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ItsNate: The secret is out

TALENT: ItsNate

HE IS on the brink of becoming UK rap's worst kept secret with an acclaimed mixtape that has “pushed the boundries forward” and according to popular youth lifestyle brand SBTV, has “solidified his value in the UK rap scene,” but ItsNate is as cool as they come.

His simple choice of name is as unpretentious and effective as his music or as the rapper merely puts it, has the ability to do “what it says on the tin.”

He explains: "Obviously my name is Nathan (laughs). But aside from that, when you’re listening to my music, you’re not getting anything else but the real me. It's going to be ItsNate all the time because that’s what my music truly is. With me you are getting what it says on the tin."

Well, what you'll find inside the 23-year-old’s ‘tin’ is an impressive trio of mixtapes, each one demonstrating how much he has to offer British hip-hop. To be clear, that’s amazing lyrical ability, banging beats and effective storytelling - minus the preaching.

However, despite the title of his Never Average mixtape stating the opposite, ItsNate is quick to remind me that his early years were relatively ordinary.

“I started out in grime at around 14. I was just spitting wherever I could to try and get my name out there. I didn’t take it too seriously. Then that whole [grime] scene kind of died down over the years so I left it behind. After that I decided to make the move into rap.”

“My first ever mixtape was made in my friend’s house. The ideas were good, but the quality wasn’t!”

Despite the change of genre in the past, the rapper assures me that he is in this game for “keeps” and is on a mission to deliver “boundary pushing music.”

I am therefore caught off guard when the laid back, ItsNate casually reveals that he hasn't “officially” told anybody he is a rapper yet.

"I've literally just never told anyone that," he laughs.

When I probe him, he adds: "I have never actually sat down and just told somebody, ‘I am going to be a rapper.’

"Eventually people caught on and were like, 'so what, are you rapping now?' I would reply, 'yeah I am' (laughs). My main aim is to show people what I can do, I don't like just talking about it."

The north London native's latest mixtape Never Average Talking Excellent is racking up mammoth downloads as I write and his latest video Where She Learn That At has over nine thousand views since its recent release on September 12.

With these achievements behind him, I'm curious to know what he considers to be the proudest moment of his career thus far.

"I'd say my biggest achievement is putting out three solid bodies of work, with quality music on it, in the space of two years," he replies almost instantly. "I've done things like support [US rappers] Mac Miller and Stalley and that stuff means a lot too so thanks to anybody who has put me on. But for me just to keep going is what I am proud of.”

And to ‘keep going’ is mandatory for ItsNate. While the underground hip-hop loving, Shoreditch-dwelling youth are very much ‘on the wave’ already. Is he concerned about those who are still asking, ‘who’s ItsNate?’

“No, not really!” he jokes.

“Seriously though, if I had to describe my sound to someone who has not heard of me yet I’d say this music is all about forward thinking. I’ll say it’s ‘S’local’.”

Come again?

“S’local just means always staying busy and always staying positive,” he explains as though he had expected my bemused response.

The self-confessed local lad appears to be doing all he can to live the ‘S’local’ lifestyle, telling me that he makes songs for all people regardless of any labels imposed upon him.
He says: “I am a people’s rapper if that makes any sense.

“I make my music just for people. I don’t want to put labels on anyone who listens to me or on myself. I try to talk about everyday struggles, but I add my perspective on things.”
He adds:“That’s why I take my inspiration from life, because I believe there are songs in every conversation.”

Never Average Talking Excellent is out via soundcloud.com/itsnate. Follow @whosnate on Twitter or visit www.NeverAskTakeEverything.tumblr.com for more information

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