- Words Notion Staff
Exploring the nocturnal world of his new EP, Nate Brazier talks all things ‘YSK’, musical influences and a new remix project he’s working on.
Still bouncing off the buzz of his brand-new EP ‘YSK’, and standout opening single of the same name (featuring Louis Culture), Nate Brazier is ready to push boundaries this year with this brand-new project. ‘YSK’ is shared as the artist’s debut EP and is a creative ensemble of six introspective cuts reflective of themes such as escapism and teenage nostalgia. A talented artist and producer, Nate is quickly going from strength to strength with every release.
Establishing his own unique spin on today’s alt-dance scene with his debut single release “Patterns” in 2022, since then the artist/producer has built an empire and has received sizable praise for his otherworldly artistry.
Collaborating with creative director Arran Ashan to enhance his vision on ‘YSK’, the pair pull out all the stops as they deliver listeners a translucent project that enables you to step outside and take a deep breath. Compiling the perfect tracklist for a solo late-night stroll, throughout Nate’s work the artist ties elements of UK drill, electronica, and R&B (to list a few), shaping his alternate universe, and forever proving that this is his world: we’re all just living in it.
We spoke to the artist about the process of transferring his teenage thoughts and feelings into an audio and visual experience, drawing musical influence from Arca and goals for 2023. Dive in.
Hey Nate, how are you? It seems like you’ve had a busy start to 2023…
I’m great, thanks. It’s been hectic since the start of the year and I’m loving it.
You’ve just released your debut EP, ‘YSK’, congratulations! How’s the reception been so far and what are you hoping fans take away from the project?
It’s been sick to put my first fully formed project into the world, like the first statement of who I am. Having both press and fans reaching out to say they rate it is so fulfilling, especially since it’s been in the works for years. I hope people take away that I’m doing more than just beats. I’m here to stay.
You’ve said that the project was largely written in your teenage years. What about this period of your life made it so transferable to music and a full body of work?
I think that period forces you to figure out your identity on a daily basis, both in relation to those immediately around you and also how you fit into the larger world. That self-reflection transfers over perfectly into songwriting.
Louis Culture features on the album’s introduction, another artist we’re fans of here at Notion. What do you think he added to the track and the EP’s wider context?
I’ve been a fan of his since ‘Smile Soundsystem’, which blended UK dance and hip-hop so effortlessly, with that gritty, DIY feeling. He made sense for the EP opener because he champions that sound, and I think he helps plant the project firmly into the UK underground scene. His verse brings a whole new perspective to growing up and nostalgia too.
‘YSK’ is both an audio and visual experience. Why did you want to communicate the project in this way, prioritising both aspects equally?
Music always conjures some kind of mental image for me, and I wanted to be sure that everyone knows exactly what that is for this EP, especially since it’s my first statement.
Sonically, the project feels very nocturnal. How did nightlife and late-night antics influence ‘YSK’?
Night spaces are where dance music comes to life, and I’ve always been fascinated by the tribal nature of us coming together in dark rooms to move with music. Exploring streets at night was also a big part of my coming-of-age years, whether on foot, on bikes or in beat-up cars.
Your sound is inspired by a myriad of electronic genres, can you remember your introduction to electronic music? Which artists did you obsess over in those early days?
I’ve always been in awe of Arca, and my first single “Patterns” was inspired by a song of hers called “Araña”. I was introduced to her by ‘Yeezus’, and that album remains one of my favourites. Like a lot of artists, Burial was an important figure in my artistic journey, and I’m constantly learning from his ability to convey atmosphere.
Jai Paul is an artist that you’ve previously cited as an influence. What’s your thoughts about him playing Coachella and do you think we will hear more from Jai in 2023? The man is a complete enigma.
I think his reclusivity has cemented him as more of an icon than any prolificacy could have, but I’m still excited to see what his performance brings and I know it’ll be unexpected. Leak culture has died down a lot over the past decade but I can tell it’s about to make a return, and so Jai Paul’s comeback marks that perfectly.
What excites you about music going forward, and equally, is there anything about the industry that you’d change? As an up-and-coming artist you must be learning a lot about yourself and how to navigate a music career.
I think with every year there’s more artists and less power in the gatekeepers – I’m excited for that to continue. I just want to keep doing things on my terms, not following a certain game plan or route to success, because anyone who thinks they have one is usually wrong.
What’s next for Nate Brazier, is there anything you’d like to achieve in 2023 beyond the EP?
I’ve got a remix package for the EP coming super soon, with some of my favourite artists and DJs on it. I did my first in person event a couple weeks ago and I’m excited to do more in person, so I can dance with the people that enjoy my music.