FYIG recently had the chance to chat with R&B/Hip-Hop artist Nathan Ali about his new single I Wanna Know. Find out more about Nathan and his career right here!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Nathan Ali, and I’m from London, ON. I’m singer/songwriter with a focus in R&B and hip-hop performer. I’ve worked with countless artists and producers across Ontario and the U.S., and I’ve just released my debut single “I Wanna Know”, out now!
You grew up with a single mother before being moved to foster care. How did that shape you as you grew up?
It made me want to overcome and achieve goals that were denied to me as a youth. It made me more of a go-getter and gave me the internal drive to become a self-made person. It made me very aware of the family dynamic of those who struggle with issues at home and gave me a strong cause to build my own family built on trust, love, and dedication.
You landed a Goodlife Fitness commercial early in your life which made you a bit of a local celebrity. How much did that commercial help you learn how to deal with the spotlight?
It helped me a lot. I was 17 years old and the ability to be put out there in my city gave me a lot of attention. It became my first taste of people wanting to talk to me and wanting to know who I was. It allowed people the license to get to know me while I still growing up as a troubled youth.
You learned later on that you come from a pretty famous lineage with your father being Gary Martin and your great uncle being Hubert Sumlin. What was it like to find out that information?
Surreal. Surprising. Stunning. I was looking for a missing link in my family, and seeing the musical connection allowed me to feel a little bit more whole. It helped me understand my edge, my family history, and it solidified my dreams of becoming an artist. It allowed me to know my talent was not something to take lightly and gave me a purpose to drive for a higher standard to achieve greatness with my music.
Did finding out about your family’s musical lineage drive you even more to be a successful musician?
It gave me a focus that I had internally built up. I wouldn’t say it contributed to my success, but it did help me understand that I had a lot to achieve. It made me want to do more rootsy music, and go after my own timeless sound.
How would you describe your musical style?
Soulful. Melodic. Honest. Timeless. Storytelling.
What would you say to draw someone in who hasn’t listened to your music before?
I’ve come along way with my music and sound, and the hardships that it took to get here I do not lightly. I believe we all face struggles with our own growth, and I want those around me to aspire to do something that they are passionate about. My music is all about my passion, and I want to give back to those still trying to find theirs. This is what my music is all about.
Tell us about your new single I Wanna Know?
Produced by Pops, a frequent collaborator and good friend, “I Wanna Know” represents my growth in understanding that people go through lots of struggle in their lives. It’s about letting go, and overcoming these struggles and not letting these struggles overcome you. It’s about not letting your past relationships ruin your future ones.
What can audiences expect from your new EP that’s expected to drop later this year?
A full spectrum of my sound and the beginning of my story. A lot of soul, heart, and attention was put into this debut EP and represents the first chapter of my story that I’m now ready to tell. It’s a wide range of my musical influences that I hope brings as much joy to the listeners as it does for me.
What advice would you give to aspiring music artists?
Believe in yourself. Invest in yourself. Take all the opportunities that are in front of you, but make sure you are ready to take advantage of them. This industry has a lot of luck involved, but to me, luck is when opportunity meets preparation. Be original, tell your story from your own perspective and don’t worry about what other people are doing. Stay true to yourself – we all have a unique voice to share.
Where can the readers find you online?
You can find me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and all the music retailers (iTunes/Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, and more). I have a website up and running that we are constantly updating as well, www.NathanAli.com. Join our newsletter so we can stay in touch with all the upcoming releases.