Bam! Bam! Kapow! Crash! Bam!
Bam! Bam! Kapow! Crash! Bam!!!
That was how Nathan’s musical career began.
With drums!!!!!

He would drum at the kitchen table when he should have been hurrying for school. He would drum on the counter while his mum got the food out for lunch. And he would drum out a tune when he took a shower.
His world was filled with ‘the beat’.

It blows my mind that Nathan didn’t become a drummer. Yet being a drummer would have limited him. There was too much on his mind that he wanted to say. Where better does a man ‘with a beat’ say the things he wants to say, than on a piano. With his voice!
At the age of fourteen, he began picking out tunes on the piano. He would hear a song that caught his attention on the radio and he would re-create it on the piano. It was when he got to the  University of Virginia, that he began creating his own songs.

In his fourth year at College, Nathan released his debut EP – Barricades.
He says: “Songwriting was super new to me. It was kind of an intimidating process because I wasn’t sure how my music would be received by my family and also by others that would hear it. I would rewrite songs the morning before recording, which is terrible. All in all, it was very ‘shooting from the hip.’ I would go into the studio and have 45 minutes to get everything done for a song, and I would crank it out.
And,” he laughed in a slightly self conscious way, “ my family for whom I made it, simply loved it. It got shared with others and it was really a good feeling having a stranger come up to you and say ‘Hey, I enjoyed your music. Thanks!’”

After my fall, when I went back onstage in my one woman show, My Plunge to Fame, I felt very exposed. I didn’t have the ‘safety net’ of acting behind a character. What I was presenting was ‘me!’ in all it’s fragile vulnerability. In the same way, sharing the deeper parts of himself is something that Nathan doesn’t find easy. His music often speaks of the things that tear a little inside. As he says:
“It feels like everyone has seen into you when they hear your music. They see the raw emotion I am singing about. What I remind myself is that people connect over that raw downheartedness. Everyone knows it. Often people keep it bottled inside. So when they hear my music, they identify with it.”

Nathan Colberg’s lyrics are out of this world! They are transparent, showing a person openly revealing so much of himself.
“I think as a songwriter I would love to be someone like Bob Dylan or Kris Kristofferson who wind up influencing a generation of other songwriters after them. I look up to them because of their writing style; simple, but profound lyrics that seem to hit the core of what it means to be human,” says Nathan.
“What’s funny about my music is that it’s very different from how I interact in person. A lot of times, it’s a dive into some of the more sensitive, personal, emotional and spiritual issues that I’m trying to wrestle with, and trying to make sense of that through music. Music is a great outlet for that.”

I listened to his latest CD Silo. A whole gamut of emotions opened up to me.
The words of his song The Giver are magical.

Take me down, down to the giver
All my love is caught in the winter’s hold
Like every time before
I asked God
Will you remember me once I’ve
Fallen from the treetops that I’ve climbed
Trying to be just like you
Melody, neither a note nor harmony
Can unlock the song I long to be
I’ve sung it all before
The art in me is simply remembering to be
Nothing but a note in symphony
With everyone before

I love those last three lines:
The art in me is simply remembering to be
Nothing but a note in symphony
With everyone before

Doesn’t that say so much? We are all notes in a symphony, aren’t we? I hope that at the end of my life, my symphony is melodic and pleasing to the ear. I can only continue to try building up to a symphony and casting away any wrong and ugly notes that I have mistakenly included.

Why Silo, I wondered?
He explained that there is an old silo on his parents property. Nathan often goes there to be alone or play the guitar in peace. It has been beautifully sketched on the cover of his CD by Henry Barrett Jones.

In March 2017, he completed a kickstarter campaign that funded the entire making of Silo. Two hundred and fifty eight people contributed over $18,000 to complete the project. You can imagine the gratitude he felt as his making of Silo grew wings and began to fly. Since then, he has  invested a large percentage of his own savings into creating more music. The musical butterfly sits there, it’s wings lifting slowly as Nathan’s creativity stirs it to flight.

When writing songs, where does he get his inspiration from, I wonder?
Ideas play around in his mind desiring to spring out onto the keyboard and into his voice.
“A song could be about something that someone close to me is going through that resonates within. It could be about some sort of spiritual thought or question going round in my mind. It might be about a phase of life, or could even be a song written from someone else’s perspective. I think that’s what I enjoy about the song writing process: the inspiration is continually changing.”

What I so admire about this young artist is his passion for his music. I look at a performer like Ed Sheeran. He too is passionate with his music and it took him from a street busker to a man entertaining millions of people. What is to stop Nathan’s musical career from going in a similar direction? It is all a case of a ‘lucky break’!

Speaking about luck, I have not mentioned till now, how incredibly fortunate I am. Nathan is my much adored cousin’s son. He lives America but that is merely an air flight away! I would love to see Nathan, that big grin on his face, performing live. Who knows what the future may hold?

In March 2018, Nathan’s debut music video See again was produced. Nathan literally handed over the song to Jethro Westraad, who he knew and trusted and Jethro ran with it! He filmed it on the shores of Cape Town, a place that Nathan adores. You can see and hear Nathan and Jethro’s amazing work by simply pressing here!

What a joy not only to be able to read Nathan’s lyrics, to be able to see his moving music video but now, thanks to my Cochlear Implants, I am able to listen to his voice caressing the lyrics into wondrous sound.

Ahhh, I am truly blessed!