TO THIS DAY!!”. Ricky Lewis for giving me the call to tour with The Weeknd, which opened my eyes to the world and all it’s potential. My Wife Laurie James for having my back at all times. There’s many more but we don’t have the time. Maybe for my Grammy Acceptance : )