Michigan indie-folk musician Nathan K. crafts beautiful, emotionally gut-wrenching, songs with his direct lyricism and honest vocals. Recently, he was kind enough to answer a few questions for MFH. Find out the heartwarming story behind his latest record, what he’s working on and his thoughts on the current state of popular folk music.
My Folking Heart: How/when did you start writing your own music?
Nathan K.: When I was in 14, my sister started taking guitar lessons and I would watch her lessons and then when we got home, I would teach myself what I saw her learning. Then we went to church camp and I realized that girls love it when you write songs for them. So I wrote a lot of songs that summer.
I afterwards I realized that I wasn’t very good at guitar and so I focused on practicing guitar until I felt comfortable with the instrument enough to be creative, and I wrote a poem every day for a year. Sort of learning how to write lyrics and music separately. Then I took a stab at combining the two. That was the start of the whole thing.
MFH: Was the folk genre a natural one for you to pursue when you first began, or was it something you fell into over time?
NK: Folk music was a natural, but unintentional endeavor at first. My dad had an acoustic guitar and listened to a lot of James Taylor, stuff like that. We lived in the country at the time and we could only get this one radio station which was country, so I would listen to learn those songs by ear. Then later in high school I joined a bluegrass group, and that exposed me to a whole new scene.
Mostly though, I was always obsessed with lyrics and stories, and I could always relate more to honest folk songs as opposed to stuff like Papa Roach and Linkin Park and Korn which were popular at my high school. Plus all I had was an acoustic guitar a violin, and a tape recorder, so early on, my options were limited. Continue reading