Behind The Scenes With Nathan Rightnour


I had the incredible chance to speak with the extremely gifted Nathan Rightnour. Nathan is a music producer and composer for the Hollywood film, TV and video game industries. Nathans work has been featured in many different places, including several iPhone and iPad apps, music production libraries and video games for the XBOX and PS3. Be sure to check out Nathans incredible work.

Behind The Scenes With Nathan Rightnour

ZanaD: Tell us about your work?

Nate: I write music for film, TV, and anything interesting that comes my way, really. Clients, sometimes other artists, come to me asking for certain kinds of music, and I’m generally quite versatile in the types of music I take on. I perform and record nearly everything myself, but sometimes I’ll enlist great musicians to collaborate with.  I don’t really enjoy the idea of touring because I love being in my studio creating new music, as opposed to performing last month’s music every night. Some people thrive on it, and that’s great, but I find fulfillment in being in a creative mental space every day.

ZanaD: Where are you from?

Nate: Fairfax, Virginia – about thirty minutes outside DC. There is a huge soul and jazz scene, which influences me to this day. Not to long ago I moved to Boston to attend the Berklee School of Music, and after three years I was offered a job at Seven45 Studios where they were (and still are) producing a revolutionary music game called Power Gig for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. It was an amazing experience and there was a lot of room for growth there, but after half a year I had an opportunity to move to Los Angeles, which is the best place to break into the music industry as a composer-producer. I was doubtful at first because there is such great talent out there and so few places to squeeze into the industry. Plus, the economy was shite, so quitting a great job seemed like the worst possible move.  Nonetheless, I finally decided to move to LA because I didn’t want to get too settled into a career path that wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do. I would certainly be happy, but at the same time asking “what if” for the rest of my life… which is less than what I demand for myself. It was really the hardest decision of my life, but the sacrifice seems to have paid off so far!

ZanaD: What type of music do you play?

Nate: Honestly, a bit of everything. Keeps things interesting.

ZanaD: What is the best advice you have for people who want to break into the music industry?

Nate: Persistence leads to success. Be proactive – THINK about what you’re doing. Figure stuff out. Be curious. Be intimate with your tools; get to know them; if there’s something in your way – if you hate technology or whatever – heal and get over it. Create opportunities and be ready when they come – there is no such thing as luck. Visualize yourself as a perpetual student, of yourself and the world around you. If you act on these mindsets, all the little pieces will fall into place.

ZanaD: How many years have you been writing music for?

Nate: I don’t reminisce much, but I guess I’ve been writing since I first touched a piano as a kid; I loved playing but I couldn’t care less about reading the notes in the books, so I just played whatever. When I first discovered music production software, I was hooked. I “released” my first EP when I was 12. Stylistically it was all over the place, but sort of electronic music and hip hop with world elements. From that point on, using technology to CREATE has always been the most fulfilling thing for me, even if its designing web sites or programming. Needless to say I have just as important of a relationship with computers and technology as I do with music, which has helped my career in countless ways, especially creatively.

ZanaD: What inspires you to write music?

Nate: I love being in a creative space mentally, and I love the journey to becoming a better writer.

ZanaD: Who is your favorite artist?

Nate: Changes every week, literally… but if I had to choose one musical artist who has inspired me most, I’d have to pick a genius named Brian Transeau, aka BT. I think his old myspace blog inspired me most, it introduced me to a new way of thinking back when I was in high school and had relatively no direction compared to where I am now. http://www.myspace.com/mrbt/blog.

ZanaD: If you could have three wishes come true what would they be and why?

Nate: If I attempt to answer this, it will drive me crazy for weeks as better answers pop into my head. Pass.

ZanaD: When is your next  music production coming out?

Nate: I have quite a few tracks on upcoming albums from some amazing music production libraries, mainly LiquidCinema, who I do a lot of work for.

Where can people go to listen to the music you have produced?

Nate: www.nathanrightnour.com, in a few weeks… I haven’t put any new music up in months because I’ve been too busy writing it, and I want to redesign a new site soon because my current site is all hand coded and an absolute nuisance to update! So bookmark it and come back!

ZanaD: What is your dream?

Nate: Too many to count… musically, I just want to be happy with the music I produce and make a living from it, although as a perpetual student I’m never completely satisfied. So at some point when I’m 70 years old I’m just going to have to sit down with myself, look back on my favorite accomplishments, be proud and move on. Being respected as an artist wouldn’t hurt either – we all want to be respected for what we do.

ZanaD: If you were stuck on an island what three items would you bring?

Nate: A Verizon (important) cell phone to call for rescue, a sweet girl who thoughtfully packed me a hearty sandwich, and a billion dollar cashier’s check made out to me for when I get back.

ZanaD: If you were trapped in a room what three people would you want to be with?

Nate: Danny Ocean, Jackie Chan, and Hulk Hogan. That’s a lot of male but we’d be out of there in no time.

ZanaD: What musician would you want to go on a date with and why?

Nate: Megan Fox… she’s super fine and apparently all actresses double as singers these days.

ZanaD: Favorite quote?

Nate: Today I got a fortune cookie that said, “Beware of cookies bearing fortunes.”

Links:

Nathans Vimeo

Nathan Rightnours Official Website

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