The soulful acoustic singer-songwriter from Cornwall chats about his debut album, what’s on the horizon for 2022 and so much more!
Nathan Ball has been dazzling audiences across Cornwall for a few years now, but with the release of his debut album ‘Under The Mackerel Sky’ saw his fan base increase nationally. It’s a stunning debut that blends Nathan’s soft, velvety vocals and emotive songwriting in one delicate package. It’s hard not to feel yourself being whisked away by his cosmetic and heartwarming (sometimes heart wrenching) music.
With a promising summer head and a show slot at the Spring Classic Festival, Woolacombe, Devon we caught up with Nathan to find out more. We chatted about life as an artist in Cornwall, his songwriting and much more!
Kieran: Hey Nathan! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, how’re you?
Nathan: No worries! Yeh I’m great thanks, just enjoying the change in the weather… it feels like we’ve made it through a wild winter and good times are ahead.
Kieran: Are you looking forward to 2022? What’s on the horizon?
Nathan: Yeah for sure, I’ve been back in the studio recently recording some new songs I’ve been working on. They’re starting to take shape really nicely so I’m looking forward to putting them out into the world. I’m not too sure when that’ll be yet, but that’s always the exciting stage!
Kieran: Anything, in particular, you’re looking forward to the most?
Nathan: I’m looking forward to getting back on the road and playing some live music. Obviously, we’ve had a pretty wild few years like everyone else, so I’ve only played about 5 shows in 2 years, so I’m looking forward to feeling that connection with a crowd again and feeling that wild sense of nervous energy you get from being on stage.
Kieran: So, 2021 saw the release of your debut LP ‘Under The Mackerel Sky’, how was the response, and are you planning on releasing any new material for 2022?
Nathan: Yeh I loved working on that album, it felt like a really special time and I’m so happy to have that album as a reminder of that snapshot in time. I’ve been working on a little EP and a few singles that I’m excited for everyone to hear. I think they’re probably a bit rawer than the overall sound of the album, so they’re feeling quite exposed at the moment which is pretty nerve-racking but very exciting.
Kieran: When you’re writing your music is there a particular place you take influence? Can you talk us through the songwriting process?
Nathan: I’m very fortunate to live in what I think is the most inspirational little corner of the world. We live in a little cottage in Cornwall by the sea and every day I’m subjected to the most dramatic coastline, an ever-changing seascape, wild weathers and the most incredible people who inspire me every day to create. I try not to put too much pressure on the writing process, as the best songs always seem to come out when they feel like they’re writing themselves. I tend to just sit at a guitar or a piano and just start playing really. If there are some chords I like the sound of I’ll start singing over the top and just keep jamming away really until something sticks. I then tend to record it on my phone and leave it for a while, whilst listening to it in various different places to get a sense of what direction I want the end song to end up in. Or I find out it’s a load of rubbish and it goes no further than my voice memos!
Kieran: Your music has a very vivid feel and it is beautifully crafted, when did you discover you could create music like this, and what drove you to create?
Nathan: Ah thanks very much! I’m not too sure really, I guess I’ve always been drawn to music that tugs on the heartstrings and really makes you feel something, so it probably started from being inspired by music that did that to me. I have a real wide-ranging love for music from deep house to raw acoustic music, so I guess I take inspiration from across the spectrum and take little snippets of each sound into my own writing. I love music that can transport you to a completely different place and make you feel certain feelings, so I guess that’s always been the aim with my music.
I love music that can transport you to a completely different place and make you feel certain feelings, so I guess that’s always been the aim with my music.Nathan Ball
Kieran: You’ve achieved a lot as an artist but are there any bucket list items you want to tick off?
Nathan: The Pyramid stage at Glasto has always been the holy grail! Even if I was first on before the festival had even opened I’d be happy, just to see the view from up there! I’ve been very lucky to travel the world playing music so if I can keep doing that I’ll be a happy man.
Kieran: If you could collaborate with any artist (alive or dead) who would you pick and why?
Nathan: The War on Drugs for sure. They’re the greatest band in the world and I’m obsessed with them. They somehow create this atmosphere where you get lost in a dreamscape of floating synths and delayed guitars and time just seems to stand still.
Kieran: What can people expect from your live shows?
Nathan: Some heartfelt vocals, some atmospheric guitars, floating synths and a few singalongs.
Kieran: Lastly, what advice would you give to any budding artists out there?
Nathan: I’d say just make music that means something to you and that you’re proud of. There’s no point writing songs trying to be someone you’re not, at the end of the day it’s you who has to play these songs all the time, so at least write something you love and you’re excited to play every time.
You can catch Nathan playing at the upcoming Spring Classic festival 27th – 30th May in Woolacombe, North Devon.