Nate Rich X is the New-York Pop intoner whose debut single, "Girlfriend" manifests through a dreamy world of empyreal vocals, scintillating synths, and an after-glow affecting top-line hook. His style and sound here are deep-rooted in Synth-pop textures with definitive nods at R&B and Folk influencers from past and present. Still, the touchstones he collects from various genres renders into the captivating life-experiences the young Pop-star endeavors to recreate for us sonically.
It is often the most wounded amongst us who inflict pain on others. This is the viewpoint that Nate focuses on when we strip back his texturized Pop production and find the profound, yet playful sentiments in "Girlfriend." It's a track ruminating in the uncomfortable tango between an individual who hasn't expressed their true nature to the rest of the world and instead finds pleasure dragging along Nate Rich X's at the expense of his heart. The production that follows is minimal with just a sub kick leading the measure at first, but it slowly evolves from here, developing this story that captivated us with its enamoring elegist-like character.
As the empyreal amalgamations of the New-Yorker's vocal harmonics fill the spaces of the Dream-Pop mix ladened with scintillating synths, we're submerged into the transformative crescendo found near the final moments of "Girlfriend." Here, after being mystified and infatuated by the cascading echos and reverbs reflecting Nate's sultry vocals under a seemingly un-busy production, we arrive at the affecting climax that configures over a fantasia of upswelling synth, scattering drums and an infatuating blend of harmonies that leaves us with an after-glow effect for days.
It's wonderful to sit down and discuss your latest release "Girlfriend." How did this song manifest itself into reality? Was this based on a real experience, or was this a metaphor for something more introspective and deep-reaching?
It’s based on real experience but embellished through a pop lens. I had a roommate last summer, this gorgeous straight guy with a girlfriend, and we had this amazing connection that seemed like it might go beyond just friendship. I knew it was probably all in my head, but I couldn’t help but imagine that one day he’d just lean over and kiss me. I wrote the song in the first week or two of living with him—when I was reading into every smile and lingering hug. As it turns out, we ended up just being great friends and my crush totally disappeared. But ‘Girlfriend’ lives in those moments where I was overanalyzing everything, wondering if he was feeling what I was.
What were the inspirations behind the evolving build-up and eventual releasing crescendo in "Girlfriend?"
I have to give credit to my producer Guy John for the song’s amazing build. I originally sent him the two verses and choruses, thinking we’d just keep it short and simple. He sent back an extended instrumental that I ended up writing the bridge over, and that’s where that release into the final chorus came from. He was super careful about building from the soft beginning to the explosive quality of the drums, vocals, and synth solo in the end. I think the steady build in the production really helps tell the story of a crush all the way from a hushed secret to a loud declaration of love.
Where have you had to channel yourself creatively to gain some of the courage you harness to express yourself so wholly and sincere throughout your Music?
To be honest, I never thought what I was saying was particularly courageous. I’ve always been pretty open about my feelings, but I also feel a little protected by the fact that my songs are just stories told in this pop format. My writing is always based on my own experiences, but I’ll amp up the intensity of a moment if it serves the song; ‘Girlfriend’ is a perfect example of that. I think there’s such an inherent theatricality to pop music—it’s built on the big, exaggerated emotions we poured into our middle school diaries, and I always keep that in mind as I write.
When can we expect to see you in a Music Video feature for "Girlfriend," and how soon can we anticipate your upcoming Extended Play?
There’s a gorgeous lyric video that will be available very soon! We’re also currently finishing production on two more singles that you can expect over the next two months, and at least one of them will have a proper music video. I don’t have an exact EP release date for you yet, but we’re aiming for January. And I’ll be releasing some collaborations along the way!
What has been keeping you inspired in 2020?
When I feel down, I always try to create something. Whether it’s writing a song, inventing a new recipe, or repurposing an old denim jacket, making something gets me back on track. I’m also inspired by seeing so many young people become activists, especially artists out protesting and using their platforms to demand justice. On really tough days (during the pandemic and this presidency, they’re common), I escape by listening to some new music or watching an episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender.