Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?
Hi friends! I’m Nathan Gonzales, and I’ll make you smile, cry, love your friends, hate yourself, then love yourself even more, fall in love, fall out of love, and fall back in love all over again. I’m an indie-pop artist, songwriter, mixing engineer, and music producer based in the Metro Detroit area. I want to share the entire spectrum of human emotion with you – everything from love, loss, guilt, happiness, and all else that falls in between in its rawest and most vulnerable form.
All of the songs I write come straight from my journal, and everything from my journal comes straight from my life. My ultimate goal is to make a connection with you through my music. I want everyone to know that even though we’re all on our own unique journeys, that doesn’t mean that we have to go on these journeys alone.
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
At the end of the day, I really don’t care how many followers I have or how many streams I get. As long as I know that I made at least one person’s day better through some action of my own, I’m happy. I live to serve others. Whether it’s actually helping other musicians or other people, or something even as simple as making a funny social media post to make someone laugh. Most of everything I do, I keep others in mind. It’s what drives me and my music forward.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.
The first time that I ever performed an original set for a live performance was when it hit me that I was doing what I was born to do. But before that hit me, a wall of smoke hit me first. December 19th, 2021 was my first ever performance. It was a local artist showcase that my friend Zene organized and it was a two hour drive away at Noon or Night Studios. It went exactly how you’d expect a first concert to go. With guitar and amp in hand, I walked into the dimly lit studio and I was attacked by the smell of cigarette smoke and marijuana. When I met the other artists, I felt at home.
Everyone was super friendly and I wanted nothing but great performances for all of us. During the night, there were about 25 people total. Of those 25 people, about half were the other artists, and half were my friends and family. Despite being such a small show, I still gave it my all. I was more comfortable on stage than anywhere else and everything flowed so smoothly, better than how I had imagined it in my head. Playing the music was just half the experience, the other half was interacting with the crowd and filling that place with energy. It felt euphoric on that tiny stage. The energy of that room that night was immaculate. Everyone in that room felt every mood from romantic to angsty to endearing to music-festival levels of excitement and hype from my three song setlist.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?
The biggest challenge I’ve had to face and still continue to face is an invisible force – my own anxiety. I’ve had a great deal of time paralyzed in deep thought. Paralyzed in “why’s” and “what if’s” and plagued in a concoction of rampant self-doubt and violent overthinking. This weakness quickly turned into the inspiration that led to so many of the songs I’ve written. Not only that, but being stuck in that state drives me forward to make myself better.
It’s something that I’m very self-aware of and a state that I hate being in because I know that I can feel and be better. Method after method of trying to relieve my anxiety, I’ve found that there’s only one method that works better than anything else – songwriting. I’ve tried normal journaling – freewriting my thoughts – but there’s something more therapeutic, more curing to me when I turn my frenzied mind and discordant thoughts into beautiful artwork that others can relate to and enjoy.
If you had to pick the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could take your career (or business) to the next level…who would those 3 people be?
I would LOVE to meet Zack Zarrillo, FINNEAS, and Tyler Joseph. Zack Zarrillo’s the manager of some of my favorite indie-artists like Cavetown, Chloe Moriondo, and Addison Grace and I admire the work that he’s done for them to help them grow as artists. He seems like a very friendly, down-to-earth individual who would be an absolute pleasure to work with. It’s no wonder why his artists and label have grown so much in just these past couple years.
When I started producing music in 2020, FINNEAS and his story was what inspired me to keep pushing forward in my bedroom-studio productions. Knowing that I owned the same microphone that he used with Billie Eilish’s “Ocean Eyes” was wild to me. Sitting down with him in a session and working on a production would be such a fun experience. I could imagine all the crazy ideas bouncing around from person to person. Last but certainly not least, Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots has been my biggest inspiration since I first heard his music back in 2015.
I remember when I was in middle school when Blurryface came out and I listened to it on repeat everywhere I went. Soon after, I dove into the rest of Twenty One Pilots’s discography and I fell in love with their songwriting and their unique sound. Tyler Joseph is the reason why I own a ukulele in the first place and why I’m not afraid to write songs about my most vulnerable moments. I have a deep admiration for both Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun and I often look to their early days for inspiration. To this day, I still watch old live videos and interviews of them when they were a tiny, local Columbus band.
To see them playing nearly empty bar shows to sold out arenas and festivals is the most inspiring thing to me. Going on a tour with Twenty One Pilots would leave me utterly speechless. Knowing that I’d be on the same path as my idols would be something so incredible that I don’t even have the words yet to describe that experience. Twenty One Pilots is truly my inspiration for so much of what goes on behind my music, my choices, and my character and what drives me to keep pushing forward in my own musical journey.
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