The 28-year-old Dublin-based Pop Artist and Singer/Songwriter Nathan Mac pull us in tight with a heartfelt story through his latest single, "The Boy Who Learned To Fly."
After seeing incredible success through the first release "Better Off Without You" off his upcoming album "Start of Something Blue," Nathan Mac has garnered a whopping fanbase across Ireland while gaining the attention of international audiences as well. When speaking about his music, Nathan Mac stated that it's his job and joy to portray the complicated lives of complicated people.
Through his upcoming album's second release, "The Boy Who Learned To Fly," Nathan Mac offers listeners all the warmth to settle down this winter. He ties in a heartfelt and personal lyrical message surrounding inner-vulnerability and growing alongside loved ones who breakdown from time to time. Through modern Pop production and organic instrumentals, the song offers bliss and peace from all aspects.
"The Boy Who Learned To Fly" opens with soft chimes in the background similar to a lullaby. As Nathan Mac's smooth background vocals take the stage accompanied by the serene production, he begins singing with clarity and heart regarding a personal story that's being told from his father's perspective.
Moving towards the second verse, Nathan Mac switches up the time-frame where he's now 10-years-old and realizing the world for what it truly is. The surrounding instrumentals offer heartfelt acoustic guitar and a low string section, while the supporting production powers through with uplifting tones through each modern element.
Ending the song off with lyrics like "you will grow into a man, and it's okay to cry," Nathan Mac has captured lyrical brilliance within his piece "The Boy Who Learned To Fly."
Through each emotional turn and shift in perspective/time-frame, Nathan Mac has come through to strike an emotional chord within every listener.
Can you tell us more about some of the experiences you've had working on this tune? Was this a relatively new experience you chose to write about or has this been in the works for a long time?
That excitement is something we share, thanks for having me. Working on this song was a completely new process. The song itself was written in a weird moment. I had gone through a pretty rough breakup, my Circus/Music show had finished and I left my job at the National Leprechaun Museum (which was an amazing job). This combination of loss and empty space in my life sent me down a dark road. I found this song, amongst others, along the way.
The production of this song was completely the opposite mood. Producer Brian Dwyer and I had never worked together. We had met only once, but very quickly we found a brother in one another. The writing helped me mourn the loss in my life, but the production helped me to celebrate it.
You're no novice to working the scene and performing live. Can you tell us about some of the most memorable experiences you've had while touring or performing live?
The most memorable moment… that’s a tough one. During my Circus/Music show “The Boy Who Learned To Fly” there was a moment. The crowd wouldn’t stop clapping and shouting, and I couldn’t get a word in! So I just stood there, center stage, and let the sounds wash over me. It was a love I had not felt as a performer before and that unconditional support brought me a kind of peace. There was this other amazing moment in London. My friend and guide Ema had told me about a bookshop, on a barge, along the canal. (It’s embarrassing how many of my boxes this ticked.) It was such a wonderful little shop too and on such a sunny day. I stopped outside, dropped my suitcase, guitar case, and struck up a conversation with a man sunbathing on a deck chair. He asked me if I was there to play on the boat… so of course, I said yes! I took my guitar, stood up on the book-barge, and sang my heart out to about 500 people enjoying the sun by Kings Cross canal.
It goes without question that some of the most compelling features of your compositions are your lyrics. Is there a specific inspiration you try to draw from when sitting down to write? Is this a person, a place, or a feeling?
Lyrics I could talk about for years so I’ll try to be concise. My friend/mentor Trisha O’Keefe told me once that songs can be sexy, sweet, or anything in between, but they have to be intimate. That’s what informs most of my lyrical decisions, but there’s more... You want to acknowledge and confirm someone's life with your music. I want to hear a song and think “they know how I feel”. In ‘Better Off Without You’ there is a line, “I feel ashamed because I broke a smile today.” Countless people have told me that they have lived this moment. That’s the power of lyrics; they are from songwriters, but they are for everyone. One tangible inspiration is Khalil Gibran. An amazing poet and philosopher. Like all good writers, he confronts us with truths that are tough, and real. In this song, I say “nobody told me that boring was easier”. It’s my favorite line because it’s true, even though we don’t want it to be. This song is not about the harsh reality, but a boring one… ‘you’ll be fine.’ One more thing! I think lyrics like mine should be rooted in the physical. When I create metaphors they need to make sense to people, physical sense, or else they just float away and mean nothing. So trying to physically imagine the scene or metaphor really grounds the truth in reality, and that’s what we share. So when I say “your sweaty fingers try to hold my mental state”, this connects our physical world(sweaty fingers) to our concepts of the world(mental state) in a way people understand. Okay, I’ll stop there…. That’s my TED talk.
Thank you so much for being here with us, Nathan. It's been a pleasure, and we're excited to feature you again sometime in the future. Can you tell us a little bit more about your forthcoming project, "Start of Something Blue?"
Again, thanks for having me. It’s a nice opportunity to air out the ego. There are some things I can tell you, but I can’t go into too much detail. “Start of Something Blue” is a series of singles. My background in Circus has given me strange freedom to mix and match every form of art and call it a whole. There will be more and more songs of course, but there’s a children’s book in the pipeline, and some collaborations with Musicians, Circus artists, Dancers, Painters, etc…. This project is really my first opportunity to show off everything I’ve learned and I’m going to throw everything I have at it. This project is what I can do when I’m surrounded by supportive, talented, and loving people.
What can we expect to see from you throughout 2020?
2020 is definitely a mystery for all of us right now. My Irish and European tours have been essentially canceled, but I can guarantee more music. I can guarantee more amazing collaborations too with artists from all around the world! Every day I’m learning about new ways to connect to people that are listening, and I’ve been learning a lot from listening to those people. A lot of big questions are floating around my mind these days… So if there’s something you can expect from me in 2020, it’s growth. I’m still in the process of coming to terms with who I am, as a person, a man, and as a musician. In that order.