Hurray, it’s Jamuary! If you think this month is going to be boring, now that the holidays are gone, we are happy to inform you that you are wrong. First of all, we challenge you to jam along with the beautiful Jamuary Cover Channel. And there is so much more. What then? Let’s ask Nathan Ball. The British singer-songwriter is performing at ESNS and we spoke to him in preparation of the live session we are recording with him. Jamuary, such a lovely time of year.
Hi Nathan, are you looking forward to Eurosonic?
Hey guys, I can’t wait for it! It’ll be our first show of the year and I always love playing in the Netherlands!
Do you have a busy schedule during the showcase festival week?
I think we’re actually pretty chilled for once, normally it’s pretty hectic at these showcase festivals, but we’re just coming out for the one show in Lutherse Kerk. Then we’ll stick around for a few beers and we’re homeward bound.
It always gives me the most amazing feeling when people sing along live
You’ve been in the music game for quite some time – do you still practise every day?
I still do something every day, either play a bit of guitar or sit at the piano or write some lyrics down. I think any musician finds it hard to ever switch off, so the musical mind is always running.
What is one of the most important lessons you learned that changed your way of playing music?
I taught myself to play guitar, so I learnt by ear and forever wanted to understand more about keys and chord changes. However, a lot of people who learnt that way told me to stick with it as it’ll open up some pretty strange chord progressions where you wouldn’t normally think to go.
Can you explain what your process of songwriting looks like?
I usually sit down at my piano or guitar and just start playing. Then I’ll eventually find some chords that I like, and will start mumbling a vocal melody and will usually find some lyrics out of that mumbling that I really like. So once I’ve found the melody, I’ll usually record it on my phone and go for a walk to start writing the rest of the lyrics and usually sit in a cafe or the pub with a notebook and finish the lyrics in there. I like to then sit on the song for a while and tweak a few lyrics or add parts here and there.
Do you have favorite chords or keys you like to fall back on when writing a track?
I love the Am – G – F combination, but I don’t tend to fall back on particular progressions. A few of the songs are in Bm but that seems to just happen naturally at the time rather than thinking about it.
Which two of your tracks would you recommend our readers to play along with?
I would say Drifting because it means the world to me! It’s a pretty intense song, but both dark and euphoric at the same time. It always gives me the most amazing feeling when people sing along live! Then I’d listen to Call it Love because it’s a cruiser and it takes me back to an awesome time writing it where I was living by the sea in the UK and I think that comes across in the track.
Thanks a lot Nathan! We’re looking forward to seeing you at Eurosonic.
Cheers guys, can’t wait!