Posted On 27 Jul 2017
NateWantsToBattle may have been born of Virginia-native, Nathan Sharp’s gaming obsession, but the name has since become synonymous with the joyful consumption of a wide range of media – gaming, anime and, most of all, music.
A singer, pianist, guitarist and prolific songwriter, Sharp has written over 200 compositions and renditions that range from parodies of popular hits to English renditions of anime openings to music about video games to his very own rock originals.
Being a performer was something that Sharp wanted to pursue since childhood. “Performing in front of people who you’ve never met before that are shouting lyrics you wrote always seemed like such an awesome experience,” he said of the inspiration he got from seeing childhood heroes Green Day and Sum 41 live. This combined with his love for anime and video games led him to an unexpected place that would lay the groundwork for his career.
In 2012 Nate launched his YouTube channel and has since amassed over 1.2 Million subscribers on his main channel and over 289 million views of his multimedia masterpieces. The channel was based on his afore-mentioned passions – anime, gaming and music. Coming up in the digital age provided Sharp with a lot of creative freedom “Everything is molded by what I am feeling and what the fans enjoy,” he explains. He found quite a few people that enjoyed the same pursuits.
Though technology is his milieu, he values the human connection that touring with his band brings. “Nice comments and messages are always appreciated. But I’m someone who has trouble visualizing and being able to put weight to text and a username. Interacting with fans in person has such a heavier and more meaningful impact on me. They share their stories and I share mine. It’s a bonding experience and the way all human interaction should be,” he enthuses.
The summer of 2015 saw the release of Sharp’s first original studio album, MANGLED. The album featured songs about Five Nights at Freddy’s, Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, and Parasyte, as well as acoustic versions of popular songs. A few months later he compiled all of his FNAF related music into an album titled FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S. His third album revolved around the plot of “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time,” and it was called SONGS OF TIME (released on March 1, 2016). The album is a visual one – with videos for each track coming out progressively throughout the year.
Connect With Natewantstobattle Here:
YouTube – http://youtube.com/natewantstobattle
Twitter – http://twitter.com/natewantstobtl
Facebook – http://facebook.com/natewantstobattle
Learn more about Natewantstobattle in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So where does this interview find you today? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it?
Hi, thanks for having me! Currently listening to the “Around the World and Back” album by State Champs. It’s like ear caffeine and just puts me in a good mood to get through my day.
How is 2017 treating you so far? Did you approach the start of this year any differently then you did last year?
2017 has been GREATLY different than last year. From 2012-2016 with my career I got comfortable with simply making a lot of music, posting it online and leaving it at that. But toward the end of 2016 was when I got the urge to take things offline and onto the road with a bunch of shows. It’s been way more work but MUCH more rewarding.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your first musical memory? Could you see yourself doing anything else today?
Music is all I’ve ever really known how to do since a very young age. It started with me just singing along to the radio in my dad’s car driving to and from school. What really got me into it was when my parents were more or less “talent shopping” me around and seeing what I was capable of. They had me try a bit of everything: sports, scouts, bunch of different extra curricular activities. It was when I was put in front of a piano we realized that was the one thing I wasn’t really bad at so we ran with it. And if I weren’t doing music? I’d probably be doing something in animation. Maybe drawing cartoons or voice acting full time rather than on the side. Cartoons were the other thing I loved as a kid.
Let’s talk about your newest single “Heroes Never Die.” Where did the inspiration for it come from? How do you think your sound has grown over the years?
Heroes Never Die was definitely the fun track off of the album. While the rest of the songs revolve around issues like anxiety, self-doubt, introversion, etc. etc. Heroes Never Die was written with the sole intent of being a song about having fun with the people you love and getting the crowd as energized as possible at the live shows.
Where did the idea for your music-oriented YouTube channel come from? Can you remember the first video you posted? How often do you try to post a video?
I had been doing a lot of various musical endeavors before NateWantsToBattle even existed. I came from the MySpace music age and that’s where my roots were. I was also in various garage bands and even pursued the soul-pop solo-artist style for a bit. NateWantsToBattle was actually a side channel that only took off because I had a silly idea to rewrite a Maroon 5 song to be about Pokemon. For whatever reason, that video decided it wanted to be my first piece of work that grabbed attention. And it was a lot of fun at the time. So I went with it! And over the past 2 years or so I had actually been posting a new song every single week. Whether it be a parody, original or cover. As much as I love putting out music, that’s way too much for anyone to stay sane. So this year I’ve been focusing on quality over quantity. But I don’t regret the countless hours I’ve spent prior!
How do you all keep up with your social media pages? Have you been able to connect with a lot of new people that way?
Oh social media is an interesting beast. I do try my best to keep with it, and I find that gets more and more difficult every day. When I was a much smaller musician I had much more time on my hands and way less fans to reply to. Thus letting me interact with ALL of them and pretty frequently. There are actually a few fans I’ve known since day 1 that I’m on a first name basis with haha. It’s bittersweet now. Things grow. More people find you. You become more busy and have less time to connect with people. It’s tough, because that gives off the impression that I don’t care. I absolutely do. It’s all about balance.
What artists have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
There are several bands that, for one reason or another, are obviously a huge inspiration on my music. Whether it be from having influence on my originals or simply because I’ve covered so many of there songs, people can tell who it is I get inspired by. Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Green Day, just to name a few. I grew up a very alt-rock/pop punk fan and that never really faded. As for working with I’d say co-writing something with Brendon Urie would probably be one of the most rad things that could happen in my career. (NOT throwing him under the bus! Just dreaming haha)
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music? What do you hope is the message of your songs?
I want fans to take away whatever positive message they can find. Sandcastle Kingdoms, while it is influenced by my life occurrences, I tried to leave somewhat open to interpretation. If someone can find meaning that wasn’t originally intended, who am I to say it’s wrong? Overall, I just wanted to spread encouragement through it. Things do get better, but it doesn’t happen automatically or easily. That’s the biggest thing I want not just my fans, but anyone to know.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
I’ll be heading out on tour later this year! (Dates TBA). On my headlining tour, the Cool and Good Tour with my friends AmaLee and Mandopony. We’ve already finished the southeast leg of it in FL/GA and will be hitting other coasts in the fall. natewantstobattle.com is where things get updated so keep your eyes on that. Thanks again for having me!