Nate James is a singer-songwriter that dominated the music scene from 2004-2009 with the help of his manager, our very own LCCM Principal, Anthony Hamer-Hodges. Nate has left an incredible mark on the industry, winning multiple accolades such as Best New Artist, Best Solo Act and Best Album at the MOBO Awards. He’s a worldwide sensation that became the second most successful artist on the Billboard charts during that time. And recently we had the absolute pleasure to sit with him at one of our Music Industry Mondays events here at LCCM to hear all about Nate and his journey to studying an MA in Music Business.
The reality of a new artist
Pretty much every artist just starting out believes that to make it big in the industry you need to be signed to a major label, and this was no different for Nate. Nate started his journey as an artist with the ‘go big or go home’ attitude that later he realised wasn’t necessary at all.
After being burned by a previous manager (we won’t name names) and a whole load of false promises, Nate became sceptical of the industry. Enter our very own: Anthony Hamer-Hodges.
Nate had to make a couple of mindset changes and adjustments to rebuild his trust in the music industry again. Luckily, he was able to recognise that Anthony truly had his back and even made one of his dream duets with Dawn Robinson happen.
With Anthony’s guidance, Nate was able to realise that the path to success didn’t need to be paved with big names and labels but that the indie route and good management were just as viable.
So don’t get too wrapped up in the major label stuff. If you just want to make music and make people feel good, you can go really far with a good manager who genuinely has your best interests at heart. But honestly, if you’re looking for the fame and masses of attention (which is fine, we love a go-getter), then you’re really going to have to work your socks off.
If you’re interested in hearing more about Nate’s rocky start, you can watch the entire event here to meet all your wholesome memory lane needs or you can wait for Nate’s very own documentary about what it takes to become an artist. (Might take a while to put an entire doc together so you might as well click the link).
From music legend to educated businessman
Nate faced a lot of hurdles on his journey to stardom including cancelling a very expensive show after the London bombings in 2005. But slowly, the pieces started to fall together including signing a show in Japan which not long after propelled his career to new heights. So, it certainly all paid off in the end.
Nate’s journey continued to flourish after touring with icons like Rihanna and Mary J. Blige. His persistence made him sell over 300,000 albums (which is around one billion streams in our post-Spotify era) and has definitely shown to be a major contribution to the music industry worldwide.
As we mentioned above, Nate is now studying at LCCM for his MA in Music Business. After experiencing so many aspects of the music industry, he now feels like he can take his knowledge and apply them to his classes.
The course has allowed him to recognise that he could do more than just write and sing songs. Perhaps he could branch out and manage an artist of his own. (Who wouldn’t after such a stellar example from Anthony?)
It just goes to show, there’s always something new to learn. Even if you’re a staple in the industry who’s performed alongside Snoop Dogg, Erica Badu and Pharrell.
Nate is an example of someone who started probably not too far off from where you’re at if you’re an aspiring artist. He was an independent success turned worldwide sensation that we can learn so much from so, what are you waiting for? Watch the full event here or get tickets for our next event so you can soak up the goods from artists and people making strides in the industry today.