Wrap Up And Watch Out: Itsnate
2011 has been a good year for ItsNate. Not only did he drop his debut mixtape, 'Never Ask Take Everything', at the end of September, but he's toured with Mac Miller, opened for Stalley and has broken his G-Shock and Lacoste live sessions virginity. Leanne Petersen met up with the north London rapper to find out what's in store for him in 2012...
The Wrap Up: So, Nate, how did you actually get into rapping?
ItsNate: I started off MCing when I was about 14. I had a crew, Keeping it North, and it was all of the boys from Holloway and couple from Finsbury Park, and I used to go and MC at Axe FM back in the day. But then my boy, who kind of started it, his DJ died and that was all mad, so I stopped MCing. I lost a lot of love for it because, when I was spitting, I liked MCs like Dizzee Rascal, Kano and Wiley, who had proper lyrics, but then this whole 'reload culture' came in and it was a lot of screaming bars and getting wheels – it just didn't stimulate me enough.
TWU: What happened to make you change your mind and pick up a mic again?
ItsNate: I started rapping again in my second year of university, because I always wrote rhymes – I never stopped writing rhymes – then I met my boy, Blackstar, and we'd record music in his yard. I started listening to different types of beats – that really laid back, spacy stuff – and that's what I wanted to rap on. Everyone I was listening to before was a gang banger or drug dealer, and I’m none of those things, I didn't want to rap about that stuff like that. Whatever your grind, you can get something from my vibe.
TWU: How long did the ‘Never Ask Take Everything’ mixtape take to make?
Nate: Six months. I wasn't recording every single day, or even every month, it was only towards the end that it got more serious.
TWU: Did it turn out how you imagined?
ItsNate: Not really, because it sounded different to how I thought it would sound. When I heard it finished, I was like, ‘Woah! Is this it, yeah? Is this what I’ve made?’ But it was cool, because it still sounded like me.
TWU: You have several collaborations on the mixtape, including the talented Miss Merrick. How did you end up working with her on ‘City Lights’ and ‘Being Frank’?
ItsNate: DJ Motive told me that he had played some of my stuff to her and that she was digging it. He suggested that I send her something, so I sent ‘City Lights’. She thought that it would sound deep if there were little bits of singing underneath, so she sent me a voice note of it and I thought that it sounded cold! With ‘Being Frank’, I felt that I needed a hook and because we’d worked together on ‘City Lights’, I just thought that there was no need to look for another voice. It just made perfect sense and it worked out really well.
TWU: Cool. So, what can we expect from Nate for the rest of 2012?
ItsNate: I'm going to drop a new mixtape, ‘Suede Jones’, real soon. It's on a smooth tip, because I'm a big fan of R&B and neo-soul, so hopefully that will be real nice on the ears.
TWU: And lastly, a quick random one. If you was Prime Minister for a day, what one thing would you change?
ItsNate: Oh, that’s so much responsibility! I’d hate to be Prime Minister for a day. I dunno, I guess I’d try and sort out the council housing situation, because that’s a mess. There’s a lot to do, man, and I wouldn't want to forget anyone.
Stay up to date with ItsNate on Twitter - www.twitter.com/WhosNate
Words: Leanne Peterson (@iam_lovlee)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)