Nathan of Oceanic Talks with Not in Harmony

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Photo Credit: Jacob Buwalda

Artist: 
Nathan of Oceanic
Age: 20 years old
Location: Born in the Netherlands, but currently in Lynchburg, VA
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Remember the faces. Remember the name. Oceanic is a hugely promising group that we for sure could see blowing up in the near future. Their latest single ‘Party Song’ hit the Spotify Viral Charts and for obvious reasons. The group is far from another boy band. They are four talented musicians brought together to create something amazing. You’d be pressed to find another group with a sound and style like theirs. We had the pleasure of speaking with group member, Nathan, about their upcoming single, aspirations and inspirations and more. Hit play on their single ‘Party Song’ below and let it play as you get to know the budding star:

‘Party Song’ – Oceanic (Spotify and YouTube links)

How old are you?

I am twenty years old, as of April.

Where are you from?

I was born in the Netherlands, but currently live in Lynchburg, Virginia for college.

 Who or what helped get you into music?

My parents were very instrumental. They put me in music lessons when I was four or five years old—one of the best things that ever happened to me. In junior high school, I had a music teacher that taught me to use my ears to bring out the music that was inside me, and that was probably the single most formative music thing that happened to me. He forced me to join choir and shaped the way I play to this day.

 Did you teach yourself to sing?

I had around four or five voice lessons in high school, to get me started a little bit. Other than that, I guess Chris Martin and Bono taught me to sing through their music. I largely just tried to sing like my favorite bands.

How did the group come to be?

The band formed when Jacob (our guitarist) and I met in our college dorm in 2016—we started playing guitar together. I think the first thing we ever did was record a cover of WALK THE MOON’s “Shut Up And Dance”… It was pretty bad. Anyway, Jacob showed me a great guitar riff that he had come up with a year or so before, and over the next couple weeks we wrote our first song, “…You.” (It’s our next single, by the way.) We really didn’t know if it was any good or not, we were just flying blind. We felt more like a band when we played our first open mic, and noticed that people really liked what we did. That, I would say, is when we felt like a band.

What’s been your favorite memory as a group so far?

This sort-of answers the question… Our favorite memory is that we all four live together. We do so much crazy stuff and have so many laughs. That’s been the best part of being a band so far for sure.

 Do you play any instruments?

I do! I personally play piano, drums, and guitar.

 Tell us a little about your newest music. 

Our newest (and first) single is called Party Song. It actually just hit one of Spotify’s viral charts today! The song is called “Party Song,” but really its about loneliness. It’s about loneliness and the crazy things that people do to cope with it. I’ve been there myself, where instead of calling out for help, I’m acting like everything’s great in my own life, because everyone else seems that way. So I guess the song is about being honest about loneliness.

 What are you thinking of when you record and perform these songs?

Hitting the right notes, mostly! I jest. Actually, the thing we love most about recording and playing our music is that we get to connect with people. We LOVE the opportunities we’ve had to meet new people, and have relationships with them. So really, we’re always thinking about the people we’ll get to meet.

 What’s something you want our readers to remember about you after this interview?

That’s a great question. I would want readers to remember that I would love to grab coffee with them.

What inspires your songwriting?

Wow. A hard question… Really anything thought-provoking, I’d say. The universe is full of incredible truths and lies and beauty. Good music that other bands make is inspiring, God is inspiring. I think most of the time, I write a song based on my personal ponderings on a certain day or week or month. There’s so many incredible and terrifying things about our world to think about that I can’t help being inspired.

 Any other new songs or albums coming out soon that we can look forward to?

Absolutely! We haven’t officially announced it yet, but our next single, called “…You,” should be out in June sometime. We’ll release another couple singles before an album next year.

 Where’s your favorite place to perform?

Well we definitely enjoy every show we’ve played. I don’t think there’s been a show that we regret. We had a particularly awesome time at Project Stand in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. It’s an anti-drug addiction day of music and free food, and lives were changed. It’s happening again this year, in September, and we’ll definitely be there again!

 On the topic of performances, what’s a venue you’re looking forward to headlining someday?

Oh, all the classics. Madison Square Garden, the Rose Bowl, the Super Bowl, whatever. Or just venues we have seen cool bands play. Like, we’ve seen Hippo Campus play in the Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville, NC. We’d love to play there. In reality though, we’re incredibly thankful for any show that we get to play. We’re playing original music, and people want to come see it. That’s an incredible honor that many people don’t have.

 What artists inspire you and your music?

We take sonic influence from Coldplay, WALK THE MOON, Hippo Campus, Julia Rothenburger, and other artists like them. As far as who inspires us, though, really any artist doing good work. Jack White, Donald Glover, Avicii, anyone.

 Who’s an artist, living or passed, that you would love to work with?

For me, Chris Martin. I’d love to hang out and have a piano lesson. Or someone like Skrillex or Jack Antonoff, I’d love to work with an open-minded producer like them.

 What keeps you motivated to do what you do on a daily basis?

People do, mostly. Our favorite part about playing music is connecting with different people and creating relationships with them. We’ve met so many incredible people that we would never know if it hadn’t been for Oceanic, so the prospect of meeting more people and spreading love is what keeps us motivated.

 Why have you chosen music and what do you love most about it?

It comes back to people, again. We all love playing music, so that’s great, but really we chose it as a career to be able to love people. We want our music and our lives to inspire someone to think about the world differently, and we want to bring love with us wherever our music takes us.

 If you’re not performing or recording new music, what’s your favorite thing to be doing?

As a group, we probably love just hanging out with each other and making weird jokes the most. Anyone that knows us knows that our brains are just strange. But we love being strange, and we love humor, so it just happens. That’s probably the most fun we have.

For me personally, I love photography, or any other artistic pursuit! That’s what I have fun with.

 If you could go back 10 years, what advice would you give yourself knowing everything you’ve accomplished now?

I would say, “Do something every day that will make you better at music.” That’s specific to me, but I think anyone can benefit. If a person does something—anything—that moves them toward a goal every day, she or he WILL become better at it. I’d say it puts them in the top 10% of other people who are trying to succeed at the same thing. Creativity is hard work. It pays off, for sure, but you’ve got to put the time and effort into it for a long, sustained amount of time. So this answer is a little less-than-poetic, but it’s definitely what I would tell myself.

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