In an age when we tend to overload everything with meaning, spend hours thinking about how we want to represent ourselves in the public eye in order to generate the best possible image of ourselves it feels quite refreshing to not head for this way. Still, despite the decline of music label power it appears as if many artists need to have a certain marketing plan to get things going, to become visible. Native, however, is heading for a different direction. And the fact that we don’t know his real name is only the first hint for that. ‘I don’t talk much about the meaning of my songs or try to explain them,’ the young songwriter explains to me. For him his songs have to speak for themselves. ‘In a way it doesn’t matter what they mean to me as much as what they mean and say to the listener,’ he adds.
Following his first EP Departure last year and the successful single Ocean which gained him first attention Native returns with a follow-up these days called The Night Is Still Young. The title-track is a haunting nightly ballad that represents a lover’s longing way more accurate than many other songs I’ve listened to in recent times. The acoustic version of it – to which we exclusively debut a music video today right at the bottom of this page – transports that feeling even better. The Thought Of Loving You is another new track on the EP and also carried by Native‘s understanding for on-point production and profound songwriting. There’s this raw sensitive feeling of honesty he manages to carry through the music’s reduced character. And that’s a rare talent, I think. ‘I just write songs and try to find the way to put it on tape,’ he explains, honouring the credo of ‘less is more.’
‘Sometimes simplicity helps to let the words speak louder. And big production can take the attention away from the song or the performance … I don’t limit myself in that regard. I enjoy the fact that I don’t have to spend thousands of Dollars and months of my time somewhere in a studio making an album but that I have the freedom to just go song by song and see whatever works best for it.’
But it’s not just the sound that makes things so fascinating, it’s also the content and the artist’s ability to showcase his emotions in their purest form. Inspiration can come from various places and Native confirms to me that he get obsessed about the most random topics every now and then. ‘The last few weeks I’ve been obsessed with beekeeping,’ he confesses, ‘up to the point where I was dreaming about having a beehive.’ Apart from that fascinating new hobby he’s up for meditative things like reading books, running, going on hikes and watching good TV shows and movies. He keeps his guitar close to him in case he got a new idea. He’s done it this way ever since he first picked up the instrument of his choice at the age of ten. But he also recalls a personal epiphany he had with progressive rock icons Pink Floyd as influence: ‘One moment that had a huge impact me was a few years later. A friend of mine showed me the ‘Pulse Live’ DVD. Hearing their songs and performance changed everything I felt about music and is still a huge inspiration.’
A restless traveller
While you don’t get many Pink Floyd moments in Native‘s music it surely represents his very traditional and profound understanding of making music very well, I must say. The biggest strength of the songs lies within their humility. These songs exist just for the sake of their own good, allowing the listener cathartic moments while experiencing them. And by taking them all around the world on countless shows the musician turns his personal journey into these tales that remain universal. ‘I don’t want write and record all my music in the same place but rather find places that transcends the songs and vibes I’m working on,’ he explains his working attitude. And it looks like he’ll continue to establish this method over the next years:
‘I’m writing and recording a ton and will release these songs whenever they are ready. I love how simple it is nowadays to distribute music. I just upload them and that’s it.’
Native prefers that over a long and overwhelming marketing and PR campaign as he states and that pretty much makes him a songwriter for these modern times. He writes this songs but they belong to everybody and the less he shares about himself the more effective this method is, in the end. So, well, technically spoken there is a plan and probably a strategy behind this after all but it’s a really refreshing and satisfying one. When everything speeds up and screams in your face it might be wise to simply fade into silence and slow things down a bit. The world could use a few more artists like him, don’t you agree?
This article was made possible via the concept of ‘Smart Compensation‘ which allows to invest more time on specific editorial topics. Find out more about it in NBHAP’s Mediakit.